In the years following the Civil War, Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces became the mecca of pig iron needed for thousands of steel products around the country. This industrial boom coupled with the city’s seemingly overnight transformation into a metropolis, unfortunately, came at a cost. In the early 1900s, James “Slag” Wormwood, foreman of the graveyard shift between sunset and sunrise at Sloss Furnaces, led a group of over 100 workers who lived in cramped housing on the furnace site, forcing them to take dangerous risks in order to speed up production. During his reign, a total of 47 workers lost their lives and numerous others lost their ability to work due to horrific accidents, including an explosion that left six blind. The rumor is that workers, fed up with their daunting and dangerous nights, fed Slag into the furnace in October of 1906.
After his disappearance, workers continuously complained of an “unnatural presence” in the worksite, and some complained of being pushed from behind or being told by a mysterious voice to “get back to work.” Three supervisors were even found unconscious and locked in a small boiler room, only to emerge with stories of a seemingly burned man who shouted at them to “push more steel.” There have been more than 100 reports of suspected paranormal activity at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham Police records, and it has even been named one of Fox’s Paranormal Team’s Scariest Places. Experience the fear for yourself at slossfrightfurnaces.