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1780~1781: Unknown Woman’s Fiery Death

The Legend:

Sometime in 1780~1781, a surgeon named Monsieur Valentine examined the remains of an unmarried 60-year-old woman who had been reduced to a skull, two intact feet, and ashes in her apartment (presumably, in France). The remains were 'some distance' from a smallfire in a grate. The woman was said to have been fond of "strong liquors and petting animals;" crowds came to the house to see and smell the disaster.

Unreliable

        This is the first listing of this incident in Anomalies, and therefore will require more research to confirm it. This is especially true because the above comes from Jenny Randles and Peter Hough's 1992 book, Spontaneous Human Combustion; this book gives almost no sources for the accounts it relates, in this case attributing the above to "Historical archives traced and researched"... which essentially means "Just trust us." For this reason, this account is marked as both "Unreliable" and "Investigate;" I will add new information as I get a chance to dig further.