SHC Part II: The Wick Effect

This is the continuation of the article “SHC Part I: The Strange Case of Mrs. Mary Hardy Reeser”.

What is Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC)?

SHC is the phenomenon where a human being is incinerated without any known cause of external ignition. Rather, a chemical reaction from within the body causes it to burst into flames. The odd thing about SHC is that the torso and head are charred beyond recognition while, more frequently, the arms and legs of the body remain untouched by the flame as well as objects surrounding the victim. A greasy residue on the furniture and walls is often predominant in cases of SHC. There are also a rare handful of cases where the outside of the body has been charred and the organs are left unscathed by the fire.
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SHC Part I: The Strange Case of Mrs. Mary Hardy Reeser


Sixty-seven year-old widow, Mrs. Mary H. Reeser, was reclining comfortably in an easy chair in her St. Petersburg, Florida apartment (1200 Cherry Street, Northeast) at 9:00 P.M. on Sunday, July 1, 1951. That was the last anyone ever saw her alive. When she didn’t answer her door 11 hours later to receive a telegram her neighbor went to check on her. What was found was quite shocking. Continue reading