Southern Paranormal is proud to announce that our good friends in Paranormal Research will be joining us on our upcoming Sloss Furnace investigation! Southern Paranormal and Paranormal Society of New Orleans will be teaming up in this major investigation! Welcome Aboard!
Sloss has been investigated by the best of the best including Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters and the Tennessee Wraith Chasers of Ghost Asylum, just to name a few! Now We get our chance with the entire location to ourselves!
A little background on Sloss:
On the outskirts of Birmingham, AL sits Sloss Furnaces. James Withers Sloss started construction on the Sloss Furnaces in 1881, just 10 years after the city's founding. This entrepreneur quickly capitalized on Birmingham's fortunate location and the enormous amount of cheap labor available in the form of freed slaves. To cement Sloss' place in this financial bonanza, he used his wealth and political influence to become the first president of the newly merged Nashville and Decatur Railway Company. His first priority was to expand their railway lines down to Birmingham, thereby securing the exportation of steel made at Sloss Furnaces.
Daily Dangers and Deaths
Sloss opened the gates of his eponymous furnace company on April 18, 1882, employing hundreds of men from the surrounding area. The positions at Sloss were highly dangerous, but also highly sought-after as working with the blast furnaces was fairly advanced at that time. No government agency protected the rights of workers; 12-hour days were the norm and pay often came in the form of scripts only good at the company store.
While pay was low and hours ran high, industrial accidents were what workers feared most. Some men fell into the molten steel and incinerated, while others fell victim to the silent poisoning of carbon monoxide or the volatile bursts from steam pipes. Every inch of Sloss Furnaces held danger for the workers who toiled there -- from the catwalk to the tunnel, the furnaces to the wheel -- every precarious step could have been, and often was, their last.
Perhaps the most ghastly death is one that befell a worker on his lunch break. Sitting near one of the large flywheels used to power the huge scalding boilers, he leaned a little too close and the wheel caught his clothing, slowly dragging him into the gears. Witnesses at the time shuttered; each time the wheel went around, there was a little less of their friend.
Paranormal Activity Reported
On September 9, 1887, Richard Jowers was working at Furnace Number One. Standing near the top of the furnace, he slipped, and he and the heavy bell he had been preparing to melt tumbled into the molten steel below. There was nothing anyone could do to help, and they stood helplessly by as Jowers was incinerated. It is rumored they were able to remove his head and several bones before his remains were lost completely.
At night, this old building, now a national landmark, still echoes with noises from its perilous past. Screams are heard, apparitions are seen, and on the second floor of the Blower Building, there's the sinister presence known as "Slag," an overly cruel foreman who can still be heard belittling his crew.
The Magic City was built on the backs of ordinary men and a great many of them toiled and died at Sloss Furnaces. Perhaps they haunt the grounds so the city does not forget their gruesome sacrifice.
There have been more than 100 reports of suspected paranormal activity at Sloss Furnaces recorded in Birmingham Police records. From minor incidents such as steam whistles apparently blowing by themselves, to major sightings and the rare physical assault.
In the year 2000, Sloss was studied once again by the Paranormal Team of Fox's Scariest Places who concluded that it was one of the highest ratets of unnatural energy they had encountered.
In early 2002, a skeptical investigative team from CBS Affiliate WJTV investigated the site--they left frazzled and convinced that Sloss was haunted capturing amazing footage that can been seen on their site.
In addition, another investigation was held in 2003 by the Alabama Foundation for Paranormal Research who quoted that "There is no doubt Sloss is a hotspot for paranormal activity. During our investigations we pulled data that confirms through our scientific methods and approach that energys are present that cannot be explained. Sloss is one of the most paranormaly active places our team has investigated."
On October 4 of 2003, another assualt happened to one of our crew members. Josh Thomas, who had worked at Sloss for many years, suddenly caught fire after seeing a "strange shape." He suffered burns up and down his body and was taken to the hospital--he still can not recall what happened.
Strangely enough, this was almost on the exact 32nd anniversary of the Samuel Blumenthal burn attack (night watchman from 1971).
In 2005, two psychic investigators from the TV show AIRLINE! investigated Sloss Furnaces, in the middle of the taping, one of them began to spontaneously bleed from a cut that appeared in his right hand, halting the investigation. But not before the camera crew caught images of spirits on their cameras.