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Spontaneous Human Combustion


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#21 Sly-Spectre

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 12:17 PM

I'm somewhat with Dtokk on this. The way I think is that cells release free radicals into the body, this is what's left after the body intakes oxygen and incorporates it into the blood to keep the cells healthy. With a very low statistical possibility, if all the cells were to release free radicals, this could generate an enormous amount of heat that could be considered a flash fire so hot it could ignite the human body, given the bodys natural production of fat and oil, the fire is fed for a few seconds, given it enough time to vaporize the body.

Or...It's because death was not watching his list carefully enough and noticed that people should have died but were still alive, so he zapped him with his "soul touch" technique and they died.
"Something weird is going on Jess." Simon whispered as they waited to be served. "I overheard Sara and Hector say something about 'getting back at you' in the library this morning."
Jessie thought for a moment, his face expressionless as usual.
"That's just crazy." he said. "I didn't think you even knew where the library was."

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#22 Dark*lady

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Posted 29 October 2007 - 12:30 PM

QUOTE(HelenaHandBaskettGStudy @ Aug 7 2007, 03:42 AM)
I found this story about a case in Kent County, and thought you guys would enjoy!!

Spontaneous Human Combustion in Folkestone


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How bizarre, thats about 20 minutes away from me   style_emoticons/default/mellow.gif

This used to fascinate me but tonight it has given me the creeps, I had to stop reading  style_emoticons/default/whistling.gif

#23 Noid

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 07:57 AM

I've read somewhere before that many cases of spontanious human combustion happen to people who consume alcohol on a daily basis.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for my step-mother.

#24 trin

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:40 AM

QUOTE(Noid @ Feb 24 2008, 09:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've read somewhere before that many cases of spontanious human combustion happen to people who consume alcohol on a daily basis.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for my step-mother.


consume alcohol on a daily basis and USUALLY smokers.

#25 Noid

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:44 AM

QUOTE(trin @ Feb 24 2008, 08:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
consume alcohol on a daily basis and USUALLY smokers.


laugh.gif They probably get drunk, and pass out with a lit ciggie in their hands most of the time.

#26 sandiegohaunted

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 07:00 PM

Occam's Law: The simple-lest explanation tends to be the correct explanation.

One theory which has started gaining attention related to SHC is that of natural phenomenon. Ball lightning (as well as a few other kinds of lightning) may very well be the cause of SHC. Intense sudden extreme heat is required for the human body to burn.
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#27 wolfhoundlover

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:02 PM

Oh... great.  I was doing fine with this whole entire thread until I got to the ball lightning post.  Ball lightning terrifies me to no end!  I saw it twice as a kid, and it was VERY CLOSE to ME!  Once I peeked out my bedroom window and there it was.  I thought I was INSANE but my mother explained it to me after figuring out why I was screaming my head off in the middle of the night.  The other time it was storming and the ball came out of one of our electrical sockets or something and went right across our livingroom!  The feeling I got, the smell, the taste of the ozone, every body hair standing on end.....AAAAAAAA!!!!!! Way more scary than any ghost or spontaneous combustion.  Now I have to go to bed.  I hope no ball lightning gets me!  lol.... well, I can be thankful that it's mid winter and not storm season!

AAAAAAAA!!!! NO MORE BALL LIGHTING!!!!

#28 sandiegohaunted

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 09:30 PM

QUOTE(wolfhoundlover @ Feb 24 2008, 09:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh... great.  I was doing fine with this whole entire thread until I got to the ball lightning post.  Ball lightning terrifies me to no end!  I saw it twice as a kid, and it was VERY CLOSE to ME!  Once I peeked out my bedroom window and there it was.  I thought I was INSANE but my mother explained it to me after figuring out why I was screaming my head off in the middle of the night.  The other time it was storming and the ball came out of one of our electrical sockets or something and went right across our livingroom!  The feeling I got, the smell, the taste of the ozone, every body hair standing on end.....AAAAAAAA!!!!!! Way more scary than any ghost or spontaneous combustion.  Now I have to go to bed.  I hope no ball lightning gets me!  lol.... well, I can be thankful that it's mid winter and not storm season!

AAAAAAAA!!!! NO MORE BALL LIGHTING!!!!


Ball lightning is what got me interested in the paranormal
heres my testimony

http://www.paranormalsoup.com/forums/index...showtopic=30292

Also I would like to point out Ball lightning seems to follow some people there whole life

Edited by sandiegohaunted, 27 February 2008 - 09:31 PM.

