Inquest coroner disputes spontaneous human combustion explanation

A followup to a December story regarding a coroner who claimed an Irish woman died of spontaneous human combustion

Spontaneous combustion a myth, says coroner

A Donegal Coroner has described spontaneous human combustion as “probably an urban myth” at the inquest into the death of a 50-year-old woman in Carndonagh on 31 December, 2010.

Coroner Dr John Madden said when he saw the remains of Elizabeth McLaughlin, of 42 Close Padraig, Carndonagh …

“There was talk of spontaneous human combustion at the time. I did a little research and that probably is an urban myth, but when I did see the remains, it did come to mind.”

“There was little damage to the surrounding area. I believe the clothes acted like a wick on a candle – there was the complete destruction of the body but the fire did not spread,” the Coroner said.

Credit: The Anomalist

The inquest findings dispute the claim from the Galway coroner who judged that McLaughlin was indeed a victim of SHC. But, as we see here, a few more clues explain that a natural, but unusual, situation caused the horrible scene of her death.

  5 comments for “Inquest coroner disputes spontaneous human combustion explanation

  1. bshistorian
    November 16, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    That’s more like it!

  2. Nathan
    November 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    SHC only occurs in the UK. It’s something that has been extensively presented as fact on UK television and That’s Incredible and other questionable shows in the USA, but practically does not exist elsewhere.

    • idoubtit
      November 17, 2011 at 7:29 PM

      Heh. In the old days, it used to happen here… when older people lived alone and had open fireplaces.

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