Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

STOP!  Prevent your death…

Some people are lucky enough to die in their sleep.  Some people shuffle off this mortal coil after an illness.  And then there are some who… well, let’s just say that Death must have a very warped sense of humour.

The following is part one of an article written by Kenneth Bailey that was rooted out from the mists of time and passed on to me by Becky Wash of the Essex Police Museum:

“It is a fact of life that we are all going to die!  One of these days it’s going to happen to you.  One minute you’ll be enjoying your pension or whatever, and the next…THE END.

There are a number of people however, who have decided that bowing out in the usual manner is not for them.  They are the ones whose mode of death will be attributed to ‘Other Causes’, let me tell you some of them.

Lightning Strikes…

In Vancouver in 1934, a tombstone in the local cemetery was struck by lightning and subsequently shattered.  Nothing unusual in this, you may think, but the tombstone belonged to one Major Summerfield, who in 1918 was struck by lightning and invalided out of the Army.  He fortunately recovered from this and in 1924 decided that fishing would provide him with a suitable pastime.  No sooner had he cast out his line when he was struck by lightning which paralysed his right side.  It took him two years to recover sufficiently to take a walk through the city park, where, surprise, surprise, he was struck by lightning.  Regrettably, two years afterwards, and as a result of his injuries, he died, but was unable to rest in peace as the tombstone incident indicates.  Who says that lightning never strikes more than once in the same place?

He’s a Fire Starter…Twisted Fire Starter

Next time any of you go dancing, spare a thought for poor Phyllis Newcombe.  She went to a dance at the Shire Hall, Chelmsford in 1938.  The 22-year-old beauty was happily jigging around with her fiancé when, suddenly, and without any apparent reason, she burst into flames.  No suitable explanation has ever been given for her sudden demise and she was not the only person on record to have expired in this manner.  On July 1st, 1951, Mrs Mary Reeser, aged 67, of Florida, erupted into flames and burned up in her bedroom.  All that remained of her was a small pile of smouldering ash and her shrunken skull.  It has been estimated that it would take a fire of about 3,000 degrees to leave her in that state, but she was in a corner of the room far away from any fires or electricity and there was no question of her having received the same treatment as Major Summerfield.  No one has ever found out why it happened.”



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