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1981, May 3: Wath on Dearne Woman’s Combustion

The Legend:

On May 3, 1981, a "37-year-old mother" in Wath on Dearne, Yorkshire, England, struck a match and immediately burst into flames for no apparent reason; she survived with severe burn to her body and clothes. The room received only a little damage. It was suggested that hairspray had caused the flames to spread so rapidly, but this was later disproven.

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 "Author's own investigation"... 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.