The Sloss Furnace - Things To Do In Birmingham, Alabama
When I first moved to Birmingham, Alabama, other than the never-ending restaurants, I wondered, "what is there to do here." Coming into town, I saw an old, burnt out looking factory near the center of town. I later found out that this is the Sloss Furnaces, an old pig-iron furnace that has since gone out of business, and is open to the public. In being born in Michigan, only an hour from Detroit, I've seen my share of burnt out factories, but a visit to Sloss one day changed this perspective.
Open to the public (for free!) the Sloss Furnace is a beautiful place to see. Visitors are free to walk almost anywhere around the furnaces, and without a tour guide. There are also signs posted everywhere detailing the history of the furnaces.
One thing visitors notice upon seeing the furnaces is the intense and gorgeous colors of decay. The bright red and orange colored rusts leave one standing in awe. The crazy piping and structures everywhere are also impressive. Perhaps the one feeling you get upon visiting the Sloss Furnaces, however, is the creepiness of it.
Even on a bright mid-afternoon, there is a scary quality to Sloss. The colors and the amount of decay remind one of the film/games of Silent Hill. After looking into the history of Sloss, I found that it is actually revered by ghost hunters as a haunted spot. Apparently several workers died during the 100+ years the Sloss Furnaces were open, giving rise to various ghost sightings. The furnaces were even featured on the first season of the television show, "Ghost Adventures," (available for instant viewing on Netflix).
Every October as well, the Sloss Furnace becomes a haunted house. While I haven't yet had time to visit, I'm sure it is beyond scary.
So if you ever find yourself in or around Birmingham, or you just love a great place to take pictures (or love to be creeped-out for that matter) check out Sloss. It's interesting, exciting, scary, and gorgeous. And it's completely free!