1914~1938: G.A. Shepherdson’s Combustion

The following account appears in Emille Schurmacher's 1967 book Strange Unsolved Mysteries:

        G.A. Shepherdson, a Hull building contractor, was driving past a construction site near Hessle, Yorkshire, England, and waved to several workmen he knew; a moment later, he suddenly burst into flames.

Not Enough 

        Schurmacher claims he found this story in a newspaper called the Sheffield Independent, but doesn't give a date for it. This particular newspaper ran from 1819 to 1938; cars, of course, were not mass-marketed until 1914, so the event theoretically occurred between 1914 and 1938. In practice, I have not yet been able to confirm this previous source’s existence, or find any other source for this account... so for now it is marked as 'Unreliable' as evidence of anything paranormal.

        As a further note of warning, however, Schurmacher opens his section on spontaneous human combustion in his book by recounting the death of Maybelle Andrews as she burst into flames while dancing; an account that has since been proven to be completely false and the creation of Schurmacher himself. The implication is that all other short accounts that Schurmacher presents in the same book are also 'False Leads'... stories that simply never happened. I'm being nice, though, and not marking the stories as False Leads until I can directly check the sources he quotes.

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