Fiona Broome - background and personal history

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I’m Fiona Broome. Here’s what I do…

As an author, I write about multiple topics, including ghost hunting and haunted places.

My first ghost-related articles were published in Fate magazine in the 1970s.

I began my first ghost-related website in the mid-1990s, and launched HollowHill.com in 1999. That’s where many of today’s ghost hunting TV stars first developed their skills.

Since then, I’ve witnessed dramatic changes in paranormal research.

Currently, I’m updating my older books to reflect new discoveries in science and paranormal research.

I’m also developing a line of shorter, topic-focused books for modern audiences. They will be free in Kindle for at least three months, and portions released as audiobooks, free to listen to.

As a ghost researcher…

I assemble small, selectively chosen teams to investigate intriguing, paranormal sites.

Usually, we explore locations with obscure ghost stories… places that the public rarely hear about.

Sometimes I write about them at HollowHill.com. Often, I don’t. When I mention a haunted site, it soon becomes popular, and then – with too many visitors – it’s not as useful for serious research.

As a media consultant…

I use history, genealogy, and geography to confirm (or debunk) site owners’ concerns, and find unexplored haunts in the U.K. and U.S.A.

When I research well-known haunted places, I go far beyond the popular legends. For me, it’s a personal challenge to discover the truth.

I consider myself more of a “ghost historian” than a “ghost hunter.”

So, in addition to online research, I enjoy exploring records in dusty old libraries and church archives. I interview local historians and others, to determine if a site truly has unexplained phenomena.

As a location scout…

I’ve found* haunted-looking sites for filming TV shows and movies. They may or may not be haunted. I’m just looking for cool places that will be suitably eerie for a particular project.

For reality shows, I’ve focused on haunted sites that most people didn’t know about, yet.

I’ve identified general “hot spots” where TV producers are likely to find multiple haunts for several shows. (It’s easier to film several shows in one area, even if they’re aired weeks or months apart.)

However, I always preferred not to be in front of the camera. I like my privacy.  I’m not quite so eccentric as J. D. Salinger (“Catcher in the Rye”) was, but there are similarities.

Yes, this means that as my celebrity friends are being waved through airport security, I’m firmly directed to the hour+ wait lines at TSA.

But it also means that I can stop for a dozen donuts at Dunkin’s, and nobody asks for my autograph.

For me, the trade-offs are worth it.

*Today, I rarely work as a location scout, mostly assisting friends and family in the industry.

Meanwhile, I’ve been featured at…

Fiona Broome - as featured at...and a lot more, as you’d probably expect, after so many years in this field.

How I became interested in ghosts

As a child, I stumbled onto ghost hunting, almost literally.

My mother was a bohemian artist. Father was a photographer, calligrapher, and political activist. So, our dinner guests regularly included artists, museum curators, diplomats, professors, and inventors.

My childhood was set in a Town & Country world of travel, parties, and museums.  Winters included rural ski lodges. Summers were spent at seaside cottages and luxury hotels.

Many – perhaps most – of them were lovely, very haunted old sites.

Then and now, what drives me is the pursuit of wonder. Discovering amazing, delightful things.

Often, they reveal a new, fascinating side of history.

So, I’m not interested in anything lurid or deeply tragic, though – in ghost investigations – tragedy may be part of the ghosts’ histories.

My first ghostly encounter was at one of those grand old hotels, Wentworth-by-the-Sea (New Castle, NH).

That’s where my brother and I once followed a woman in an old-fashioned maid’s uniform. As a joke, we tiptoed behind her, up to a dusty upper floor… where she vanished into thin air. (I described that experience in the book, Weird Encounters.)

At that moment, everything changed for me. I knew, without a doubt, that ghosts must be real.

After that, my interest in fantastic topics leaped forward when I read A Wrinkle in Time. It was probably my favorite childhood book, along with The Borrowers series and anything by Edward Eager.

My ghost hunting career began as a journalist

As an adult, travelling around the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Ireland has increased my fascination with eerie and haunted sites. That’s why I started writing articles published in magazines such as Fate.

In the mid-1990s, I started a paranormal research website, first at GeoCities (an early blog community) and then – starting in 1999 – at HollowHill.com.

