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Creepy True TALE Tuesday – Spontaneous Human Combustion


For 300 years there have reportedly been over 200 cited cases of a mysterious, rare, phenomenon that kills people. One of these is where the body is said to “ignite” by itself and burn its victims alive, yet mostly leaves their surroundings alone.

In 1966 retired doctor, John Irving Bentley, was wished goodnight by friends one night in December as they left his home in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. The next morning a meter reader let himself into the house and discovered Dr. Bentleys cremated remains in an upstairs bathroom. All that remained was half of his right leg with the slipper still on, burnt off at the knee. The rest of his body had been reduced to ashes which were found in the basement below, a hole, about a foot square, had been burnt in the bathroom floor. His walking aid, a nearby bathtub and the floor underneath the ashes were all unmarked.

Fifteen years earlier, in Florida, a landlady went to deliver a telegram to an elderly tenant by the name of Mary Reeser. Finding Ms. Reeser’s metal doorknob to be hot to the touch, she called police. What they found inside were Ms. Reeser’s ashes, among the remains of a chair in which she had been sitting. Only part of her left foot wearing a slipper! and her backbone remained. Her skull had shrunken to “the size of a teacup”. The room in which she burned in, however, showed little evidence of the event.
These are two cases of believed Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC).

SHC is a phenomenon that has baffled forensic experts, scientists and paranormal investigators for years. It is said that the fire originates from within the human body.  Such cases often have same strange occurrences, which are:

  • Usually only the body and clothing are found burnt, with nearby furniture and items largely untouched and usually damage is found on the ceilings above the cremated remains.
  • Victim is alone and appears to not have struggled.
  • In many cases, only a limb is found intact and uncharred – most times a leg or foot. In some cases the skull has also shrunk.
    Another victims ashes.

Many theories and hypotheses have been put forward to explain the cause, some natural and some of a paranormal or supernatural origin. A two year study in 1984, by two scientists showed that in most cases the victims were elderly and had mobility issues, were in most cases alcoholics and were at the time of their deaths near plausible external sources of ignition, such as candles, lamps, fireplaces etc. It is known that Bentley smoked a pipe, however it was found on a stand by a bed in the next room.
A proven phenomenon is the Wick Effect, which many believe to be behind the causes of these deaths. The theory holds that an external source ignites the body and the clothed human body acts like a candle, with human fat being the energy source inside and the wick (the clothing of the victim) outside.  However, why does the fire stop with only the human body and not affect its nearby surroundings?
Combustion Witnessed

In nearly all of these cases a fire has not been seen, only remains found after the fact. A supernatural or paranormal idea of ball lightning, which in itself is a mysterious and often debated phenomenon, causing the deaths has also been provided, although little evidence supports this.
However, no external ignition source was present on January 8th, 1985, when Jacqueline Fitzsimons, a 17 year old student, suddenly burst into flames while talking to fellow classmates in a corridor in Cheshire, England. After complaining of feeling unwell and of a “burning sensation” in her back, she burst into flames and while many ripped her now burning clothes off of her, her hair and body ignited all over. She was rushed to hospital where it was found that 18% of her body had burnt away.
She died 15 days later in ICU. Several eyewitnesses interviewed said they were nowhere near anyone smoking.

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Creepy True Tale Tuesday: The Thornton Health Poltergeist

