Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Field Reports from Sloss Furnaces - Birmingham, Alabama

Written by: Rick Garner
Case Filed: 10/31/01 - Birmingham, Alabama
Executive Producer:
Rick Garner

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Having never been to a steel plant, in production or not, I had no idea of what to expect.

 
10:35 p.m. - We begin a guided tour of Sloss Furnaces by Chris Simon, employee of McMillan Associates. Chris claims to have psychic abilities. He also admits that he's not skilled enough to always interpret what he senses. Psychic Rosemarie Sellner assists Chris in his interpretations, while cameras attempt to document everything.

10:55 p.m. - I receive a strong pain in my right ankle, that subsibes after leaving the building. We move up to the next level, the catwalk. Chris claims to have seen a white glowing light here with no source. It's difficult to breath; the air is heavy. Janis captures orbs and temperature fluxes are around a huge pipe suspended in the air, going to an upper level.


11:42 p.m. - Wandering from the blowing engine room to the exterior grounds, we realize how huge this campus is.

11:50 p.m. - Team enters the tunnel where numerous witnesses claim to have seen an apparition.

11:52 p.m. - Bang on the top steps of the tunnel exit, then footsteps walking away.

12:30 a.m. - Area of the plant that is less restored yields a portion of tunnel and an equipment room that made Rosemarie "uneasy." I was intrigued by the machines leaking oil that appeared fresh, when this equipment hadn't been used in 30 years.

1:55 a.m. - Darren, having been left alone in our return to the blowing engine room, continues to roll tape in Super NightShot mode. He is convinced he heard a sound resembling a shifting foot in a far corner of the room. He turns is camera to the area and soon is overwhelmed with the feeling of "not being alone."
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Click here to watch portions of Darren Dedo's footage

Sloss Furnaces has been a part of Birmingham, Alabama for almost two centuries. The workers are gone, but something seems to remain.

Sloss is the only blast furnace left standing in the world. It closed 30-years ago, yet some people say ghosts now walk the corridors. We wanted to find out if the Sloss was haunted. The Unexplained team, along with a pair of psychics and paranormal researchers worked to unlock the mystery of Sloss.
One of the hotspots we investigated was the catwalk above the wheel. Ghost Hunter Janis Raley snapped digital photos and spotted orbs, which are energy forms, possibly ghosts.

We also captured something very rare on video, a floating orb, a first for the Unexplained team. The circular object emerged from the wall and rose into the air before vanishing from the camera. The object wasn't seen by Photojournalist Rob Ruffin. His camera merely happened to capture the event.

Psychic Chris Simon has had other encounters on the catwalk. "Climbing up the catwalks of that area one night, I was there alone, looked back to my right and saw what appeared to be a glowing white light that sort of hovered."

Raley also captured an amazing picture that appears to be an apparition is watching. When we enlarged the image up, it takes on the form of a human face.

Psychic Rosemarie Sellner felt that our late night tour of Sloss had a special guide. "It's very unusual that the ghosts were so aware of us and almost interacting like they wanted to be helpful or you were being warned not to touch."

Besides Janis shooting plenty of orbs with her camera, her temperature gauge recorded some unexplained fluctuations between cold and hot.

Make no mistake, this abandoned steel mill is spooky. Especially, when we traveled underground into the tunnel. We did hear banging and footsteps in a part of the tunnel, people have reported seeing a floating apparition. We came up empty in seeing or capturing an image of such, however, we left a little frazzled.

After investigating Sloss, we determined many things inside the old steel mill will remain a mystery.

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