The mystery of the 13 souls is the result of a massive fire in the now incredibly haunted Joelma building in Sao Paulo Brazil which claimed 148 lives, injured hundreds more, and left a lasting scar in the community ever since. The incident in 1978 is still remembered as one of the most devastating high rise building fires aside from 9/11 to ever occur.
The building was originally built on the grounds of an old house where a 26 year old chemist named Paul Campbell lived with two sisters and his mother. The family’s life ended in tragedy, however, as Paul murdered the sisters and his mother and buried them in the back yard before killing himself. The motive is still unknown to this day, but many locals came to refer to the land itself as cursed. As the bodies were being recovered, so an unverified part of the legend goes, a firefighter became infected by something from one of the corpses and himself died.
After the house was demolished, the Joelma building was erected, standing as a proud 25-story reminder of mankind’s ability to recover from tragic losses. The building, however, suffered its own tragic loss as an air conditioner fire burned quickly, aided by the fact that insulating fire retardant material wasn’t sufficient enough to stop the fires, fueled by the eager to burn materials installed throughout the building against the recommendations of fire safety officials. As the fires blazed, they consumed everything and everyone in its path. Because there was only one stairwell, and some flammable materials had been packed into them, the fire traveled up the stairwell, and made it impassable for those attempting to escape. As a result, the elevator was used to help many occupants of the building flee. Fire safety officials strongly recommend against using an elevator in the event of a fire, but these people were certain they had no alternative. None of the people escaped the fire by this method, but 13 in one elevator were discovered dead.
These 13 were never identified, and no one came forward to say who they were. No identification was discovered on them that wasn’t destroyed. As a result, the 13 were buried in St. Peter’s cemetery next to one another. Those visiting the site have reported that the 13 can grant miracles. The 13 souls and their 13 graves are the enduring mystery of Joelma, but the building itself certainly has no shortage of paranormal entities that seem to roam the hallways. Sensitives who visit the building report seeing many figures wandering around. Meanwhile others report a sense of unease in the building’s vicinity or a sense of friendly presence. Reports range widely, as most certainly did its occupants in personality.
The incident at Joelma is a testament to proper planning ahead of time before a disaster happens. Had the building been equipped with fire alarms, sprinkler systems, had multiple avenues out of the building, and been equipped with more fire retardant material, this incident would have likely never happened quite this way. Still, others say the land at Joelma is simply cursed.