From 1882 to 1972, Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama transformed coal and ore into hard steel. From skyscrapers in New York to automobiles made in Detroit, Sloss Furnaces were relied on for providing materials to produce thousands of products.
In the early 1900s, James "Slag" Wormwood was the foreman of the graveyard shift where 150 workers toiled to keep the furnace fed. Only the poorest and most desperate men would take on the harsh conditions of working the graveyard shift during the summers. Wormwood would make the workers take dangerous risks in order to impress his supervisors. Forty-seven men lost their lives during his reign not counting the numerous accidents that left men unable to work. They weren't allowed breaks or holidays.
In 1906, James "Slag" Wormwood lost his footing at the top of Big Alice (the highest blast furnace) and fell into a pool of melted iron ore. He was killed instantly. It was reported that he became dizzy from the methane gas produced by the furnace and lost his balance. During his reign, he never once set foot on top of the furnace until that day. Many believed the workers pushed him into the furnace after growing tired of his slave driving, but no worker was convicted of it. Soon after, the graveyard shift was discontinued.
The legend of "Slag" grew each year with workers complaining that they frequently saw an "unnatural presence" in the work site. In 1926, a watchman was injured after being "pushed from behind" and told to "get back to work" by an unknown being. In 1947, three supervisors were found knocked out in a small boiler room unsure of what happened to them. They ALL claimed to have been approached by a man who was badly burned and told them to "get back to work." In 1971, Samual Blumenthal, a night watchman, said he came face-to-face with a half man/half demon who tried to push him up the stairs. Upon refusing, the monster began beating on him with their fists. After being examined, it was reported that Blumenthal had several intense burns. He died before returning to Sloss.
Hundreds of reports of paranormal activity have been recorded by the Birmingham Police. Some minor while others more of the physical nature. Majority of the reports took place at night during the months of September and October. Some think the paranormal occurrences are nothing but Halloween hoaxes. What do you think? Could James "Slag" Wormwood still be working the graveyard shift after all this time?
Source: Fright Furnace