next time, I'll do my research BEFORE
We arrived a little after nightfall, and got our tickets. There was a good crowd, and we were very entertained by the performers, scary movies, and other Sloss patrons- some of whom were very deeply in costume. After a while, we were able to get into the "line up" area immediately before entering the haunted house. I was instantly uncomfortable. Not the normal pre-scaring jitters, but honestly unnerved. I felt very nauseous, twitchy and paranoid.
I began to look around me, at the other guests to see if they were uncomfortable. All seemed well. So I began to look at the looming building in front of me. It was dark and almost indistinguishable in places. I let my eyes wander up the building and to what I assumed were the furnaces. They were wide, and more low-slung than the smokestacks. I found myself looking at them one by one, imagining the furnace in full swing.
Until I saw a man standing on top of the tallest area. I couldn't believe it. These people at Sloss didn't expect us to climb all the way up there, did they? That can't be safe. I figured he was just some security guy, keeping an eye on the grounds, or maybe a haunted house worker taking a smoke break. I couldn't imagine that we would be expected to go that high up. I watched him pace for a few seconds before it struck me that I should ask someone.
I flagged down a worker that was heading towards the Roadkill Cafe and asked if it was safe to stand up that high, and she looked at me like I was out of my mind. She said that no one was allowed that high in the factory. I pointed out to her where I had seen the man. She looked to where I was pointing, and back at me. This is what she said: "That's impossible. No one can get up there, not even the workers." She walked away from me very quickly.
I looked back to where I had seen the man, but he was gone. We entered into the haunted house a brief minute later.
When I got home that night, I immediately jumped onto my computer and googled "sloss furnace history".
I had been staring at what I learned was called "Big Alice". I do not know who I watched pace on top of her.
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Sloss Fright Furnace • Largest Haunted House in Birmingham, Alabama