Fact or Fiction – Spontaneous Human Combustion

What do you think causes this madness? Well, some folks blame it on Poltergeists because they’re known to cause spontaneous fires, and there’s hundreds of reports of un-explainable lights popping up in haunted houses. Other folks think that SHC is caused by the wrath of vengeful spirits or malicious entities from other dimensions. Whatever the true cause of SHC, reports of it have haunted men and women for centuries.

Although it’s not recognized as a medical condition, there’s no denying that this shit happens, even if we don’t understand what it is, or why. The most mainstream theory is called the wick effect. Basically, the body, mainly the fat, acts like a fuel for the flames. But, some folks say that this theory is lame. Just think of the insanely high temperatures you’d need to reduce a body completely to ash.  Obviously, more research is needed.  In the meanwhile, here some SHC cases that I thought I’d tell you about.

This one happened in Brazil on December 16, 2007. A shit ton of witnesses, including police, saw this chick burst into flames and become “incinerated in seconds”. The chick’s face, arms, and upper torso were burned to the point of nonrecognition, and she had severe burns to her right leg. Bizarrely, her clothing did not appear to be as damaged as her body was—It appeared that her body had burned from the inside out. Well, Ya’ll know them Latino women are hot headed, not much of a mystery here right!

One theory was that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and got struck by lightning, I suddenly have AC/DC Thunderstruck playing in my head. Anyway, there was another theory that she’d actually been set on fire as part of some sadistic gang initiation, but, there was no sign of an accelerant on her remains so, I think not!

 In 2015, this German chick decides to spend the afternoon at the park, apparently it turned out to be anything but relaxing. She’s just kicked back and chilling on this bench and all of the sudden, she bursts into flames for no apparent reason. This dude was walking by and saw the whole thing go down so he tried to smother the flames with his jacket, but she still died from her injuries. This happened in broad daylight and in full view of several witnesses, many of them young mothers with their kids.

The chick, was thought to have been in her forties and was well-known locally. According to witness reports, she was just sitting on the bench and all of the sudden her body became suddenly engulfed in flames. She was completely silent during the whole event, leading some folks suspecting that she had committed suicide.

There were reports that two men were seen running from the scene in the immediate aftermath, suggesting that the woman may have been the victim of an attack. But, that was ruled out, there were no signs of attack on the victim’s remains, nor was a source found on her body to suggest where the fire had started.


 This one went down in January 2016, So, this video pops up on the Internet, It’s showing this dude calmly lying in a doorway in Serbia, while flames seemed to eat their way out of his body and engulf him. An onlooker is heard asking the man to see if he is okay, he says, “What’s happening?”

This is some bizarre shit here. This dude just motions for this concerned bystander to go away as he lays there calmly with flames coming from his gut. Even stranger than that, he appeared to walk away basically unharmed.

According to comments made on social media by people who lived in the area where the footage was allegedly shot, this dude is known locally and has been involved in “problematic behavior” in the past. Whether the man used something to set the fire himself or if indeed he was a victim of spontaneous human combustion is not known, but the video itself has been examined and appears to be authentic.

 Then check this one out, A Coroner Officially Ruled that an Irish dude Died From Spontaneous Combustion. An official ruling of SHC, interesting right! Well, in September 2011, nine months after the death of 76-year-old Michael Faherty, this coroner, Dr. Ciaran McLoughlin ruled that he was a victim of spontaneous human combustion. McLoughlin stated that after investigating deaths for over a quarter of a century, this was the first time that he had ever made such a ruling.

Faherty’s death baffled investigators, They’d quickly ruled out that an accelerant had been used and, the fire in the fireplace wasn’t the cause either. Get this, the fire appeared to have been contained just to Faherty, the only other damage was on the floor and ceiling directly underneath and above his burned remains.

Dr. McLoughlin stated that he had not come to his decision lightly and had conducted extensive research into the subject before making his ruling. He said that his examination of the body, as well as the investigation of the fire itself, left him with no other conclusion that he could draw.

Here’s another one about a Man that Had Blue Flames Coming Out Of His Stomach.

Larry Arnold has researched and examined a lot of cases when it comes to spontaneous human combustion. One of his strangest cases was that of Robert Bailey, a well-known alcoholic who was found burning to death in a derelict building. People walking by one their way to work noticed a commotion in a vacant house. When they went in they found Bailey on fire, so they called for emergency services.

The Fire Brigade commander, John Stacey, who attended the scene, told Arnold years later that the flames were “coming from inside the body itself” and that there appeared to be a slit in the man’s stomach where the blue, blowtorch-like flames exited. It was noted that no other part of the building had been set on fire and that only the body burned, although there were markings on the wooden floor from the heat.

The fire crew emptied their extinguishers on Bailey, eventually putting out the intense flames, but it was too late to save his life. But aside from Bailey’s stomach and torso, no other part of his body or his clothes were damaged. Bailey had bitten into the newel post on the stairs that were made out of mahogany. His teeth were locked down so tight that a fireman had to pry his jaws open to remove his corpse.

This one would have you considering saving the cash you’d spend on a cremation. This dude was Reduced To A Pile Of Ash In Minutes. Young Seek Kim lived all of his 78-years in Honolulu. He’d spent most of it paralyzed from the waist down and got around in his wheelchair.

