Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Sloss Furnaces is a National Historical Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama. It was a large iron-producing blast furnace from 1881 to 1971. After it’s closure ir was one of the first industrial sites to be preserved for the public use in the USA. It is used as a museum that also hosts festivals and concerts. There is also an annual Halloween attraction – Sloss Fright Furnace. I’ll be honest I had never heard of the place until Ghost Adventures did a show there and I happened to see it.

Colonel James Withers Sloss was one of the founders of Birmingham and helped to promote rail-road development. He founded the furnace company and the first blast was initiated April 1882. The facility produced an impressive 24,000 tons of iron and won a bronze medal at the Southern Exposition at Louisville, Kentucky in 1883.

It was sold in 1886 when Sloss retired, the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Company then installed new equipment from 1902 onwards, the furnaces were modernised between 1927 to 1931. Through the modernising they also became on of the largest sellers of pig-iron in the district and the world. During this time they build 48 small cottages for black workers near the down-town furnace, the community became known as Sloss Quarters.

In 1952 the furnaces changed hands, then sold two decades later in 1969 to the Jim Walter Corp. The area had suffered from serious pollution and the U.S Clean Air Act pretty much spelt its demise. The Jim Walter company donated the property to Alabama State Fair Authority as a museum of industry. In 1977 the Birmingham voters approved a $3.3 million bond to stabalize the main structures and develop the visitors centre.

So now the industrial history is out of the window lets get onto the ghosts.

In the early 1900’s James Wormwood was the foreman of the graveyard shift, there were 150 workers there to keep the furnace fed, only the poorest and desperate men would risk this job in the summer, and Wormwood was apparently quite willing to make the workers take risks to ensure he impressed his bosses. 47 men lost their lives under his supervision and there were also numerous accidents that left other man unable to work. They were also not allowed breaks or holidays.

1906 it’s possible that karma took her chance, James Wormwood lost his footing at the top of the highest blast furnace (Big Alice) and was killed instantly when he fell into a pool of melted iron ore. Beofer that date he had never been up to the furnace top, no one was convicted of murder but rumours state it is possible a worker pushed him. It was not long after this the graveyard shift was disbanded.

It seems that Wormwood still considers his job important, and workers had complained they frequently felt that there was an unnatural presence around them on the site. In 1926 a watchman was injured, he had been pushed from behind and told to get to work by someone unseen. In 1947 there were three men found knocked out in a boiler room with no recollection of what had happened. Samual Blumenthal was a night watchman who in 1947 described coming face to face with a half-man and half-demon creature that tried to push him. When he resisted the monster tried to beat him with his fists, Samual had intense burns and died before returning back to Sloss.

So how much is really the haunting of former Wormwood or other violently ended lives or how much is the sensations of being in the massive complex at night or alone in these vast areas? Sloss Furnace has gained one of the reputations of haunted that sits alongside the Eastern State  or Danver so I have decided it’s one for the blog.

The subject of hanging is already pretty gruesome in itself but imagine the old area being haunted. There are said to be plenty of lovely headless ex kings and queens around the world so is it surprising that with such a traumatic type of death the dead tend to “hang around” (oh yes shoot me the pun was awful). Public hanging would seem to have been the norm back in the day, whilst it was moved back behind the prison walls around the 1860’s possibly to reduce the amount of corpses left around the gibbets for years.

Perhaps one of the most famous for those in England is that of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in England in 1956. Ellis was found guilty after shooting her lover on the Easter Sunday the year before. Her ghost is said to haunt the pub there, The Magdala in Hampstead, London.

There is another link to her haunting as her lover is buried at the Penn Churchyard and there have been reports of a woman in white around the area. It’s possible it is her ghost searching him out but there is nothing to say that it definitely is, and the woman in white is a fairly common phenomenon. Also I would be a little sceptical as she is buried in Amersham Cemetery ( I would expect with her head but hey who knows!).

Another report (thanks to the fantastic Fortean Times) has a man called John Ellis who was reportedly haunting B-wing in the former condemned block at Strangeways Prison. The staff at the prison have also reported seeing a mysterious man in a dark suit with a briefcase who disappears just before the old staircase (made of iron). He has also been put forwards as a potential for an invisible force that pushed the owner on the shoulder and pinched her bottom, the reason he may have visited there is that he used to run a barber’s shop at the premises. John Ellis committed suicide after seeing the execution of Edith Thompson in 1923 and having found the matter so distressing he never recovered.

Video is Styx, Renegade music and the scene is from Supernatural.

“Hangman is coming down from the Gallows and I don’t have very long.”

Previous entry regarding the Slenderman has brought me to decide to bring a new game to the attention of the bloggers/readers passing by.

So the short game is this one: SLENDER 

Firstly I would like to let people know I am by NO means a pro-gamer, nor will I ever care to be. Horror gaming is something I have enjoyed as yet another additional to the “OMG that’s scaring me”

Don’t expect amazing graphics, do expect to crap yourself. If you turn off the lights and concentrate you’ll soon be immersed. The simplicity is actually what makes this highly addictive. A bit like pacman, who didn’t love just running around trying to avoid the ghosts? And if you’ve never played pacman you may wish to google it to understand what I am talking about (on and make me feel old).

The Bell Witch Cave is a cave located in Adams, Tennessee close to where Bell Farm once stood. It is around 490 feet and whilst it is privately owned there are tours that are organised to allow some entry to the place. The cave is more famously known thanks to a legend of a witch there. Betsy Bell and her friends had gone to explore the cave and whilst doing so once of the boys got themselves stuck. A voice cried out, “I’ll get him out” the boy felt hands grasp at his feet and was pulled from the hole. The witch (invisible) proceeded to lecture the adventurers.

The Bell Witch legend brought the inspiration for the Blair Witch Project, a cult movie from the 1990’s.  The film whilst many are likely to disagree with me, does have an appeal that’s fairly unique but sadly poorly copied over the years forcing into the hammy styles of any predecessor, like Lost Boys now being nothing more than a vampire comedy for some.

I was one of the fortunate people, no one ruined the fact it was a movie not based on the truth so I saw it with the fresh eyes that made it appealing I guess. I don’t count the second film when I talk about considering it to be a good one either, in the same way I consider Highlander 2 to be a bad dream. Either way the legend of the Blair Witch (closely linked to the Bell Witch) are that a hermit, named Rustin Parr, kidnapped seven children in the area in the 1940’s and brought them home to torture and murder them. He confesses and pleads insanity saying that the witch Elly Kedward was tormenting him and promised to leave him alone if he murdered the seven children.