In the 1970s, in Thornton Heath, England, a family was tormented by poltergeist phenomena that started one August night when they were woken in the middle of the night by a blaring bedside radio that had somehow turned itself on and tuned in to a foreign-language station. This was the beginning of a string of events that lasted nearly four years.
A lampshade repeatedly was knocked to the floor by unaided hands. During the Christmas season of 1972, an ornament was hurled across the room, smashing into the husband’s forehead. “As he flopped into an armchair,” reports Haunted Croydon, “the Christmas tree began to shake violently. Come the New Year and there were footsteps in the bedroom when there was no one there, and one night the couple’s son awoke to find a man in old fashioned dress staring threateningly at him. The family’s fear grew when, as they entertained friends one night, there was a loud knocking at the front door, the living room door was then flung open and all the house’s lights came on.”
Having the house blessed failed to rid the house of the phenomena. Objects flew through the air, loud noises were heard and the family would sometimes hear a noise which suggested some large pieces of furniture… had crashed to the floor. When they went to investigate, nothing would be disturbed.
A medium who was consulted told the family that the house was haunted by a farmer of the name Chatterton, who considered the family trespassers on his property. An investigation bore out the fact that had indeed lived in the house in the mid-18th century. Chatterton’s wife now24993343_10159780734955038_1693364131199470339_n joined in causing mayhem, and often the tenant’s wife would be followed up the stairs at night by an elderly gray-haired woman wearing a pinafore and with her hair tied back in a bun. If looked at, she would disappear back into the shadows. The family even reported seeing the farmer appear on their television screens, wearing a black jacket with wide, pointed lapels, high-necked shirt, and black cravat.
After the family moved out of the house, the poltergeist activity ceased, and none have been reported by subsequent residents.

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Creepy True Tale Tuesdays: The Danny Poltergeist Case

zzzzzzzIn 1998, Jane Fishman, a reporter for the Savannah Morning News, began a series of articles about a possibly haunted antique bed in the home of Al Cobb of Savannah, Georgia. Cobb bought the vintage late-1800s bed at an auction as a Christmas present for his 14-year-old son, Jason , a purchase he later regretted.
“Three nights later,” Fishman reported, Jason told his parents he felt as if someone had planted elbows on his pillow and was watching him and breathing cold air down the back of his neck. He felt sick. The next night he noticed the photo of his deceased grandparents on his wicker nightstand flipped down, So he corrected it. The next day, the photo was facing down again.
Later that morning, after leaving his room for breakfast, he returned and found in the middle of his bed two Beanie Babies, one a zebra and the other a tiger and next to a conch shell, a dinosaur made of shells and a plaster toucan bird.
That got his parents and his twin brother, Lee’s attention. Trying to make sense of the irrational, they jokely called out, ‘Do we have a Casper here? Tell me your name and how old you are.’ Then he left some lined composition paper and crayons and, with his family, walked out of the room. In 15 minutes they returned and found written vertically in large block childlike letters, ‘Danny, 7.’
With his family out of the house, Al Cobb decided to continue trying to communicate with the spirit of Danny. With the same kind of notes, Danny indicated that his mother had died in that bed in 1899 and that he wanted to stay with the bed. He also made it clear that he didn’t want anyone else sleeping in it. The same day they found a note reading, ‘No one sleep in bed,’ Jason, who had moved out of the room, decided to stretch out and pretend to take a nap. That, says Al, was a mistake. ‘I doubled back in the room to pick up my clothes,’ remembers Jason, ‘when this terra cotta head that had been hanging on the wall came flying through the room, just missing me before it smashed on the closet door.'”
“No one really knows,” Fishman writes in her second installment, “who — or what — is leaving the copious notes, moving the furniture, opening the kitchen drawers, setting the dining room table, flipping over the chairs, lighting the candles, arranging the posters to spell out a person’s name, Jill, then hanging the finished product on a bedroom wall.

Jason also spoke of other spirits: ‘Uncle Sam,’ who had come to reclaim his daughter he said was buried under the house; ‘Gracie,’ a young girl whose sculpture sits in Bonaventure Cemetery; and ‘Jill,’ a young woman who left a number of handwritten messages, among them one inviting the Cobbs to a party in their living room.
Parapsychologist Andrew Nichols, head of the Florida Society for Parapsychological Research, investigated the case. “What happened at the Cobbs,” he told Fishman, “more specifically to Jason — would have happened without ‘Danny,’ or the bed. It was the electromagnetic energy of the wall — that Jason started sleeping next to when they moved the bed there — that charged a psychic ability that the boy already had.”

