Brazilian President: ‘Ghosts’ Forced Me, My Family Out of Presidential Palace

Brazil's President Michel Temer, center, and wife Marcela Temer, watch an Independence Day military parade in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Pictured right is Lower House Speaker Rodrigo Maia. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
AP Photo/Eraldo Peres

Brazilian President Michel Temer confessed in an interview with the Portuguese-language magazine Veja that he and his family moved out of the nation’s Alvorada Palace, the official presidential residence, over bad energy and “ghosts” that kept him and First Lady Marcela Temer from sleeping well at night.

“I felt something strange there. I wasn’t able to sleep right from the first night. The energy wasn’t good,” Temer told Veja, noting that his wife agreed with him on the negative energy. His son, seven-year-old Michelzinho, was comfortable at the palace, but the sleepless nights were too much for the first couple.

“He says he has not been able to sleep since. Were they ghosts? He asked. The solution was to return to Jaburu,” Veja notes in its preview of the print-edition interview. Jaburu Palace is the official vice-presidential residence, where the Temer family lived as Michel Temer served President Dilma Rousseff has her second-in-command. The family had taken well to Jaburu, where Marcela Temer demanded $6,500 in interior design repairs.

Temer became president following the impeachment of Rousseff last year; as he is only acting president, he does not have a vice president, and Jaburu was to remain vacant between now and the 2018 presidential elections.

The Veja article vows to be as much a political look at Temer as a personal one. Titled “Temer, the Reformer,” Veja touts a preview of a variety of economic reforms Temer hopes to implement to undo nearly 13 years of uninterrupted socialist rule. Both Rousseff and her predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, belong to the far-left Workers’ Party and relied heavily on alliances with rogue states like Cuba and Venezuela for support in the region. Temer, on the contrary, has vowed to open the nation up to more business-friendly policies.

The revelation that Temer fears the presidential palace has taken up most of the headlines from his confessions to Veja, however. He is not the first to accuse the Alvorada of being a haunted location. Rousseff herself did not deny the rumors, though she lived in the palace and rejected the idea that ghosts were worth fearing.

“I am not afraid of ghosts, but a relative of mine will not go into the hallways because they are afraid of running into Figueiredo,” she told the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, referring to the late military leader João Baptista Figueiredo, said to roam the halls of Alvorada.

Brazil’s presidential residence is far from the only one in the world rumored to hide paranormal secrets. Japan’s Kotei, the Prime Minister’s residence, is also reportedly haunted. When current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took months to move into the residence, rumors began to swirl that he had refused to live there due to his fear of ghosts. Abe was forced to issue an official denial that immaterial beings had gotten in the way of his plans to move into the official residence, and he did ultimately move in. The Telegraph notes that, had he refused to live there, Abe would be far from the first Prime Minister to believe ghosts haunted the home – some Japanese first ladies have gone so far as to refuse to live there with their husbands for fear of the paranormal.

Across the planet in Sweden, Queen Silvia has admitted to believing the royal palace is haunted by ghosts. Unlike Temer, she has described their energy as positive. “There are small friends… ghosts. They’re all very friendly but you sometimes feel that you’re not completely alone,” she told reporters in a documentary released in January.

The White House itself has been the subject of much spiritual speculation. Multiple presidents are said to roam its halls. Both Grace Coolidge and Lady Bird Johnson testified to having seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln in the White House.

By far the executive estate most commonly believed to be haunted, however, is in the Philippines. Malacanang Palace is said to house a variety of disturbed spirits. Current President Rodrigo Duterte has refused to live there because of his fear of ghosts (he later added that he would have stayed if he believed the ghosts belonged to “white ladies“). Following Duterte’s announcement that he would not live in Malacanang, Philippine Inquirer journalist Jaime Licauco wrote that he had personally “felt the eerie presence of so many spirits” there and that former head of state Ferdinand Marcos had told him he, too, had experienced them. Marcos’ wife Imelda told Licauco, he writes, that among the ghosts in Malacanang was also President Lincoln.