Sloss Furnace is an old decommissioned steel mill. Over 55 workers have died during its years of operation. Most of them died due to the severe conditions while working under the faulty supervision of a particularly cruel foreman during the graveyard shift. With temperatures throughout the plant reaching 120º and the lack of sleep, the furnace was quite literally a living hell. While inspecting one of the largest blast furnaces, the foreman lost his footing on the catwalk and fell to his death into the fiery furnace. Some say he was thrown in by disgruntled workers but no charges were ever filed. Sloss Industries discontinued the graveyard shift in 1901 due to “strange occurrences” that decreased steel production. Workers often complained of an “unnatural presence” following them. Some merely dismiss the occurrences as Halloween hoaxes since a majority of the incidents happened in the fall; others believe it is the restless spirit of the sadistic foreman.
There are over 100 reports of paranormal activity from Sloss Furnace on Birmingham Police records. Most of incidents take place between the hours of midnight and 4:00AM, during the old graveyard shift hours. To this day visitors often report seeing someone walking around on the catwalks, or hear an angry voice telling them to get back to work. There are even a few reports of physical attacks by an unseen assailant.
In 1988, a study was conducted by the Center for Paranormal Events (CPE) in St. Petersburg, Florida on Sloss Furnaces. While no events out of the ordinary occurred during the study, many of the team members, including two psychics, claimed that due to the violent disregard for and loss of life, Sloss Furnaces should be a considered a location rife with restless souls.
The century-old furnace was in danger of being torn down. In the 1970’s Birmingham city officials announced a demolition plan for the furnace. The citizens of Birmingham successfully petitioned the city leaders to preserve it as a symbol of the city’s historical roots and significance to the American Industrial Revolution
Today, it is recognized as a national historic landmark and serves as a museum. Large concerts and movies are often held on the Sloss grounds. Every October, a halloween haunted house attraction is set up in the Sloss Furnace by local sponsors to cash in on its haunted reputation. And you never know what ghosts may be staged or real!