Friday, 19 June 2009


According to history, the first official documented case of spontaneous human combustion was reported by the Danish anatomist Thomas Bartholin in 1663. He detailed how a woman in Paris was incinerated while sleeping. The straw mattress on which she slept was untouched by the fire.

Hundreds more cases have been recorded ever since.

Charles Dickens added a famous Victorian era case to his novel Bleak House to kill off one of his characters. The combustion event that inspired Dickens occurred in 1731, when Countess Cornelia di Bandi of Cesena, Italy, was found in her bedroom by her maid. The body had been reduced to ashes; all that remained were her legs and a portion of her head. READ MORE: