Standing broom in Prattville sweeps in paranormal researchers
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Posted 01 September 2009 - 07:29 AM
Several hundred people have stopped by Vintage Blu, a yet-to-be-opened consignment shop, since the phenomenon was discovered Aug. 20. Dozens of theories to explain what's going on have been thrown out. There must be glue on the bristles of the broom, or there are magnets in the floor working in concert with the buildings electrical system, or maybe ... just maybe ... it's something from beyond at work.
"I think it's more strange than spooky," said Christy Burdett, the shop's owner, who has been working for several weeks to get the business open. "But it's been fun." No, there isn't any glue, and there are no magnets in the floor. As to something otherworldly going on, people will have to use their own judgment.
It all started out innocently enough. The broom was leaning against a set of mobile shelves when Della Benton, Burdett's sister, moved the shelves on Aug. 20. When Benton looked back, she was surprised to see the broom standing on the floor.
"Christy was behind the counter and I told her to get her camera quick and take a picture. I thought the broom would fall over in just a few seconds," Benton said. "We had people walk past it the rest of the day. It stayed there. Spence (Williamson) from the fire department shoved the handle to the side; it went over a few inches and swung back into place."
Some 25 hours later a friend stopping by the store touched the broom's handle and it toppled. "We told her she had the Holy Spirit, and she drove the ghosts away," Christy Burdett said with a laugh.
The broom is a run-of-the-mill item, purchased from Dollar General.
"It's just your average $2.99 broom," said Phillip Burdett, Christy's husband and a Prattville firefighter. "I don't know how to explain it. We've had people just walk in since it happened every day we've been down here. They want to see the broom."
It seems that the broom likes one spot on the store floor. People have moved it to other areas, and it hasn't stayed upright. Tuesday during an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser, a photographer moved the broom and was able to make it stand several feet away. It was quickly returned to its favorite spot, where Christy Burdett plopped it down and there it stuck.
It remained standing Thursday.
Visitors eye the broom suspiciously when they first walk in the building. The Burdetts are quick to move their hands around it, just to prove there are no strings or wires holding it up. Their 6-year-old son, Reed, has even jumped off the counter near the broom several times, landing beside it with a thud. The broom never wavered.
Their 2 1/2-year-old, Will, also has gotten in on the act.
"We brought him in and asked him what he thought of the broom," Christy Burdett said. "He went up and looked at it and said 'Mommy, it's cold.' I went up and there was cold air around the broom. You'll have to come up with an explanation for that on your own."
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