Brockenborings was a village and clan hold set on the western side of the Hills of Scary . The site of copper-holes , some dating back to Dwarvenminers of the Second Age . The area had long been avoided by Eriadoran miners , as it was said to be haunted . Harfoots , led by the Bolger clan , paid no attention to these stories when they first entered the borings ; they saw them chiefly as prime possibilities for smials , a useful haven from the rowdy mine guildsmen at Scary . Unfortunately , the ghosts of the Borings seemed to be making a comeback ; Hobbits were hearing sounds in their walls , feeling a touch on the backs of their necks while leaning against solid rock , and seeing faces down dead-end passages in their homes . These reports had been increasing and some of the Borings had gone uninhabited for too long. The creatures haunting the Borings were not , strictly speaking , ghosts or any other undead . Rather , they were Neblins , fairy creatures , spirits of earth who merged with the souls of Dwarven miners who loved their work more than the more distant possibility of joining Mahal (Aule , the Vala who created Dwarves) at his forges beyond the world . The Dwarves of Khazad-dum avoided having Neblin problems through careful placement of protective runes in their mines and elaborate burial ceremonies for their dead . The Neblins of the Hills of Scary spent much of their time drifting through the rock strata of the hills , occasionally playing at being miners again in the deeper holes . The Hobbits , unfortunately , had attracted their attention by trying to civilize the mines . The Neblins were not sure what to do about this , but they were capable of being either a nuisance or a serious threat if the proper magics were not said over the borings . A Dwarvish burial ceremony expounding on the joys of being with family and the home forge would have worked , but Durin's Folk were not in the habit of sharing rituals of this sort with outsiders .
In the late third Age Brockenborings was a successful quarry and mining center, although the copper and tin-holes here would close if the Scary mines had any real competition in Eriador. Th e Neblins and other exotica were the stuff of lost legends, sustained by the occasional findings of copper nodules roughly approximating the shape of a huddled, sleeping Dwarf. A collection of such nodules lay on display in a small half-shed in the park in the middle of the village. Rumor had it that the nodules rattled about their shelter whenever a Hobbit miner died underground. The "Neblin-nuggets " were enormously valuable, far more than the Brocken Hobbits realized , since they were composed of nearly pure copper, tin, and nickel. Local legends suggested that anyone who tried to steal one would be turned to stone.