First, my new book on science and the paranormal, Paranormality,  is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK right now.

Second, here is a short news report about a magic broom that appears to stand-up in an inexplicable way…..

Is it physics? A magic trick? Pixies? A hoax? God? Ten points for the best explanation….


  1. Not really enough info to go by but I’m thinking either

    1) The brissels are stiff enough to stand up on (most likely).
    2) The broom is picking up a static charge and current in the underfloor cables is inducing a field that is causing the boom to stick (long shot).
    or 3) A bit of both

  2. First of all, how small is this town that they are so bored that this is news?

    I think it’s just a nice combination of the broom with the proper center of gravity to stand on end and probably an uneven floor assisting since it doesn’t do it everywhere.

    1. I just happened to run across this article and I am actually from Prattville, AL – we ARE a small town! But we’re not as pathetic as you think, brooms don’t just normally stand up on their own!
      Was it new’s worthy? Think of it this way – at least our new’s isn’t filled with reports of murder and thief.

      By the by, I completely believe that broom was standing due to static charge and good stiff bristles – no magic about it.

  3. The bristles are rigid and level, together they become as dense as a flat surface, almost like a bed of nails. The handle seems to be metal so it provides a force that keeps it adhered to the ground, that could explain the “magnetic force” the reporter mentions. It seems to me to be just a happy accident. A perfect set of circumstances. Yes? No? Maybe so?

    1. We just heard about this and tried it at home. Our broom stood for a while, but not 25 hours. BUT… my Grandpa and my Uncle stood brooms up in there homes (different homes) and they have been standing for 16 hours, and are still standing. Different houses, different brooms. Grandpa also tried it at the local bakery and it stayed standing while people walked in and out of the store. FUNNY! Great conversation starter!

  4. As my american colleagues would say. BFD.

    It’s a broom that stands on its bristles because they’re stiff enough to support it with its centre of gravity within the footprint of the bristles.

    Next week – breaking news: A brick that moves rapidly downwards when released.

    1. There’s a place in Lake Wales, FL called “Spook Hill” where your car will roll up hill. I remember going there as a kid in my mom’s ’69 Cougar convertible. She put it in neutral, and next thing you know we were rolling up hill. Of course, it’s not really up hill, it just looks that way. I’m pretty sure know one believes they are actually going up hill, much less that the ghost of a Seminole chief killed by an alligator is pushing them.

  5. I saw someone do this at the mystery spot in Santa Cruz. The Leprechaun there explained it as unexplainable. But Obviously it involves sacred geometry since it occurs in 3 spots. That, and the weak nuclear force.

  6. Note how the on-location reporter holds the broom, right at the base of the handle. Note that when he spins it, the head of the broom is heavier than the whole of the handle. Note that in the first closeup, the handle is dented in a manner consistent with a thin plastic tube. The reporter even calls it a “light weight broom”. This suggest that the handle weighs next to nothing.

    Imagine the broom head without the handle. No, don’t bother to imagine… I went ahead and removed the handle:

    Seems pretty obvious now, eh?

  7. Just looks like it’s balanced on its bristles to me. Still, if people are prepared to visit a shop to see a broom stand up, then who’s to say she shouldn’t exploit that fact?
    Now, if she had Frostilicus in a freezer at the back, that would be a different story..

  8. The only thing about this that’s hard to explain is how it merits more than 10 seconds and someone saying “hey, look at this?” then getting back to work.

    Stiff bristles, heavy head, light handle, low centre of gravity, and possibly needs uneven bristles that happen to fit a few areas of uneven floor if you need to explain it only working in some spots.

  9. I work in a warehouse, and at night before we can leave, everyone has to sweep up. Mostly we use larger push-brooms, but some people use smaller brooms similar to the one in the video.

    Last week, while everyone was cleaning up, one of my co-workers was messing around with one of the smaller brooms, and he managed to get it standing upright. It was just a matter of balancing it.

  10. Just watching this winds me up. People jump in and assume there is a supernatural explanation. It just looks like it’s balanced on the bristles to me, they look stiff and wide enough to hold it’s own weight.
    Stuff like this happens all the time without people making a song and dance about it.
    Right, I’m off before I wind myself up even more. I should stop watching things like this.