In that era, mine was one of the few free ghost hunting websites sharing useful how-to insights. So, I received many invitations to investigate haunted sites.

Over the decades that followed, I wrote more and more articles about ghost hunting. My reputation great as an expert in this field. Many of today’s ghost hunting TV stars developed their understanding of ghosts by reading my articles at Hollow Hill

Currently, I’m revising and updating several of my ghost-related books. I’m also working on a series of shorter books about topics related to paranormal research and my own experiences.

And, of course, I continue my scientific and historical research.


Fiona Broome is an author, researcher, location scout, historian, and media consultant. She specializes in paranormal research in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, and Canada.

She’s the founder of one of the Internet’s original ghost-related websites, HollowHill.com. She’s written more than 1,000 ghost-related articles for magazines and websites.

Fiona is the author of several books. She’s also contributed to the “Weird U.S.” book series and “Armchair Reader” books.

Fiona has been a speaker and panelist at international events including the New England Ghost Conference, GhoStock, Central Texas Paranormal Conference, and Canada’s annual G.H.O.S.T.S. conferences. She’s also been a celebrity Guest and panelist at Dragon Con.

Fiona’s websites include: HollowHill.com and this site, FionaBroome.com. Her past projects have included Ghosts101.com and MandelaEffect.com, as well as a few smaller projects (like Fairies101.com) she’s put to one side, for now.

divider - 19th century line

Fiona’s unique research

  • Ley line patterns in ghost research.  Using geographical lines (ley lines) and patterns, Fiona was the first to publicly identify sites with unreported (and under-reported) paranormal activity. She’s predicted anomalies from New Orleans’ French Quarter to Salem, Massachusetts, and from Atlanta, Georgia, to Maritime Canada.
  • Historical patterns in general paranormal research. For Fiona, this started with her discovery of the connection between Abner Cook, Shoal Creek, and Austin, Texas’ many haunted buildings. Since then, Fiona has been a leading researcher in historical and geographical patterns. Those might explain why some sites are haunted and others aren’t.
  • Genealogy as a paranormal research tool. Fiona has pioneered paragenealogy, to document (and sometimes discredit) popular ghost stories, from the Lalaurie Mansion in New Orleans, to the enduring “curses” that followed the Salem Witch Trials.
  • Trivia: Fiona is descended from Oliver Cromwell’s first cousin, Thomas Cromwell. He fled the controversy stirred up by Oliver’s Godly Reformation” and the English Civil War. Thomas and his family sought a devout, Christian community with a simpler focus, and less religious hyperbole. Alas, Salem was not a wise choice.

Fiona’s notes for those who speculate about her name: The Broome (also Broom, Brome, Brougham) surname may come from the broom plant, of the Genisteae family.

However, SurnamesDb.com says, “This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a locational or a topographical surname. If the former, it derives from any one of the various places called Broom (in Bedfordshire, Durham and Worcestershire), Broome (in Norfolk, Shropshire and Warwickshire), and Brome, in Suffolk.”

I’m pleased that the way my family spells it – Broome – is connected to an ancestral pilgrimage to the Holy Land and the Crusades. I rather love the romance and spirituality of that.

My middle name, Fitzgerald, is a nod to my Irish ancestry, mostly from Counties Cork and Limerick.

(My first name, Fiona – which, since 1999, has been among the United States’ top 500 most popular baby names – comes from fionn, which is Irish/Gaeilge for light, white, or fair.) 

  • The Mandela Effect is a phrase Fiona developed in 2009 to describe quirky, synchronous historical memories that differ from what’s widely accepted. Is it sci-fi? Is it real? Is it just ‘false memory’? There may be multiple explanations. Any or all of them could be correct, depending on the memory.  For Fiona, this has nothing to do with conspiracies Fiona favors the idea that – when it’s not a simple mistake (resulting from too-hasty news reporting or a commonplace memory glitch) – it may be evidence of quantum mechanics in everyday life. Are we all space-time travelers, and these alternate memories are markers that tell us which reality we’re visiting at that moment…? Maybe. (It’s a fun idea for speculation… let’s just lean into the “fun” aspects, okay?)
  • “Sparkles,” a specific camera effect.  In the late 1990s, Fiona coined the term “sparkles” to describe camera phenomena that can indicate the likelihood of photo anomalies.  The term has since been adopted throughout the field, and used as a predictor in paranormal investigations.

