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Spontaneous Human Combustion


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#1 Caesar

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 12:58 PM

Spontaneous Human Combustion is a phenomenon where a living person suddenly bursts into flames for no apparent reason.

http://www.castleofs...ts.com/shc.html

http://theshadowlands.net/spon.htm

#2 kats_god

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 01:47 PM

thats kinda freaky...the fact that people can really do that. :unsure:
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#3 MrGrey

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 02:38 PM

I've been fascinated(sp?) by this for years, this was one of my biggest fears through my teens, i read a book about it when i was about 10 years old and then after that everytime i had a burning sensation in my hand or anywhere else i would start to sweat from the fear of bursting into flames, i know it sounds funny now but at the time i was a paranoid little kid :weeee: Obviously i did not burst into flames and no longer fear it.
there are few explantions for this type of phenomena(sp?) but the few i've heard is that it could be a build up of methane gas inside the body and can cause a chemical reaction that starts the fire, but this doesnt explain why in many cases the body hasent completly burnt, sometimes the legs or a hand or piece of clothing are left completly untouched while the rest of the body and clothing are nothing but ashes. It is one of THE mysteries that no body is anywhere near explaining.

strange stuff indeed.
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#4 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 03:43 PM

Well as some of the material written in the SKeptical portion of the link seems to point out, is that there was a lack of released information the actual investigation of the death. I'd say this led to a bunch of misinformation and speculative thinking. As the people that investigated the deaths over the 2-year period mentioned, there were many aspects that hinted of more reasonable reasons for these person's being engulfed in fire. There are certain parts that seem hard to see how the mundane "could" have caused the fires, but it's more solid evidence none the less.

There's very little to go on though, from both sides in this short snippet of a link. ONe side says there was a candle within the range of the fire, but the other side says the wick was never burned. Without seeing the reports and visiting the locations, it's just impossible for us to make a perfect statement about what really happened.

Kinda like the rest of the paranormal world. Unless you're there, you just aren't going to be able to say one person's right over the other.

Something may seem just as naturally plausable, but unless you are there, you could be 180 degrees off as well as the person that experienced the event.
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#5 Bridget

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 03:52 PM

Until I got my new den room chair, I thought I was gonna self-combust. The chair had the fabric practically gone, due to my dog Baleine tearing it out of frustration. It was just exposed foam. I tried to be very careful every night when smoking my myriad of cigarettes, but knew if i dropped one ash i would self-combust.

Now i have my new chair and i am not so worried, but i DO already have a new cigarette burn in it.

But seriously, i have always been very fascinated with the self combustion thingy, especially becasue there was no logical explantion (as in my case.!)
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#6 plindboe

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 04:16 PM

It's interesting that it is never witnessed directly, but the remains of the bodies always found afterwards, usually with the extremities intact. The conclusions that it happened suddenly and spontaneous seems to have been picked out of mid air. An explanation I find quite plausible is the candle effect, where the clothes act as the wick and the body fat act as the candle. This explains why the extremities are left intact, since clothes usually doesn't cover feet, hands and head. The idea is then that the person died while smoking and dropped the cigarette in the lap or somewhere on the clothed body and the slow process began.
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#7 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 04:21 PM

I agree with the candle/fat theory as well, it certainly is a great fuel for a hot fire. What I do not get however, is how someone could remain unconscious with that type of pain, or odor coming from burning flesh. I don't understand how someone could not wake up from being burned alive.

Agree on the spontaneous problem as well. Though I don't think there was mention of times between the last time the victim was seen and the next. Again, not all the facts seem to be presented from either side in this story.


Yes, I definately have a problem with a slow burning process and no signs of some of these people trying to put themselves out. Perhaps the smoldering from the slow process created enough smoke that the people actually died from this first? The stuffing in chairs certainly would let off some noxious gases I am guessing. I could see how this actually caused death prior to the being consumed by fire/burning.


Granted, some of the cases mention this, including a car accident cuased by this attempt. But what is missing (unless I missed it) is whether or not the person in the vehicle was smoking at the time (Refering to the in-car while driving story) Too many pieces missing from the story. <_<
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#8 MrGrey

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 04:59 PM

Speaking of car incedent i remember reading in a book a few years back of a case which happened in the 50's, witnesses said that (i'll call him Harry) was just returning from work in his car (a convertable with the roof down) when with out warning he just burst into flames and burnt ferociously as his car was still rolling. After the fire was put out there was nothing left of Harry but the car (except for the material on the seat surrounding him) was left untouched.

The candle theory doesnt fit into that one im afraid.
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#9 plindboe

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 05:14 PM

I agree with the candle/fat theory as well, it certainly is a great fuel for a hot fire.  What I do not get however, is how someone could remain unconscious with that type of pain, or odor coming from burning flesh.  I don't understand how someone could not wake up from being burned alive.


I don't think they were unconcious, but that they died while smoking. Look at my post again. :angry: Notice that the victims are usually elderly people. so they didn't die of the burning, they died of something else, but since there is no body left to do an autopsy on, it will be impossible to determine the actual cause of death.


Agree on the spontaneous problem as well.  Though I don't think there was mention of times between the last time the victim was seen and the next.  Again, not all the facts seem to be presented from either side in this story.


The victims are left alone for hours or days.
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#10 plindboe

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 05:30 PM

Speaking of  car incedent i remember reading in a book a few years back of a case which happened in the 50's, witnesses said that (i'll call him Harry) was just returning from work in his car (a convertable with the roof down) when with out warning he just burst into flames and burnt ferociously as his car was still rolling. After the fire was put out there was nothing left of Harry but the car (except for the material on the seat surrounding him) was left untouched.

The candle theory doesnt fit into that one im afraid.

It's difficult to address without reading the story myself, but don't put too much trust on witness accounts, especially not when it's in a book that has the agenda of presenting interesting stories. This one even sounds like an urban legend, and we all know that such stories can arise from absolutely nothing. But perhaps there once was a man that was burned to death in a car, but I very much doubt it happened the exact way you describe.
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#11 MrGrey

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 07:02 PM

no i do remember reading it, i'll have to do a search for the book on the net, a m8 of mine used to have it.
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#12 hawkerdriver

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 07:47 PM

Here's some accounts you might want to consider:

http://www.alternati...n-cases-new.htm.

or for the skeptics:
http://www.benecke.com/combust.html

I know there is one or two cases that the skeptics don't mention that I would like to see them tackle. One was a lady who was eating breakfast with her son and husband and her back burst into flames and her husband worked hard at putting out the fire. I'll be looking for that one cuz it was really odd.
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#13 MoonChild

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 11:57 AM

The idea is then that the person died while smoking and dropped the cigarette in the lap or somewhere on the clothed body and the slow process began.

but why is it that only the BODY is burned, and nothing surrounding? Not even the chair? Or the bed? Posted Image

I guess the candle-wick effect is logical, but I also guess there is more to it that we are yet to unravel.
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#14 kats_god

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 12:04 PM

very good point there MOON <_<
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#15 MoonChild

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Posted 25 September 2004 - 12:06 PM

TY Katz. Another point is if it a slow burning form the outside, why is it the victim never tries to escape? I mean, no attempt made to escape? With whatever I have read about this phenomenon, I feel the burning happens from within, not from the outside. There sure is something that needs to be discovered.
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