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1987, October 3: Shalbourne Man’s Combustion

The Legend:

On October 3, 1987, an 86-year-old man in Shalbourne, Wiltshire, England, burst into flames while sitting on a settee; this was witnessed by his housekeeper. She reported that fire first emerged from his nose and mouth, and then spread to his stomach. The man died; his body and the settee were largely destroyed by the fire. Police could find no sign of cause of death [which I should hope means they could find no cause for the fire... overall cause of death seems obvious. --GARTH].


        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.