Additional info

Fiona’s research, and her contributions to over 15 books, are always based in documented facts, history and science.

Trickery Treat, a Charmed novelOnline, she’s respected as the founder of Hollow Hill, one of the earliest, largest, and most-trusted websites about ghosts and haunted places. Today, Fiona makes sure the site is useful to all researchers, from beginners to pros.

Also, Fiona Broome was the inspiration for the “Fiona” character in  Trickery Treat, the final novel in the first Charmed TV series books.

Conferences, Conventions, and Symposia

Fiona has been a regular, invited guest at many local events and international conferences. Here are some of the earliest:

  • In 2003, Fiona was the opening speaker for the New England Ghost Conference. (John Zaffis was the closing speaker.)
  • During 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, Fiona was an invited Guest and speaker at  Dragon Con, talking about paranormal, sci-fi, and speculative topics. By 2011, she felt the crowds were a bit much, and the popularity of the Mandela Effect made public appearances less attractive.
  • She was also among the speakers, panelists and investigators at GhoStock 7 (2009).
  • In October 2008 and 2009, Fiona was a celebrity Guest of Honor at Salem, Massachusetts’ then-premiere social event, the Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball. (Fiona was never there as a “witch,” though she respects those who identify as witches.)
  • Fiona was a guest speaker and panelist in Ontario, Canada at the 1st and 2nd Annual G.H.O.S.T.S. Conference.
  • In October 2011, Fiona was among the guest speakers and panelists at the Central Texas Paranormal Conference, in Austin, Texas. At that point, she decided she’d rather avoid the exhaustion of public appearances, and rarely speaks at events.
Fiona's name badges from Dragon Con 2006 - 2010
Fiona’s Guest badges from Dragon Con (2006 – 2010)
TV and Radio

Fiona has been a location scout and consultant for producers, cast, and crew of TV shows on SyFy, Travel Channel, and History Channel, etc.

She’s also appeared on a few shows.

  • TV:  Hollywood New England, Chronicle (various throughout New England), and the History Channel (History II).
  • Radio: Coast to Coast AM with George Noory (June 2018), Para-X Radio shows (several) , Blog Talk Radio (several, including Haunted 911), Darkness Radio with Dave Schrader, Psychic Sundays with Gavin Cromwell, The Spiritual View with Dr. Kevin Ross Emery, and  Just Energy Radio with Dr. Rita Louise.

Fiona has never appeared in movies. She’s been represented by actors pretending to be her, but no one ever asked her permission.

She avoids seeing how she’s been portrayed. It’s rarely flattering.

Magazines and Newspapers

Fiona and her research projects have been featured in hundreds of magazines and newspapers, including:

  • Haunted Times magazine: Fear the Darkness of Falstaff’s Experience (Fall 2008).
  • Phylllis Hoffman Celebrate Magazine, Haunted Happenings in Salem (Halloween 2010).
  • NH Magazine: Nine Bone-Chilling Questions with a Granite State Ghost Hunter (Oct 2002), Unearthly Encounters (Oct 2010), Haunted Cemeteries (Oct 2012).
  • Boston Globe newspaper, Boston, MA: Inside the T’s Tunnel of Doom (Halloween “City View,” Oct 2002).
  • Nashua Telegraph newspaper, Nashua, NH. Encore cover story, Do you believe in GHOSTS? (27 Oct 2000), The Haunting of Tyng Mansion (31 Oct 2002), NH Ghost Hunter Reports Ghoulish Prank (12 May 2003), Spirits & Hauntings & Pukwudgies, Oh My (10 Oct 2010).
  • You’ll also find Fiona mentioned in: Medical News Today, Healthline, Kenbridge Victoria Dispatch, ZME Science, The Jerusalem Post, Upworthy, Parade magazine, Times Live, Good Housekeeping, The Hollywood Reporter, Art & Object, Press and Journal, Reader’s Digest, Snopes, The Mirror (UK), Independent Australia, artnet News, Mental Floss, Daily Mail, The Independent, and… well, you get the idea.