Spontaneous Human Combustion. Real Life Is Stranger Than Fiction.

Hello Folks,

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Well, today I have something very weird to write about, something most definitely meant to be added to my Mysteries And Wonderments section.

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Life can be so mysterious at times.

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In 2010, on December 22nd, it seems that a very strange and rare thing happened in a place called Ballybane in Galway, Ireland.

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A 76 year old gentleman called Michael Faherty was found burned to death in his sitting room near to the open fireplace which had a cheery fire burning in it.

But Mr Faherty’s body was almost burned away, although the only signs of this tragedy having taken place in the room was that there were scorch marks visible on the floor under the body and the ceiling above.

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When forensics experts looked at the scene, they reported that although a fire had been burning in the fireplace, it had not caused the intense fire that had killed the victim.

It is would seem that a fire which was intense enough burn a body in that way, would have spread into the house and not just scorched the ceiling and floor, given the fact that a human body is not the most combustible of things.

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In the end the Coroner had to decide that the only possible explanation for the death was ‘spontaneous human combustion’ and he acted accordingly.

This is thought to be the first time that such a verdict has been given in Ireland.

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However, although it is a strange thing, it is not the first time that this has been given as a cause of death.

There have been many such rare and strange instances reported to have taken place over the years, some of them relatively recent.

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In 1951 there was a case in Florida.

A lady in her sixties called Mrs Mary Reeser was found burned to a crisp in her armchair.

There was a burnt area on the floor which enclosed the unfortunate lady’s remains and those of the armchair she must have been sitting in when the fire began.

It was said that her skull had been subjected to such fierce heat that it had been shrunken down to the size of a grapefruit, which takes a phenomenal level of heat.

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Strangely enough her slipper was lying totally undamaged just outside of the scorched area, as was a pile of newspapers.

No-one who saw the scene in the room could provide the explanation although many tried..

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There were many others including a Dr. Irving Bentley in 1966 ( see picture ), Anna Martin in 1957, Mrs Stanley Lake in 1930, J.Temple Thurston in 1919 and Mrs Thomas Cochrane in 1904.

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The first account of SHC is thought to be that of a lady living in Paris in 1663, which was reported by a Thomas Bartholin.

In some reported cases only the body was said to have been burned while the clothes remained untouched, or where the cushions found cushioning the body were totally unscathed by the conflagration, or even cases where the burning takes place only on one half of the body.

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Many experts have tried to explain the phenomenon by citing various causes, such as the dead people having been drinking excessively or falling asleep while smoking, but of course that would only be a possibility where a victim smoked or drank in the first place, and would not explain the ferocity of the sudden fire or it being limited only a small area or even just to the person themselves.

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It is a mystery and a wonderment indeed.

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Oooohhhhhh.

J,

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These strange occurrences have happened all over the world and are similarly strange.

Spontaneous human combustion has also been used to great effect in fiction written by authors such as

 

One Response to “Spontaneous Human Combustion. Real Life Is Stranger Than Fiction.”

  1. MedHours.com says:

    Coroner's Verdict of Spontaneous Combustion in Galway, Ireland…

    An inquest into the death of Irish pensioner Michael O’Fatharta has returned a verdict of Spontaneous Human Combustion.The ruling of a coroner in Galway, Ireland, looks set to re-ignite the debate around Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC). On Septembe…

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