In December 1956, he was at home when all the sudden, flames burst out of his stomach, quickly spreading in all directions, engulfing him within seconds. A neighbor, Virginia Cadet, quickly ran to his aid, she later said he was entirely covered in blue flames. She called the fire department, but they get there 15 minutes later, by then, Young Seek Kim and his wheelchair were nothing more than a pile of ash. All that remained of him was a pair of feet.

No other areas of the room were damaged, and once the flames had reduced him to nothing, they seemed to have disappeared instead of spreading elsewhere. Firemen and investigators were perplexed by this, there were clothes and books all around that should have caught fire.

 This next dude actually Survived SHC, Vietnam War vet Frank Baker was getting ready to leave for a fishing trip with his friend, Pete Willey, when he suddenly burst into flames while sitting on his sofa. Willey managed to smother the flames, and Baker appeared to be largely unhurt, just a bit shaken. So he goes to his doctor for a check up, and according to Baker, he was told that it looked like he’d “burned from the inside out.”

Baker made appearances on the show The Unexplained Files to tell his story. He said it happened again when he and Willey were out on the lake fishing. Flames just started to overtake his body out of nowhere, they were coming from his torso. Again with Willey’s assistance, the flames were smothered out. Baker is one of the first recorded victims of SHC to survive and I bet he keeps Willey pretty close by or else he’s stopped fishing!

 But this next dude, yeah he didn’t make it. In 2013, Danny Vanzandt’s incinerated body was found by his family. It was apparent that the heat and power of the blaze must have been massive, but there was no other damage to the rest of the wood house that he lived in.

A lot of people pointed out that he was a well-known alcoholic and a very heavy cigarette smoker, But the physical evidence at the scene showed that neither were the cause of his death. Not only was no other part of the home damaged, but there were no signs that a struggle had taken place, which might have suggested foul play. Vanzandt seemed to have simply gone up in flames.

Investigator Ron Lockhart, made the point even clearer, he stated, “You could pour gasoline on somebody and he wouldn’t be as badly incinerated!” Lockhart also said he believed that there must have been some ignition source, but the suggestion of spontaneous human combustion was not officially ruled out.


And this little dude here Could really be Hell Boy! By the time Rahul was three months old, he had already burst into flames four times, at least according to reports that surfaced in 2013. This kid had his first experience with SHC at only nine days old. His terrified mother watched on in horror as her newborn son was engulfed in flames for no apparent reason.

The Doctor that worked his case, stated that “combustible gases” released from the patient’s pores may be responsible for Rahul catching fire out of nowhere. Damn! what the hell were they feeding this kid!? The only advice that was offered to the parents was to make sure anything flammable was kept completely away from him, including any flammable clothing or diapers. It is expected that as Rahul gets older, he will undergo plastic surgery.

Perhaps the most chilling aspect for the frantic parents was the fact that the Doctor couldn’t be sure that it wouldn’t happen again.

And then there’s this one, where the big dogs were called in. The FBI report clearly states that 67-year-old Mary Reeser fell asleep while smoking a cigarette in her chair, she was groggy from two Seconal tablets she’d taken earlier and she accidentally set herself on fire. Reeser burned to death, it was thought that Reeser’s own body fat had further fueled the fire.

However, numerous researchers and writers have dismissed their report over the years. They state that the fact that all that remained of Reeser was a foot, a skull fragment, and a piece of her spine, as well as only the springs of the chair she sat on, would have meant the fire would have to have burned at an intensely high heat. There should have been damage throughout the entire building.

But that didn’t happen, only the spot where Reeser had been sitting was damaged by fire in any way. Even a pile of newspapers stacked right next to her chair was left completely unscathed, it was even noted during the initial investigation, that there wasn’t a heavy aroma of smoke that that would be expected in a house fire that was hot enough to reduce a human body to ash.

Mary Reeser’s case is one of the most famous regarding the phenomena of spontaneous human combustion.


Love Horror and Gore?  Find my book, blogs and social media links here!


Into all things Horror?  Check out The Line-Ups’ Creepy Crate! These bad boys are packed pull of movie memorabilia, collectables, books, t-shirts or other awesome oddities and delivered to your doorstep every other month! Who says Halloween is only in October!  Click the link above to find out more, use code “TWISTED” at checkout for $5 off your subscription!


Sick and tired of being sick and tired? Let me hook you up with the secret of the immortals! Hempworx CBD Oil can boost your metabolism, kick your stamina up a notch, and strengthen your immune system along with a long list of other health benefits.  Contact my personal Hempworx Rep, Ms. Sandie Thibodeaux on FaceBook or email her at ellesugirl@gmail.com to find out more!




One of my personal favorite Horror Cons, Night Risers Con in Elizabethtown KY! I’ve attended this event as a “special guest” in 2017 & 2018 and am looking forward to 2019!  Night Risers has one Hell of a show! The guest list is amazing every year!  There’s costume contests, magic shows, celebrity panels, a car show, silent auction and a ton of other activities. Keep an eye out for special announcements and the guest list for 2019 on the website or stalk them regularly on FaceBook!




This entry was posted in horror and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *