The Edifício Praça da Bandeira, formerly known as the Joelma Building, is a prominent structure in Sao Paulo, Brazil. On February 1st, 1974, a fire broke out in the building and lasted for over four hours, resulting in 345 injuries and 189 deaths. Despite the passage of time, some experts claim that the location is still surrounded by a strange energy and some witnesses have said that the building carries a curse.
The Joelma Building in Sao Paulo, Brazil, stands on the site of a house where a tragedy occurred in 1948. A 26-year-old chemistry professor named Paul Campbell lived there with his mother and sisters. He killed them and buried the bodies in the backyard. He later committed suicide. Police considered two theories for the crime: rejection of his girlfriend by his family or his reluctance to care for family members with health problems.
The cause of the deaths of the entire family remains a mystery to this day. After the bodies were discovered, a firefighter also died from an infection contracted while handling the corpses. The shocking triple murder-suicide, known as "The Crime of the Pit," deeply affected the people of Sao Paulo and the location gained a reputation for being haunted.
In 1972, the house was demolished to make way for the modern 25-story Joelma Building. Despite the change of address due to the previous crime, the curse associated with the location was not forgotten.
On February 1st, 1974, a fire broke out in the Joelma Building due to a short circuit in the air conditioning. The fire rapidly spread and reached temperatures of 700°C, causing panic among the building's occupants. Many people jumped from the top of the building in an attempt to escape the flames. Despite the efforts of the Fire Department, the building was virtually destroyed as the ladder trucks were unable to reach the upper floors due to lack of water.
Thirteen people managed to use the elevator to escape the fire, but ultimately did not survive. The identities of these individuals were never determined and they were buried together in St. Peter's Cemetery in the capital. This tragedy is known as the "13 Souls" mystery and is said to be the source of miraculous events.
After the tragic fire, the building was closed for four years for reconstruction. Upon reopening, it was renamed the Plaza of the Flag. However, many people claim that the spirits of the victims still haunt the building to this day. Witnesses have reported experiencing strange and unexplained phenomena within the building's halls and rooms.
The reports of ghostly activity have caused many rooms in the building to remain unoccupied, and efforts to rid the building of these spirits continue to this day. The stories surrounding the old Joelma Building remain a mystery, with some people believing them, some being skeptical, and others convinced of their truth.