Spontaneous Human Combustion - The Parapod Series 2, Episode 8 Review

April 05, 2016 2:18 AM ‐ The ParaPod

This article is more than seven years old and was last updated in February 2018.

Barry Dodds a believer in the unexplained this week revives an age old mystery and tries to convince Ray Peacock that it is real. Will Ray believe that humans can suddenly burst into flames?

John Irving Bentley
Barry starts off by describing the unexplained phenomenon, "this is where people just burst into flames for no reason," he says, "this has been going on for ages. Charles Dickens wrote about it..." Ray interrupts to say, "can I stop you there straight away, just because it's not a film, doesn't mean it's not fiction."

According to Barry, "you'll burn in less than an hour, there'll be blue flames." Barry says they'll be a sweet, smoky smell afterwards, and often one extremity remains intact.

Barry continues with the history of Spontaneous Human Combustion starting with the first case which was reported by Doctor Thomas Bartholin in 1663. The victim was a French woman who burst into flames while lying on a straw bed, but weirdly the bed didn't burn at all. The next case, one of Barry's favourite cases, was Mary Reeser in the 1950s.

Barry is then forced to switch to an Irish accent to tell the story of Michael Faherty from Galway. His death was recorded as "spontaneous combustion" by the coroner in 2010.


Ray says that a photo of a burned leg doesn't tell the whole story, "those people could have been covered in petrol and murdered," he said.

I think it was a close battle this week. Barry did let himself down in places by stating that the deaths were the result of negative energies in the body as a result of "high level ghosts". But, a lot of reports including Michael Faherty in 2010 don't have an adequate explanation.

Although, clearly people don't burst into flames for some paranormal reason, or from some internal source of flames. There has to be an external accelerant or source of flame, and as only Ray could understand this, then the point has to go to Ray.

Ray 8 - Barry 0.

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