Weird History People Who Died from Spontaneous Human Combustion  

Alby Thompson
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List of people who are reported to have died from spontaneous human combustion. These are all alleged cases that have been cited as part of studies or investigations into the phenomenon of spontaneous human combustion.

Spontaneous combustion (or SHC for short) refers to a process in which a human body burns, ignites or explodes without an obvious external cause. There have, in the last 300 years or so, been over 200 cases of alleged spontaneous combustion leading to deaths in humans. Though no proven cause has ever been determined, there are numerous theories as to why some humans may spontaneously combust, including paranormal intervention (by ghosts, say, or demons), natural processes within the human body that aren't fully understood or invisible but present external phenomenon.

In most reported instances, spontaneous human combustion victims already had little mobility, often due to advanced age or obesity. The body is typically entirely incinerated, with the immediate surroundings around the person also charred from contact with the explosion. Almost always, the victim was alone at the time of death, meaning that there are few eyewitness accounts of SHC actually occurring. It has often been suggested that SHC is not really occurring and that unknown external variables - such as lit cigarettes or slowly smoldering flames - were actually to blame.

Polonus Vorstius Italy, 1470

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Jerome Xavier Goa, India, 1617 Jerome Xavier, born Jerónimo de Ezpeleta y Goñi, was a Spanish Jesuit missionary into the Mughal court of Akbar, and his son Jahangir. Grand-nephew of Saint Francis Xavier he chose ...more

Nicole Millet France, 1725

Cornelia di Bandi Italy, 1731

Phyllis Newcombe United Kingdom, 1938

Mary Reeser United States, 1951

Anna Martin United States, 1957

Helen Conway United States, 1964

John Irving Bentley Physician United States, 1966 John Irving Bentley was a physician burned to death in the bathroom of his house in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. His death was allegedly caused by spontaneous human combustion.

Henry Thomas Wales, 1970

Robert Francis Bailey United Kingdom, 1967

Ginette Kazmierczak France, 1977

Death of Jeannie Saffin England, 1982 Jeannie Saffin was a woman from London, England, whose death from fire in 1982 is cited by paranormal researchers and authors as an example of spontaneous human combustion, and is reported to be ...more

George I. Mott United States, 1986 George Mott was a firefighter who burned to death in his home outside Crown Point, New York, in 1986. He is often cited as an example of spontaneous human combustion. His body was consumed along ...more

Michael Faherty Ireland, 2010

Elizabeth McLaughlin Actor Ireland, 2011 Elizabeth McLaughlin is an actress.