  11. Could it be that a few threads get stuck in the cracks of the wood floor? In combination with the stiffness of the brooms bristles and possibly the lightness of the shaft (the dent implies that it should be a light metal tube). It seems good for business 🙂

    1. That was what I was thinking when I saw the video too. A couple of fibres sticking between the boards in some places can make it feel as though it’s magnetically stuck there and resistant to moving away or being toppled over.

  12. Some good explanations thus far, but you all seem to be overlooking the obvious. Derren Brown is soon to be sticking us to the seat of our chairs. He’s obviously been rehearsing the trick in preparation.

  13. I think it’s odd/noteworthy that we never see anyone take the brush from a standing-upright position to a floor-sweeping position, or back again. Instead, cuts in the video hide the transition. Which makes me wonder if it’s a trick brush, with the video cut together with footage of a real sweeping brush.

  14. You can’t brush me off with your half-baked explanations, I’m too busy being swept off my feet by the genius of US news reporting. Let’s sweep this one under the rug, shall we?

    Oh, and Jeremy, please don’t take the Mickey, this is clearly Goofy.

  15. Cool! Don’t we do that wit many objects without thinking .. placing pens/pencils upright on your desk. A standing broom is still not that remarkable .. especially with a non wooden ‘handle’ … the ‘hair’ is ofcourse the key .. unless people want it up all the time and start using other tricks to make it more stable (lots of options there). I myself would prefer a broom that sweeps all by itself …. so if anyone sells those (not a vaccuum cleaner .. a broom). Oh .. I’ll check with Brown .. maybe he can fix that too ……. (walking to the hallway .. and going into the other room .. brown towers …)

  16. If this is an experiment to see just how worked up people can get over something as arbitrary as a broom, it seems to have worked!

    DoctorOHM: thanks for the links to the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe info.
    The first link that you list has an article that describes some peoples’ reactions, including those of the Southern Paranormal Researchers who visited the scene.

  17. Its just a FRACKING BROOM!

    Come on! There must be millions of brooms worldwide, it was only a matter of time before one of them was manufactured/dented/worn in such a way that it would stand on its bristles.

    What is the truely shocking thing about this story is that not only is it on the news but the news reporter actually said what is this some kind of ‘magic field’.

    1. Aww This is America>/em>, Paul. Here, people believe that Jesus appeared on a dog’s ass ( ) and that he’s coming back tomorrow… or the day after.
      So, when they see a blue broom standing up, or when they have a courageous Black President, it’s obviously dark magic… LOL

      Actually, it’s as much funny as it is utterly creepy. That’s how reality is so much stranger than fiction. *sigh*

  18. I agree with Nonsanity.

    But, even if the handle was heavy it could still work by the bristles at the front of the head being wedged in between the floorboards. And, as the handle settles back it rests on the stiff bristles at the back of the head. At around 1:17 as she puts it back on the floor. She doesn’t merely stand it up, she forces it down a bit. Just enough to wedge the bristles. This might also explain why it only works in a few locations, where the floorboards are far enough apart to allow for a good wedge.

  19. First, let me agree with Marsh that it is quite odd (or suitably predictable for this kind of thing) that the video evidence is so bad despite being handled by a professional news crew. Why leave it to the reporter to vaguely describe a “magnetic pull” at the end?

    Second, let me agree with everyone else that was critical of the whole thing even being a story. For your reference, it appears that WSFA serves the Montgomery, Alabama area. Plan your vacation time accordingly, and if you live there and somehow managed to nourish your brain when things like this are broadcast news, get the hell out of there!

  20. I agree with everybody else, people actually think there’s something special here? It’s just a broom with a high head weight to handle weight ratio and adequately stiff bristles. Who are the people who decided to put this on the news and take pictures through the window? Man, maybe I should buy this brand of broom and open a shop. Then I’ll get lots of free publicity on the news and people coming by to gawk at my amazing magic broom and hopefully buy something.

  21. really not an impressive phenomenon is it? the only REALLY amazing thing about it, is that this thing actually made it into the news… which says way more about the american tv than about a broom or magnetic fields.

    1. Hey, don’t bad mouth American TV. I’ve seen some British TV. In fact, we seem to have copied most of it lately.

  22. Oh my God. Watching that video gave me a headache from the stupid.

    It’s a miracle — my broom is standing on its own! And my chair too! And this table! It’s a miracle!

  23. She explained it all on the video. No sense in trying to out do her and come up with some highfalutin explanation. It’s the Holy Spirit. End of discussion.

