In this article we will be taking a look at the paranormal reports linked to the Joelma building fire on the 1st of February, 1974, in Sao Paulo, Brazil…when 179 of the 756 occupants, died tragically…
The Joelma Fire
The 25 story high-rise in Sao Paulo caught fire on Friday February the 1st, 1974. The initial report was registered by authorities at 8:50 am, after a resident in an adjacent building spotted flames lapping out of one of the windows.
Unfortunately, within 30 minutes of this initial call – the entire building was engulfed in deadly flames…
And a lot of residents were still trapped inside.
It’s sad to say that the owners of the building had not been keeping up with fire safety regulations – no alarms, no sprinklers emergency lights or emergency exits. It’s also reported that the building’s air conditioning system was faulty…
This system is thought to be the initial cause of the fire.
The Attempted Escape
More than 500 people managed to escape this terrifying ordeal…but many resident’s route to safety was cut off by the flames, heat and smoke.
Just under 200 people managed to get onto the roof of the building…but the heat and flames made it impossible for helicopters to pick them up. This tragically resulted in people taking their lives into their own hands…
People attempted to drop down, floor by floor, on the outside of the building…and plummeted to their doom.
People also attempted to jump straight down to ground level in desperation – a jump they could never survive.
13 Souls and Home of the Devil
When the fire and rescue teams were finally able to get into the burned out building, they came across an elevator that was sealed shut. After a bit of a struggle they finally managed to pry open the doors…and what they discovered would stay with them forever more…
The lift was full of charred bodies of residents that had got stuck within when the fire broke out – the metallic elevator had acted as a human oven in the heat…and fused the bodies together.
The authorities eventually managed to count 13 dead bodies within that elevator…but nobody ever came forward to claim them. It was as if these victims never existed.
They were buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery, side by side, and are now known as the ’13 Souls’.
Not long after the tragedy, people began looking into the history of the land the building was built on…
Apparently, in 1948, a 26 year old chemist named Paul Campbell lived on the land with his family (who were made up of his two sisters and his mother). For no reason at all – Campbell suddenly cracked one day…and ended up killing his entire family.
He then dragged their bloody bodies outside, and committed suicide.
One of the officers that was called to this bloody scene, managed to cut his hand as he was handling the corpses of Campbell’s family – he died within days of receiving the cut.
This was enough for locals of the area – they instantly labeled the ground as cursed…and gave it the title of ‘The Home of the Devil’.
The Praca da Bandeira
The building was eventually totally repaired and given the name of Praca da Bandeira – it is now a building that is well known for paranormal activity.
Every floor above the fifteenth seems to play host to a range of hauntings – on numerous occasions the fire systems have been set off by an unknown force and apparitions are constantly reported in the building’s stairwells.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Joelma building fire, please leave them in the comment section below.