Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, AL

Sloss Furnaces Haunted?

The Birmingham Police have received more than their share of reports of paranormal events at Sloss Furnaces. Some are minor events while others are physical in nature. Most of these paranormal occurrences happen during the months of September and October. Most people believe the reports are true but there are others who say that they are nothing but Halloween hoaxes.

James “Slag” Wormwood is undoubtedly the most famous ghost in Sloss Furnace. Since his death in 1906, workers have complained about seeing and feeling an unnatural presence at work. In 1926, a watchman was injured after he was pushed from behind and told to get back to work by an unknown presence.

Three supervisors were found knocked out in the boiler room in 1947. All of them claimed that they were approached by a man who was burned badly and told to get back to work.  In 1971 a night watchman named Samuel Blumenthal claimed to have come face to face with a half demon and half man who tried to push him up the stairs. When he refused, the being started to beat him. He was examined and found to have intense burns.


Sloss Furnace transformed ore into hard steel from 1882 to 1972. Many companies all over the country relied on Sloss Furnaces to provide them materials. In the early 1900s a man by the name of James Wormwood, also known as “Slag”, was the foreman of the graveyard shift. He had 150 workers who kept the furnace fed. Wormwood was cruel to the workers. He made them take dangerous risks in order to impress the supervisors.

During his time as foreman 47 men lost their lives and there were many accidents which left some of the men unable to work again. The workers were also not allowed breaks or holidays. In 1906, Wormwood lost his footing at the top of the highest blast furnace, fell into a pool of melted iron ore and died instantly. There are many speculations about his death. Some people believe that he was pushed by the workers as an act of vengeance for his slave driving.

Today, Sloss is used to hold metal art classes and concerts, among many other things. Because of its haunted reputation, it is also an annual attraction for Halloween.  There is a “Ghost Tour’ once a year which is based on a story written by local folklorist Kathryn Tucker Windham. The Sloss Furnaces has also appeared in many paranormal TV shows including Ghost Hunters, and Ghost Adventures.

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