  24. If it really is as light as they say, could static be produced by the brushing of bristles and maybe static produced by the electrical current which just helps balance the broom in place?

  25. I think I know where all of you are spending your afterlife…

    How can you not see that this is an act of God, and that he is clearly trying to communicate with these women?!? He wants them to use their influence over the media to “clean up” this town — quite literally! Sure, 2000 years ago we understood that a burning bush or a never-ending day was a sign from above, but now we have to come up with little “science”-based explanations like center of gravity, static electricity, and magnetism? Come on, people! Doff your caps of disillusion and believe in His power!

    Of course, it could just be the stiff bristles in a well-balance broom sitting in a minor depression in the floor.

    1. The nice thing about the Internet is that it is often hard to tell apart the people who are serious about their crazy explanation from the people who are being sarcastic when offering another, equally crazy explanation.

      That is to say, if you had bothered to check the date of the YouTube upload, it was done earlier than the 8th, to say nothing of how long before *that* the broadcast was done. It’s also left as an exercise to the reader to figure out when the actual recording happened.

      No, more likely than the equinox is that she is a Sagittarius, whose planets have been in major/minor opposition with their moon alignments since 2007 and will be until 2011.

  26. wow!! i just got 3 brooms standing up too! everyone should try it!!! it seriously works! i should now be famous and making some extra change…

  27. It’s nothing tricky you silly woman. It’s a stiff bristled, hollow handled broom. You could probably do this with many of them. But really, how ridiculous that it made the news. I’d say the owner is cleverer than she’s letting on as this is a great way to promote her new business to the naive locals.

  28. It is due entirely to the power of prayer.
    I prayed to the FSM to go back in time and make this trick work, as broom bristles represent his noodly appendages.

  29. Oh boy. This kind of broom is actually in every household here in the Philippines. I can’t believe people fell for this news. The broom’s cut and design are specially made to make it stand in balance.

    That’s all I guess.

  30. Shucks. I’ve been standing brooms up like that since I was a kid.
    Works well with straw brooms too.

    Just push the broom down a bit to settle and spread the bristles out a bit, adjust the handle to center the weight over the bristles, and, wa-la, it stands by itself.

    Nothing to it.

  31. yeah God probably was bored that day and had nothing to do, so he decided to make a spectacle out of the broom by making it stand up, giving news starved 24×7 channels a chance to break something to its viewers… Of course, there is nothing called physics and centre of gravity and plain old common sense.

  32. Its happening due to the Equinox that happens twice a year! (With a 2-week window).I manage a major retail store and we had a 7 yr old customer line up 8 brooms around our Halloween display yesterday. It caught customer’s attention for sure! We even had people buying brooms so they could go home & show their family members.

  33. I’m not sure what it is but I tried it in my own home and it worked…just a regular broom from Costco..never before stood on its own…even my 4 year old did it…it’s wild and very cool….

  34. From what I understand, it does indeed have to do with the timing of the Earth’s Equinox and the fact that at this time of year the Earth’s gravitational pull is at it’s strongest. Nothing more, nothing less.

  35. We just did this same thing with 2 old wood handled, straw bristled brooms in the middle of the garage. There was no pushing down on the broom to spread the bristles and they are very uneven. If everything I read is correct they will fall over sometime tonight (Wed). As for being newsworthy…why not!? Nice to see something a little more upbeat coming from the media.

  36. We just did it with 4 brooms here in Nebraska! All 4 are different types of brooms. Why isn’t anyone posting an answer? Planets aligned…?
    pshaw. It’s Thursday today, and they are still standing!

  37. A friend just came into my office and showed me this, it has do with the alignment of the earth and the moon right now! The moon has a strong enough effect on the earth that it will over come some of the earth’s rotational spin, thus allowing something like this to work. We grabbed a broom from the janitor’s closet, and low and behold it works! It should work for the next few days so give it a try!

  38. I currently have 3 brooms standing. I even had 2 standing in the garage where there was a breeze. I’m in Michigan & its 09/26/09. My mom in SD said she has one standing, her neighbor has had one standing for the past 2 weeks. She heard it was due to the equinox/ planet alignment, or something. I’m still searching for a scientific reason, but it is pretty cool & a little bazaar at the same time!

