1979, January 25: Hutton-le-Hole Woman’s Fiery Death

The Legend:

On January 25, 1979, a postman investigating the source of a thick smoke discovered the remains of a 76-year-old woman in Hutton-le-Hole, Yorkshire, England. She had apparently been sitting in a chair; but all that was left when the postman arrived were her legs and a pile of bones, smoking with no flame. Some speculated that something fell from the grate of her fireplace and set her alight.


        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, most often attributing them to "Author's own investigation" and "Historical archives traced and researched"... which essentially means "Just trust us." In this case, they attribute the above to Fortean Times magazine, but don't tell us a date or Issue number. 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.

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