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Creepy True Tales Tuesday – Bridget Clearly: The Last Witch Burned in Ireland

On March 15, 1895, Bridget Cleary, the 28-year-old wife of a copper went missing from her cottage near Clonmel in County Tipperary. She was found days later, her body was found in a shallow grave, burned to death by her husband and family members who suspected her of being possessed by a fairy.
Cleary, was named “the last witch burned in Ireland,” and she was the victim of dangerous superstitious beliefs. Her story has become part of Irish folklore, and her tragic tale has been immortalized in the children’s rhyme “Are you a witch or are you a fairy, Or are you the wife of Michael Cleary?”
Bridget was a dressmaker and egg seller from Ballyvadlea, near Clonmel, Co Tipperary, she had taken ill and been bed-ridden for a number of days. She had remained under the watchful eye of her husband, Michael. Michael had sent for a doctor in a nearby town and at one point requested a priest also.

While taking a walk to deliver eggs in Kylenagranagh, the site of a fairy ring according to local folklore, Bridget Cleary had caught a chill. Her house was often occupied by many neighbours and relatives, many of whom would become influenced Michael Cleary’s growing belief in a supernatural basis for his wife’s sickness.
According to a 1995 analysis by Angela Bourke, this belief may also have been boosted by the presence of the neighbour Dunne, who was more aligned with the oral fairy traditions that were very much dying out as the 19th century closed.
By Thursday, March 14th, 1895, he had also sent for herbs, gleaned from a witch-doctor type named Denis Ganey.  By this stage, Michael was caught up in the belief that his wife was a malevolent fairy changeling.

In folklore and folk religion a Ch1200px-Füssli_-_Der_Wechselbalg_-_1780.jpgangeling is a creature. A changeling is typically described as being the offspring of a fairy, troll, elf or other legendary creature that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. Sometimes the term is also used to refer to the child who was taken. The apparent changeling could also be a stock or fetch, an enchanted piece of wood that would soon appear to grow sick and die.
According to a court report in The Irish Times on March 27th, It was reported the men forced Bridget “to take the herbs and Cleary asked her: ‘Are you Bridget Boland, the wife of Michael Cleary, in the name of God?’” She answered twice, but when she refused to answer a third time, she was hauled up and held in a sitting position over the slow-burning embers of the kitchen fire.
Bridget “seemed to be wild and deranged, especially while they were so treating her,” according to the report. She eventually responded: “I am Bridget Boland, daughter of Pat Boland in the name of God,” referring to her maiden name.
The above story would form just one part of a series of violent acts against Bridget that would culminate in her death; it is also the testimony of Johanna Burke, the Crown’s chief witness in a landmark murder case in which eight people would be convicted for their roles in Bridget’s abuse.

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Creepy True Tales Tuesdays: Did the Spirit of Jennifer Groesbeck Call Out For Help?

Charlene Lower Kemp


Did the Spirit of Jennifer Groesbeck Call Out For Help?
Jennifer Groesbeck and her daughter, Lily, left the home of Jenny’s parents on Friday the 6th of March around 10 at night. She was driving from Salem, where her parents lived, to Springfield. Jenny’s father strapped Lily into her car seat and sent them on their way.
Jenny lost control of her vehicle and plunged into the icy Spanish Fork River located in Utah. A fisherman came upon the vehicle around noon the next day. This was approximately 14 hours after Jenny had left her parent’s house. The fisherman called the authorities for help.
One of the first respondents reports that he had heard a voice, and he believes one of the others responded with,

“We’re trying our best to get in there.”

When the truck was flipped, they saw that there was a mother and her little girl. The mother was clearly deceased, and they were concerned that the girl was gone as well.
Firefighters who had jumped into the river to save the little girl and she was treated for hypothermia at a nearby hospital.

