The Jaboticabal Poltergeist Case

The Jaboticabal Poltergeist case took place in the 1960s in Jaboticabal, Brazil. The main cause of the disturbances identified itself as an angry spirit who was taking revenge on the victim, an 11-year-old girl. The haunting started when bricks - seemed to come from nowhere - fell into the home of the Ferriers. After several days of falling bricks, the family believed an evil spirit was present. In December 1965, the Ferrier house, and all those who resided there, came under attack by bricks that would fly through the windows and doors of the modest little home, breaking valuables and occasionally striking members of the family. After investigating and ruling out the possibility of some unknown assailant throwing the bricks, the family became convinced that they were under attack by some kind of demonic entity.

Soon afterward they contacted their local priest and begged for an exorcism to be performed. When the priest arrived at the Ferrier household, he spoke with the family about the strange activity that held them in fear. The priest, himself, witnessed numerous unexplained phenomena that included bricks striking the home, plates moving of their own accord, and rappings on the wall.

Unfortunately, as this priest would soon discover, an exorcism cannot rid a home of a poltergeist. In fact, in cases dealing with poltergeists, exorcisms have proven time and again to make matters worse. And this case was no exception. After the priest left, the activity in the Ferrier house picked up and became five times more violent than it had been. Bricks and stones continued to crash through the house, followed by eggs, dishes, other household objects, and even furniture.

Poor Maria was the center of the attacks. She was slapped, bruised, and bitten by unseen attackers. Once she was attacked with needles that suddenly appeared embedded in her skin. One day while she was eating her lunch at school, her clothing began to smolder.

Joao Volpe, a local dentist and Spiritist, was contacted by friends of the Ferriers and immediately went to the frightened family. When Volpe arrived at the Ferrier home, he calmed the fears of the family and assured them that what caused the activity in the home was not the work of the wicked one, but rather the work of a poltergeist. Volpe explained that a poltergeist was not a spirit but rather the pent up frustration of a member of the family that was expressed in an unexplained manner.

Volpe was convinced that Maria Jose, the Ferrier’s 11-year-old daughter, was the cause of the phenomena and may be a natural medium, affecting the immediate environment and possessing the ability to contact spirits. Volpe became even more convinced of his theory when Maria Jose stated that she had numerous invisible friends who treated her kindly and could make candy and other treats appear at her feet when she asked.

Volpe was astonished by what the young girl told him. He asked her parents if he could take the girl to his home and study her further. The Ferriers allowed Volpe to take her away. The first few days that Maria Jose spent in the Volpe house was peaceful and free of the phenomena that plagued her parents’ home.

Volpe began to wonder if perhaps Maria Jose was happy with getting away from her parents, which may have been the cause her stress. However, rocks soon began striking the home, and loud bangs that seemed to “come from nowhere but from everywhere” filled the house. Volpe and numerous associates watched as a large stone flew in through an open window, struck three people on the head, and flew out through the window.

One night, Maria Jose’s clothes inexplicably caught fire, severely burning Volpe and setting his room on fire. He concluded that the help she required needed to come from a medium much stronger than he is. Only one man could cure this child: the great medium Chico Xavier.

After the attacks, Maria was taken to Chico Xavier at the Spiritist center in Uberaba, Brazil. Upon hearing of the young girl’s plight, Xavier gave Volpe and Maria Jose swift admittance into his home. Xavier quickly went about the business of contacting the spirits to determine what caused the girl to experience this violent, otherworldly behavior. While in a trance, Xavier made contact with a spirit who claimed that Maria Jose, in a former life, was an evil witch who caused the deaths of many people via her Black Magic. The spirit went on to say that he and his fellow spirits were sent to Maria Jose as a curse to make her suffer for the crimes she had committed in her former life.

Chico Xavier was able to persuade the spirits to leave the young girl alone, because it was unfair that she should be held responsible for events beyond her control. After many hours of prayer, Xavier declared that Maria Jose was now free from the spirits that plagued her and that she could go in peace and live a happy life.

After several months of poltergeist attacks, Maria Jose Ferrier was allowed to return home and live with her parents once again. However, few days later Maria was found dead of poisoning; she took her own life by lacing her soda with a mixture of pesticides. She is believed to have ended her own misery in order to stop the attacks. Suddenly, all the poltergeist activity stopped after Maria’s death.

Paranormal Underground Magazine Vol. 03 Issue 10, October 2010: "The Jaboticabal Poltergeist" by Rick E. Hale, McHenry County Paranormal Research Group;
Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena: "Ghosts and Haunted Places" by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

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