Death is a very powerful thing, so powerful that it has been linked to the supernatural since the beginning of human civilization. This supernatural aurora that surrounds death usually takes the form of conjecture about what happens after we pass, but sometimes people die in such strange ways that the event of death itself borders on the paranormal.
Spontaneous Human Combustion
Spontaneous Human Combustion was all the rage in the 90s. You could not have a paranormal documentary series, magazine, or book without an entire section or show dedicated to SHC. It got so redundant in fact that many in the general public began to grow tired of hearing about it. I mean it is just ridiculous. The human body will not just spontaneously erupt into flames, right?
In actuality there are several well-documented cases where SHC is seriously considered a possible explanation of death by investigators involved in the cases. The reason these investigators take SHC seriously is because the physical evidence seems to point to it being just as logical as the alternative theories.
Robert Francis Baily, John Irving Bentley, George I. Mott, Mary Reeser and Henry Thomas are just handful of names whose deaths are suspected to be spontaneous human combustion cases. Most SHC cases are explained away using the wicker theory. It states that once a body is ignited it will burn until the flame’s fuel source (in this case flesh, fat, and muscle) is gone and then puts itself out. For example, Henry Thomas burned to death while relaxing in his chair watching television. Only his skull and a slippered foot remained. Some claim his death was caused by a wicker effect that was ignited by a nearby heater. The only problem is that the rest of Thomas’ home remained untouched by flames and Thomas himself apparently never moved from his comfortable reclining position while slowly burning to death.
There are also people who claim to be survivors of spontaneous human combustions. The most credible survivor story comes from Cheshire, England where Susan Motteshead was standing in her kitchen and then suddenly burst into flames. The fire quickly burned out just as quickly as it had come. Motteshead only suffered minor burns.
Twin Brothers, Twin Deaths
It is often said that identical twins share a mysterious connection with each other; they are genetically identical after all. I have heard countless stories of twins who were separated at birth and meet later in life and discover that they have the same morning routines, take their coffee the same way, and even enjoy the same sort of pranks. One example often cited of this is two twins separated at birth who discovered that they both liked to pretend to sneeze loudly on elevators in an attempt to scare the other elevator passengers, but none of these examples come close to two Finnish twins who shared much more than just bad elevator etiquette.
The BBC reported in 2002 that two twin brothers, seventy years of age, died just hours apart, in separate accidents, on the same road. Not only that but the circumstances surrounding the deaths were exactly the same. They were both riding their bikes across the road and both were hit by a truck. The second brother who got hit had no idea that his brother had just been killed on the road, as the police had not notified family members of the death yet. Police officers stated that the road is busy, but is not known to be an accident-prone street. It seems that twins are not just genetically connected but can also be connected in death.
The Taman Shud Case
The Taman Shud Case is a mystery in a mystery wrapped in a mystery put in a box made of mystery and then mailed to a mystery house. It is such a mystery that the investigative prowess of Sherlock Holms, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Nicholas Cage as Ben Gates combined could not solve this case.
On December 1, 1948 in Adelaid, Australia the body of an unidentified man was discovered on Somerton Beach. The man was in peak physical condition and very well dressed. All the labels in his clothing had been removed. In his pockets was a railway ticket. He unfortunately missed his train. He carried no identification and his dental records did not match any known person. The autopsy revealed that his last meal was a pasty that he had eaten three to four hours prior to his death and that is all. Tests searching for foreign substances came back negative, but investigators were convinced that the man had been poisoned.
A month later police discovered a brown suitcase at Adelaide Railway station. The brown suitcase had its label removed just like the unidentified man’s clothing. Inside were clothes also with the labeles removed. Among the more peculiar items in the bag were a stenciling brush, electrician’s screwdriver, and a pair of scissors normally used for stenciling. Unfortunately, investigators learned nothing of significance from the suitcase other than being able to trace a jacket contained within to an American retailer.
In June of 1949 investigators had the body reexamined and discovered a secret pocket in the man’s clothing that contained a scrap of paper with the words “Taman Shud” printed on it. Upon a closer inspection of the paper it was discovered that the scrap came from a collection of poems entitled The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. This discovery led to a media blitz in an attempt to find the book the page was torn from. The campaign was successful as a man stepped forward with a rare first edition copy of Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of The Rubaiyat, which he said he found in the back seat of his car the night before the unidentified man’s body was found. In the back of the book scrawled out faintly in pencil was a code written as thus:
Also written in the book was the phone number of a former nurse who while serving in World War II gave a copy of The Rubaiyat to an army officer named Alfred Boxall. Boxall was found alive with his copy of The Rubaiyat still intact, though, and both parties denied any connection to the unidentified dead man.
Much speculation has been made on the case ranging from connections to other unsolved murder cases in the area, to the theory that the man was a spy working for a foreign government. Today the case remains unsolved and will perhaps always remain that way.
The Men in the Iron Masks
Imagine being a young boy or girl and you are outside flying your kite. You are gleefully watching as your kite is defying gravity and soaring through the air. You then almost trip over something. You look two see what it is and see the dead bodies of two men wearing iron masks. Would you be scarred for life? Well this is exactly what happened in 1966 to a young boy in Brazil who stumbled upon one of the most intriguing mysteries ever.
After the young boy discovered the bodies, he phoned the police and the investigation was underway. The bodies were laid neatly beside each other. In addition to the iron masks the two deceased men were dressed in very nice suites. The men also wore waterproof rain coasts. Also found next to the bodies was an empty water bottle and a notebook, in it was written “16:30 be at the agreed place. 18:30 swallow capsules, after effect protect metals wait for mask sign”. That is one strange to do list. The masks the men wore were iron masks that were used to protect against radiation. The men had access to these masks, as both were electricians.
After some investigating police were able to figure out that the men had purchased the water resistant raincoats earlier on the day of their deaths. They also stopped at a bar and ordered a bottle of water; the waitress who served them said that one of the men seemed very nervous.
No signs of violence were found on the men or at the scene of the murder or suicide or whatever it was. A toxicology screening was impossible to do on the men because of the state that their organs were in upon the discovery of the bodies. Was this some sort of strange suicide pact? If it was then why did the men’s to do list seem to imply that they were waiting from something to happen after they took the pills? Also found on the men was a coupon to return the empty water bottle, why keep this if you planned on dying? Or is it possible that the men were simply trying to reenact a scene from the Leonardo Dicaprio venture The Man in The Iron Mask and it ended (much like the entire movie) horrifically? This latter theory seems unlikely as the movie had yet to be released in 1966.
I doubt any of these deaths can be explained away simply. Each one provides its own complex and intriguing mystery that are the result of well kept secrets and coincidences that seem too coincidental to be coincidence. These cases are actually so mysterious they seem to border on the supernatural.
Author Jonathan Kaulay, source: paranormalhaze.com
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“is it possible that the men were simply trying to reenact a scene from the Leonardo Dicaprio venture The Man in The Iron Mask and it ended … horrifically? This latter theory seems unlikely as the movie had yet to be released in 1966.”
Not just the movie, but Leo himself had not yet been released. He was born in 1974, so yeah this hypothesis is definitely over the edge.