Reports of Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC)

 
 


Pensioner

Location: Aberdeen (Aberdeenshire) - Constitution Street
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 19 February 1888
Further Comments: The remains of an aging soldier were discovered in a barn along this road; much of the body had been reduced to ash, though the face was recognisable. The bales of straw that surrounded him had failed to catch fire.


 
 


First Irish Case?

Location: Ballybane (County Galway) - Private residence, Clareview Park
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 22 December 2010
Further Comments: The BBC reported that Dr Ciaran McLoughlin, West Galway coroner, had recorded a verdict of spontaneous combustion in a case he had investigated. The body of Michael Faherty had been found in his living room, totally burnt, although damage to the rest of the room was minimal.


 
 


Fire Dancer

Location: Chelmsford (Essex) - Unknown dance hall
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 27 August 1938
Further Comments: As Phyllis Newcombe (22) left the dance floor, her dress burst into flame, and she died a few hours later in hospital. Tests showed that her clothing couldn't be ignited with a cigarette.


 
 


Soldier

Location: Colchester (Essex) - Mill Street
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 19 February 1888
Further Comments: The body of a soldier was discovered in a hay loft, the majority of his corpse charred by fire, but the surrounding area untouched by the flames. His legs and boots were also undamaged.


 
 


Untouched Armchair

Location: Ebbw Vale (Gwent) - Council house, exact location unknown
Type: SHC
Date / Time: January 1980
Further Comments: The body of a seventy two year old was found reduced to ash, leaving only a pair of feet in socks, a soot covered skull, and an undamaged armchair in which most of the remains sat...


 
 


Barry Soudaine

Location: Folkestone (Kent) - Flat along Canterbury Road
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 27 December 1987
Further Comments: Barry Soudaine was found his kitchen, only a foot and a trainer remaining amongst a pile of ash. Some plastic fittings in the kitchen had melted, but there was not serious fire damage. The coroner recorded an open verdict regarding the death.


 
 


Elizabeth Clark

Location: Hull (Yorkshire) - Trinity Almshouse
Type: SHC
Date / Time: January 1905
Further Comments: Elizabeth Clark spent the night here and was discovered in the morning covered in heinous burns which later claimed her life. No one heard any noises during the night, and although covered in the ash from her nightdress, the bed itself was not scorched.


 
 


Torso Reduced to Ash

Location: Ipswich (Suffolk) - St Clement, Ipswich
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 1744
Further Comments: Grace Pett's burnt body was discovered in her house; other people living there were not aware of the fire that had killed her during the night.


 
 


Annie Webb

Location: Newport (Gwent) - Private house along Corporation Street
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 2 February 1980
Further Comments: When Annie was found, only a pair of legs, piece of arm and skull remained. A white tablecloth lay untouched nearby.


 
 


Mrs Carpenter Bursts into Flame

Location: Norfolk Broads (Norfolk) - Norfolk Broads
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 1960s?
Further Comments: While enjoying a holiday on a cabin cruiser, Mrs Carpenter burst into flame and was reduced to a charred corpse.


 
 


Combusting Cat

Location: Outer London: Stanmore (Greater London) - Anmer Lodge nursing home
Type: SHC
Date / Time: January 1987
Further Comments: Peppi the cat enjoyed life at the nursing home, before exploding into blue flame with a bang and a flash. If the story is true, then Peppi could be a rare example of Spontaneous Feline Combustion.


 
 


Body in the Basement

Location: Reading (Berkshire) - Private house along Baker Street
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 12 November 1978
Further Comments: A young daughter found her mother burnt to death in the basement - some witnesses described the body as charred, while the room itself was barely touched.


 
 


Robert Francis Bailey

Location: SE11 (Greater London) - 49 Auckland Street, Lambeth
Type: SHC
Date / Time: September 1967
Further Comments: This homeless man's burning body was found in an empty building, blue flame still coming from his charred body. It was though Robert was still alive when he combusted, as his teeth were dug deep into a wooden stair banister pole.


 
 


Human Fireball

Location: Widnes (Cheshire) - Halton College
Type: SHC
Date / Time: 1985
Further Comments: A girl walking down stairs with a group of friends suddenly burst into flame. They quickly beat the flames out, but she later died of her injuries.


Records 1 - 14, of 14

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