  39. Hey this is not just a local happening, we have several friends, and ourselves who stood our broom up for over two hours! and different types of brooms, nylon bristles, straw broom ( wooden handle) etc. I’ve been told it’s because of the equinox, but I never tried it before so I don’t know. So all of you doubters get your brooms and give it a try!!

  40. It’s the atumnol equinox…you can even balance an egg on it’s small tip on Sept. 22-24….same with the spring equionox in march…15th I believe. The Equator is equal to the gravitational pull off the moon during these times…myself and all my friends and neighbors did this with our brooms last Thursday…it’s pretty amazing!!

  41. A friend called me tonight and told me to face my broom east to west and it should stand by itself. Well i have a cheap lightweight and slanted broom so i laughed and gave it a try.. it is still standing in the middle of my kitchen! It freaked me out so i had to look up some kind of explanation and i ended up here. It is something about a gravitational pull.

  42. On the day of the equinox, the Day Arc of the sun is 0 degrees. The exact date and time of the September equinox is September 22, 2009 at 21:18, or 9:18 pm. While no exact date is available for the end of the Autumn Equinox, the effects of the equinox can still be enjoyed now.

    The autumn, or September, equinox is a time when the Earth’s axis is parallel to the sun. The Sun shines the same amount of time on both sides of the equator, and the hours of day and night are almost equal.

    The equinoxes are also the only days of the year when a person standing on the Equator can see the sun passing directly overhead. On the Northern Hemisphere’s autumnal equinox day, a person at the North Pole would see the sun skimming across the horizon, signaling the start of six months of darkness. On the same day, a person at the South Pole would also see the sun skim the horizon, beginning six months of uninterrupted daylight.

  43. I tried this in myhome with my own straw bristled broom, it does work. And I am not a beliver of witchcraft or any other kind of voodoo. I am a Christian…but having heard and seen this in a college course myself Ihad to try it. Iwas told it has something to do with a gravational pull every 200 yearsm and that it willlast for about 5 more days.

  44. Guys, seriously? It’s just science, every year for 2 weeks during the fall equinox you can stand up brooms, eggs, mops on flat surfaces.

    it’s because the planets are alligned and the gravitational pull is even which holds it upright when normally it would fall.

    It’s not because the bristles are stiff, or strings or wires or hoaxes.

    It’s just science.

  45. Mine is a very old slant broom, bristles sticking out everywhere, very soft…not dense at all. Ceramic tile floor so not sure about the static. It’s standing right now. I always understood it to be the equinox as well. What got me to try it tonight was all the posts on Facebook of people doing it tonight. So I tried it and it worked. Seems to be working all over the place right now.

  46. supposed to have something to do with earth’s gravitational pull being kinda messed up right now. apparently it happens every 50 or 60 years

  47. Ok everyone is getting so excited about this broom standing up. My sis seen it on facebook and got me up outta bed. To show me our brooms stand up all by themselves. Lol so its not just this ladies broom. My sis had 2 of them standing up. Don’t know what the big deal is?

  48. yall are retarded.
    I came into the caf at school and these old ladies thought they were amazing with a broom standing in the middle of the room.
    they claimed some holy ghost bull, and then a kid at school who thinks hes a marriage counselor (the dude’s never been able to keep a girlfriend) he tried giving me some line of bull about the planets being in alinement, so the sun and moon balance the light weight broom. it lasts a couple weeks.
    well I tried it, and It works, but the crap works due to a flat broom edge and the low center of gravity.
    get a hobby.

  49. well i have a wooden handled old school sure enough broom standing in my kitchen at this moment and we also did it with a shop broom and metal handled broom….no tricks involved

  50. funny..the broom trick is working at my house…2 brooms…I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it. One broom is plastic base with plastic bristles, and the other is a wooden handle with straw bristles….funny…too bad they won’t automatically sweep!

  51. Sure you can make a broom stand up by spreading the bristles, but that is not what I did to make it happen. I just placed the broom on the floor without effort. I live in North Central Texas and we are having the same thing happening here. My broom is still standing and it is not a new broom nor a worn out one. It just works! I vote for gravitational pull.

  52. We had a news story about it this morning while I was studying for an exam, so of course I jumped at the chance for procrastination…. I grabbed my broom out of the closet and balanced it in the middle of a tile floor where it stood for 5 minutes before my cat knocked it over. I moved it and balanced it again, so we will see how long it will stand. I can’t wait to freak out my roommate when she gets home. 🙂

  53. Well, the equinox (which has a two-week window, according to some) has come and gone for the year. Yet, my light-weight broom is standing upright in my kitchen. I think it’s balance.