Many of the responders have talked about that night, and they swear they heard a voice call for help. Later, they found out that the mother died on impact. There was no way she could have been the voice calling for help. Lily was just a baby and unconscious when she was rescued from the icy water. Even after knowing this, the responders, still stand by with they say they heard that day……

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Creepy True Tale Tuesday – Toxic Women

By Charlene Lowe Kemp


I’m sure worldwide hospital accident and emergency  workers have their fair share of weird experiences to tell, but the story of Gloria Ramirez is undoubtedly one of the most famous.

In 1994, the young woman was wheeled into the Emergency department at Riverside General Hospital, California, by paramedics. Although awake, she sometimes seemed confused. Her blood pressure was extremely low, her heart rate incredibly fast, and a look at her medical history showed that she had advanced cervical cancer.
The strange thing was that doctors noticed an oily sheen to her skin, and her mouth had an odd, garlicky smell. When a nurse went to draw blood, she found that the sample smelled like ammonia. Meanwhile, others noticed that Ramirez’s blood contained whitish particles. Not long afterward, medical staff began to feel nauseous and faint. By the end of the night, 23 workers were affected, and five were hospitalized. After 45 minutes of treatment, Ramirez passed away from kidney failure.
Forensic teams have looked into Ramirez’s death, but explanation after explanation has been ruled out. To this day, nobody has found out for certain what caused Ramirez to become literally toxic.

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Creepy True Tale Tuesday – Mummified at SEA?

Charlene Lowe Kemp


A yacht was found adrift in Filipino waters in 2016. The captain, Manfred Fritz Bajorat had gone missing from 2009 to 2016 and so it was assumed by many that he was dead. No family nor friends had heard from him during this time.

No-one was sailing the ship and although the weather was poor the ship was seaworthy. But what was even stranger was that the captain was still aboard, still sitting at his desk, reaching for his phone – but his body was entirely mummified, which led the crew that had boarded his boat to believe that he had died some years before.

Once his body had been autopsied it was discovered that Bajorat had died only a week before. So why and how had his body mummified completely in just a week? and why hadn’t he contacted his family or friends during the years?

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Creepy TRUE Tales Tuesday – The Ghost of The 9/11 Red Cross Worker

Charlene Lowe Kemp


Lt. Frank Marra, now retired, was one of the police officers tasked with sifting through the rubble of the World Trade Centre towers in September 2001. It was only in 2013, while conducting interviews for a 9/11-related book called Hallowed Ground, that he remembered encountering something paranormal during his long hours of work at the site.
One of the detectives who was also being interviewed mentioned hearing about a ghostly tale of an old Red Cross worker that appeared to some of the officers while they were working. The woman tried to serve them coffee and sandwiches, as was the Red Cross duty during World War II. Upon hearing the detective talk about this, Marra remembered seeing a black woman dressed in a Red Cross uniform appearing several times while he worked. She held a tray of sandwiches and disappeared every time he strained to get a better look at her.
Several police officers who were also stationed at the site after the attacks claimed to have seen large shadows and “black masses” among the debris. After seeing a medium about his experience and hearing that he may have witnessed a soul collector guiding spirits to the hereafter, Marra truly believes that this is what he saw.

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Creepy True Tale Tuesdays – Ghost Passengers

Charlene Lowe Kemp

So every Tuesday I am going to set aside for a Creepy True Tales. Which will be of Creepy true paranormal encounters from around the world….

To start this off I thought this would be a good one to Share……


After the devastating tsunami in 2011, college student Yuka Kudo travelled to Ishinomaki, a town where 6,000 people died. She asked cab drivers if they witnessed any unusual experiences after the disaster.

Most ignored her, but seven cab drivers talked of picking up ghost passengers, and their accounts where eerily similar. According to the drivers, the ghosts (who looked like normal people at the time) would get into their cabs and give their destination to where they wanted to go, only to disappear without paying the fare.

One such passenger asked her driver to take her to a district that had been wiped out by the waves. When he told her what it was like there, she asked, “Have I died?” When he turned around to look at her, she was gone.