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#29 PumpkinWraith

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 04:21 PM

QUOTE(HelenaHandBaskettGStudy @ Aug 7 2007, 02:42 AM)
I found this story about a case in Kent County, and thought you guys would enjoy!!

Spontaneous Human Combustion in Folkestone

Reg Gower pushed the door tentatively and when into the room, sniffing for smoke. After all, he was the landlord and his tenant might have left something burning on the oven top. Best to be sure. He might even be asleep. though that was unlikely at 10.30 in the morning. But now he was inside there was a powerful smell of smoke, and perhaps it was then, or perhaps a little later the Mr Gower noticed the thin layer of greasy moisture on the windows and the flat surfaces of the room. The polystyrene kitchen tiles were slightly charred as was a small plastic air vent. But there was little sign of serious fire damage. On the gas ring, still lit, a kettle, half full, was boiling. There was little else of note if one discounted the polythene brush and dustpan, both totally undamaged, which were no more than a few inches away from a pile of ashes that were once the body of Barry Soudaine. All else that remained of Mr Gower's tenant was one foot and a trainer.

Only two days after Christmas 1987, it was a particularly bad time, and extraordinarily sad time, for such a lonely, ugly death. Barry Soudaine, a bachelor who worked in the bakery below his flat in Canterbury Road as a cleaner and general handyman, was only forty four years of age after all, and his end was horrific. His body had been consumed in fire of elemental ferocity, yet it had been so localised that the room in which he was found was scarcely touched.

The police, not unnatuarally, considered the possibility of murder. Had Soudaine been done to death elsewhere, they wondered, his body burned, and then transferred to his flat at the baker's shop in the centre of Folkestone? But that was preposterous for the body was so profoundly burnt that it could no have been lifted. It would have disintegrated completely, so that even its present vague human shape could not have been maintained. In that event the police had to determine whether someone had broken into the flat and murdered the victim. But there was no sign of any break-in. Murder, as a possibility, was out. And so was suicide, for there was no evidence anywhere in the flat of petrol or any other fire accelerant.

Clearly, the police decided, the dead man had had a heart attack and as he fell, he had stumbled against the lit gas stove. He had caught fire with obviously disastrous consequences. He had burnt to death, his body consumed over the space of perhaps fifteen hours. He had been seen the previous evening at about 7.30. It must have been shortly after that time that he had his tragic fall. At least, this was the police view. Unsurprisingly, from the outset they had rejected the notion of spontaneous human combustion (SHC). Just as, over the years, many fire officers and medical men and coroners have turned their backs on such an absurd suggestion.

Yet the Home Office pathologist, Dr Heath, did not dismiss the possibility of SHC out of hand, saying at the post mortem that further investigations were necessary. And at the Coroner's Court a verdict of accidental death was rejected. The destruction of the rest of the body was so complete that it was impossible to say how the man had died. There was no medical history of heart disease and along with the remainder of the organs, with the exception of the lungs, the heart had been destroyed. An open verdict, rare on these occasions, was recorded.

Jenny Randles and Peter Hough are serious professional researchers into matters which might be described as the supernatural and the paranormal. They bring to their work a tireless doggedness and a critical scientific approach. They are not out to support crackbrained flimflam, but at the same time they do not dismiss out of hand what many may describe as cranky notions. The objectivity of scientific method has been a feature of their work over several years. When Barry Soudaine died in December 1987 they had already been investigating SHC for five years. Although there had been many claims for it, the evidence somehow was never totally convincing. How could it be accepted, this curious notion that people, without warning and without interference, suddenly burst into flames. But if absolute proof had been hard to come by, the Soudaine case at last seemed to present compelling evidence that the phenomenon, which for well over a hundred years had been the subject of spasmodic debate in some quarters, ought to be taken seriously.

After the inquest the two researchers asked to see the police photographs of the scene at the Folkestone flat, but their request was refused. They were told that the pictures were 'pornographic' with their hideous detail of the incinerated corpse. They did, however, have more success with the Coroner who presided at the inquest. He said that he could not rule out SHC as the cause of Soudaine's death. it was a possibility, but of course the more or less total destruction of the body could not permit him to reach such a verdict.

But Randles and Hough have brought the Soudaine case positively into the debating chamber for there were a number of factors which needed to be considered. Take the kettle on the gas ring when Mr Gower entered the room, and which was still there when the police arrived. Who half-filled the kettle? Who lit the gas? Who, at some point shifted the kettle so that only half of it was on the ring? The answer is Barry Soudaine, and that has never been in dispute.