  54. The broom is standing for me and several other people that live near me. People are saying its by chance and its balanced, I balanced a broom today that was completely unbalanced. The handle stuck through at an angle and it was made of wood. It can’t just be balanced because that broom was so unbalanced, yet it stood up.
    I can balance both heavy and lightweight brooms. Lightweight brooms are easier, but heavier ones still stay up with patience.
    I think this has something to do with the planets around us or the sun affecting our gravity abit.

    Also, if this was just balance or some kind of static, First of all, why hasn’t this been happining forever and people talk about it? Secondly, How is it working in a 2nd, and 3rd floor apartment if underground static is causing it?

  55. This has to do with gravitational pull and the position of the earth right now and is supposedly not supposed to work by the year 2012 or something. But it’s not just a stiff brush or balance thing b/c I tried this myself at home and at the office with different brooms and it worked with a regular lightweight and heavy broom and with a swiffer vac and with the big dust mop brooms that are used in commercial buildings and schools. It’s news b/c it was something new and interesting and not the usual murder, car wreck, burglary and other negatively disastrous events they usually report.

  56. It has to do with the planets being aligned and should continue for about 30 days. Nothing to do with strong bristles or static. Friends of mine used a variety of brooms and they all stood up.

  57. best i can figure is that during the spring and fall equanox it is possable to stand an egg on end and brooms stand on there own this is not a new discovery there are refferances to this event in many books and even songs.
    When the moon is in the Seventh House
    And the Earth aligns with Mars
    My broom will not sweep the floor
    You will find me at the bars

    This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
    Age of Aquarius
    Aquarius! Aquarius!

  58. My broom had uneven bristles, wooden handle it stood on it’s own for 45 minutes, also a cue stick and tennis racket would do the same.
    Don’t know why but you could feel the gravity pulling against the objects
    while you were getting them positioned.

    NOV. 6-2009 REPLY

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  61. It may be possible to do any time of the year, but I don’t think it would be easy. The reason so many have been able to do it this week is because of the equinox. It is the same with the egg balancing, but those are more picky and will only balance for a very short time around the actual time of the equinox. A broom, however, can be made to balance for several days around the equinox.

  62. Hogwash to balancing a broom during only the summer solstice or during an equinox. It can be done any hour of any day or any part of the year. Anybody can do it with a steady hand and perserverence to find a balance point of the bristles even on an old broom (like mine as it took all of thirty seconds). I can even balance three golf balls on a tee. It amazes me what people get talked into believing because they can’t comprehend it.

  63. This is for 2 Anonymous up from me…….YOUR AN IDIOT!!! You can take that with a grain of salt moron.

  64. i didn’t believe it either but i tried it and it worked in certain areas of the house, not everywhere. but i finally got it where it would and it has been standing for over an hour…i am going to see how long it will do it….oh and by the way it is not an even bristled broom.

  65. We tried this at work and it works.. our broom is flimsy and uneven and our floor is very even and it works. I dont think its supernatural i think it ahs alot to do with gravity

  66. lol i always make fun of idiots that post stuff on these sites and here i am… physics involved, no alignment of planets or soltices or anything, just a simple balance act…..took me 20 sec to do it with my broom….also with the egg trick, try holding the egg upright for about 3 min then balance it (allows the yoke to settle to the bottom of the egg and lowers the center of gravity, it will stand there all day no matter what time of the year 😉

  67. I think the magnetic force of the Moon and the Sun pushing the gravity to one spot making it stand up. Or both of the poles at the end of the Earth are pulling each of their own forces which makes it stand up. That is the most likest reason, Because really, how else could it do that? I think it is physics. Thanks!

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  71. Hey, I just went to our local KMart and every broom I picked up even the ‘extreme angle’ ones stood by themselves. I really think something is going on. It can happen anywhere anytime. It’s just too strange, I am 50 years old and have never seen this happen before. It’s not demons, ghosts, a trick or level bristles, because I tried every type of broom. Can anyone explain that???

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  73. All you skeptics need to try it. It’s not hard to do…and I have a cheap broom and cheap flat tile in my house.

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