So when did he put it there? The matter of timing is crucial. The police were of the view that it must have taken at least fifteen hours to reduce the body to the state in which they found it. Hence, the kettle must have been placed on the stove at least fifteen hours before he was found. But how long would it take a kettle on a gas ring to run dry? How long would it take to burn through the bottom? Can there be any doubt that if the kettle had been on the ring for fifteen hours it would have boiled dry and the bottom would have been holed? Randles and Hough believe that the kettle must have been placed on the gas ring no more than an hour or two before. What they say in effect is that the body of Barry Soudaine was reduced to ashes in a very short space of time.

The condition of the body must next be considered. Jenny Randles and Peter Hough consulted a crematorium superintendent who found it difficult to accept that a mere house fire could have wreaked such havoc on a body. She had seen a BBC programme which attempted to debunk the idea of SHC but which did not include photographs of the remains of some victims. They were so reduced; there was in effect nothing left, no skeletal remains. There was for the most part nothing but ash. The superintendent told the two researchers how corpses are cremated in heat of up to nearly one thousand degrees for one and a half hours. But some bones always remain. Pelvis and thigh bones, ball and socket joints, are not converted into ash. They subsequently have to be ground down after the cremation process is complete.

The question was: could such a fire, of such intensity occur in the house? Most house fires leave something recognisable. Even in the worst kinds of motor accidents when the engine explodes and it is impossible to rescue the occupants there are remains of bones, and sometimes flesh. What kind of fire was this that could so degrade a body, so eat it up, and yet not seriously damage the surroundings? Mrs Valerie Bennett, that experienced superintendent to whom the researchers had addressed themselves was to say: 'I cannot see how a human body could generate sufficient heat to turn a room into a cremator.' And an expert fire officer expressed the opinion that the 'amount of heat required to degrade these bones would be so intense that surrounding areas should ignite.'

So here is a mystery. Did Barry Soudaine really meet his death by SHC, just by bursting into flames, without warning, without any external source to ignite him? But what is it that causes such an outrageous phenomenon? The trouble is that while cases appear to go back to the 17th century there is so little hard evidence. Often there are no witnesses and there have been few survivors. What few witnesses there are attest to a bluish flame coming from the abdominal area. The fire begins inside the body and works its way out. It goes on to consume the body, to reduce it to the finest ash, and yet the fire does not spread to the surroundings. Some body fat, moisturised, is found on window glass and on flat surfaces, but otherwise the effects of the burning are not seen much beyond the body.

But what is the cause of this internal fire, and this fierce raging inferno inside the abdomen? Is it something quite beyond the normal and the natural? One witness, a doctor, said of the visible effects of SHC: 'Were I living in the Middle Ages, I'd mutter something about black magic'. For how can our innards cause such an eruption? Is it something supernatural, something paranormal? One example from beyond Kent may suggest that it is. In January 1899 two sisters, Alice, five years old, and Amy Kirby, 4, were living in different houses at Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax. Because their parents had separated, Alice went to live with her father and grandmother while Amy stayed with her mother in a house a mile away.

At eleven o'clock on the 5th January Amy's mother went out of the house to get water from the nearby well. She was away from the house no more than two minutes. When she returned she found Amy screaming, engulfed in flames. At that identical moment, one mile away, Alice was found with flames three feet high coming out of her head. It is difficult to seek and accept some rational and scientific answer in view of what happened to these little girls. At the inquest the coroner used words like 'strange', 'remarkable', and 'shocking coincidence' but made no reference to SHC. In the same way, the police dismissed any suggestion of it in the case of Barry Soudaine.

There are many other examples of SHC though perhaps none exemplifies the possibility of paranormal causes in quite the way the case of the Kirby girls does. And Barry Soudaine's death does does seem to indicate the speedy ferocity of such a fire that reduces its victims to ash and cinder. Some have suggested poltergeist activity for this is often associated with outbreaks of fire but that, however, would be to deny the internal origin of the flames.

The classic features of SHC, those elements noticed in so many instances, were present when Barry Soudaine died. There was intense heat, little damage to the near surroundings and the massive destruction of the body. Some will produce theories about combustible gases in the digestive system; other will claim surges of excess electrical energy in the body. But some will claim more sinister though inexplicable causes. In the paranormal, in the supernatural, will lie the cause for these people.


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I missed this thread first time round but had to bring it up again.  Mainly because this happened on our doorstep EWWW style_emoticons/default/sick.gif So close to home and I have never read this article.  I havn't actually read about this subject for years but I used to have a book of unsolved mysteries which had a few of theses cases in.  

I haven't clicked the links yet but I used to be fascinated with this subject (Call me morbid) As everyone else said it's strange that it seems that only certain body parts burn in each case and things like the floorboards in that area burn through and nothing else.  It's just to bizzare to figure out even with a scientific explianation it still remains a mystery.  At least I think so anyway style_emoticons/default/Picture 562.gif

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#30 lorddraven2000

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:01 AM

I thought some of you may get a kick out of this story so I will post it.

I am a firefighter, and a very dedicated one at that. I take every class I can get to on the subject. recentally I was a part of aclass for arson investigation. The class was a week long one with the usual nuences of firefighting enforced. One part of the class required a look at actual investigations our instructor had done. The strangest was a case of a man who without any reason behind it had burnedto death. He was dicovered in his kitched by the stove with his upper torso severly burned while the ajority of his body and clothes had not shown signed of heat conduction. At first evey body in the class yells spontanious combustion but we are then asked to look closer. I admit I felt like the location to the stove was significant and I was right. Turns out the man had lit a cigarette on the stove and one of the ashes had fallen into his shirt pocket and ignited a pack of matches I think it was. A very simple explination that really through a lot of top grade fireheads off. I believe in SHC but at the same time I am very skeptic of it and feel we need to pay attention to even the most mundane detail to get to the truth

#31 PumpkinWraith

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 02:55 PM

Such and obvious explianation. Yet you wouldn't think it.  But it still amazes me that the whole body wouldn't burn.  Surely there woul be enough fat in the human body that we would break down quickly.  I have no Idea how in reality this would be but bearing in mind that pigs are the closest related to humans in stucture then wouln't we just keep cooking?  I could be completely off the mark but that's just my thought.

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#32 lorddraven2000

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:18 PM

I thought the same thing.

#33 xjadedx

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:39 PM

I might be off the mark too, but wouldn't fat make us not burn as quickly?  I always thought that fat was more of a preservative.

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#34 Caniswalensis

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:53 PM

QUOTE(xjadedxGStudy @ Jan 27 2010, 08:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I might be off the mark too, but wouldn't fat make us not burn as quickly?  I always thought that fat was more of a preservative.


Think "grease fire."  yucky.gif

#35 xjadedx

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 06:56 PM

QUOTE(CaniswalensisGStudy @ Jan 27 2010, 09:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Think "grease fire."  yucky.gif


Oh, Okay....that's true.  I'm thinking more along the lines of chunks of fat human flesh that kind of remind me of the movie "Alive"....they didn't look like they'd burn easy in the movie. th_sarcastic_blum.gif

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#36 clinsey

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 07:15 PM

It is weird the way part of the body will be incinerated & the rest isn't really effected.

My friend was terrified of SHC a few years ago.  She was actually afraid to go to sleep at night because she thought she would spontaneously combust!  She would call me late at night seriously worried about it!  I tried to be sympathetic.  I think it was probably a combination of hot flashes and the fact that she liked her drink at the time.  There's been the theory that people with high blood alcohol content spontaneously combust.  According to Wikipedia, the level of alcohol in the blood required to actually burn far exceeds the lethal dose so that's not it, but alcohol can make you fall asleep with a lit cigarette.

Anyway, she's still with us.  She hasn't burned up yet. lol


#37 lorddraven2000

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 09:09 AM

It is a strange concept. I used to have books on the subject but over the years I lent them out and they vanished. I was never afraid of it but it would not be the way I wanted to go out

#38 ectomist

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 01:21 PM

This is my single greatest fear.. even greater than spiders btw.
I have dreamed I would die by shc 3 times over my 40 years.
It scares me.
One must but open their eyes, to see what it right in front of them.

#39 mainemom207

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:34 AM

okay some of these people have been overweight, time for me to get serious on the weight loss last thing i need in my list of ailments is SHC!
But really, wow! I am continuing to read the links I did not know much about this and glad this was brought back alive... i have always wondered about it.. but 200 cases of it WOW! That is a lot indeed I did not think there was that many! I thought it was kind of rare you know?? interesting.
Interested in spirits and the history of places..
Peace and Blessings, Lynne'

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#40 lorddraven2000

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 11:24 AM

It is fascinating and kind of scary at the same time. I know National Geographic did a book series on strange phenomina back in the mid 80s and this was one of the topics. It even listed famous novels and literary works that used SHC has a means to kill off some of the characters




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