The first incident occurred in January of 1932 in Bladenboro, North Carolina. A woman referred to as Mrs. Charles Williamson was in her home when her cotton dress mysteriously burst into flames. Mrs. Williamson hadn't been smoking, using flammable chemicals or standing near a fireplace. Thankfully Mrs. Williamson's husband and teenage daughter put out the flames, but the poltergeist wasn't done yet. This is from an article on listverse.com
"The ordeal by fire continued the same day inside a closet when a pair of Mrs. Williamson’s trousers burned until only ashes remained. The next day, in front of witnesses, a bed spontaneously began to burn as well as curtains in another room. For three more days, fires sprang out of nowhere, burning blue flames that couldn’t be extinguished until they’d entirely consumed the household object in question. No one was injured by the flames, either. The Williamsons had enough by day four and left the house."
The local police, electricians and firemen examined the house and could not find anything that could have caused the fires. After five days the fires mysteriously stopped.
"After the truck left, another fire broke out, this time in a mattress in an upstairs guest room. It seemed as though the fire had been set from inside the mattress! Throughout the day, more fires broke out all over the house, some under the gazes of astonished witnesses. By 2:00 p.m., more fire fighters were called in, and by the end of the day, twenty-eight seemingly spontaneous fires were extinguished, including one that started between the covers of a book.
The fires ended as mysteriously as they began. Hackler tore down the house and built a new one from the reclaimed lumber. Neither he nor his family experienced anything like the Odon fire poltergeist again."
In August 1958, Fire Captain S.H. Joiner of Talladega, Alabama realized that he had a serious problem on his hands. His concerns revolved around a four-room log tenant house that was located about eight miles west of the city. By August 28, there had been 22 fires in this small home and 17 of them had occurred on the 27th alone! “It’s really a mystery,” Joiner told reporters. “ If it’s not a chemical reaction or spontaneous combustion, then I don’t what it could be.”
The house in question was occupied by Calvin Tuck, his wife, Willie Bell, and their six small children, aged from three months to nine years. The African-American family had been experiencing a series of fires that had literally gutted the structure. All four of the rooms had been ruined by smoke, along with most of their personal belongings. They had remained in the house as long as possible but during the eruption of fires on August 27, had finally moved out. Homeless and now destitute, the Tuck’s had no insurance on the house.
Strangely, nearly every 0ne of the fires had started near the ceiling, except for a mattress that had mysterious burst into flames. None of the fires had started on the floor. The flames were all reddish blue in color and “looked like sulphur burning”, according to witnesses. The source of the fires were completely bewildering as the house had a metal roof and had no electrical wiring inside. Talladega County Road Commissioner Leslie Hutto and a local contractor named Ortis Horton visited the house on August 27 and saw a fire start literally in front of their eyes! Hutto later said that he started scraping the wall with a knife and a flame flared up right in his face. He said that he also made a circle on the wall with the knife blade and that exact spot later began to burn. He and Horton reported that a fire started about every 15 minutes while they were at the house - and that they had no explanation for how they had begun!
The fires began a few days before this, around 8:30 am on the morning of August 25. The house caught fire three times and the next morning, it caught fire again two more times. It was not until a dozen fires had broken out that the Talladega Fire Department was summoned to the property. The call was answered by fireman Glover Williams, who said that the Tuck’s story about how the fires were starting was so fantastic that he summoned Captain Joiner to the scene.
News of the mysterious fires made the local newspapers and spread through the community. Within hours, over 200 people had gathered to watch the excitement but many of them stayed on through the night with buckets of water on hand in case a new blaze broke out.
With the first tenant house ruined, the Tuck’s moved into another one that was located nearby. Four new fires broke out in rapid succession and Calvin Tuck, exasperated, frightened and bewildered, did an almost inexplicable thing. He took all of his family’s remaining possessions (except for their furniture, which had been repossessed by the furniture company for lack of payment) and tossed them in a pile about 100 yards from the house. He lit a match to the pile and burned their belongings to ashes - then sat down on the ground and wept. This was the 27th fire and the only one that was ever explained.
The Tuck’s then moved into the house of their brother-in-law, Darnell Suttle, who must have been a brave and loyal relative. As the Tuck’s prepared to leave the second tenant house on their way to the Suttle home, the house immediately burst into flames. Witnesses stated that there had been no one around at the time and when the fire appeared it “all at once was burning all over.”
Calvin Tuck may have believed that by burning the family’s possessions, their troubles had ended, but he was wrong. The fires moved right along with them to the Suttle house. Five fires occurred the first day and were just as mysterious as those that had destroyed the Tuck’s other two houses.
On Labor Day morning, the Suttle house was visited by two police officers, Lieutenant Ben Cooley and Patrolman John Childers. They found the house in an uproar with clothes and furniture scattered all over the yard and the brood of children playing amongst it. Cooley noted that a quilt was hanging on a tree and before his eyes, it suddenly started burning. The whole quilt burst into flames, except for one small end. Within moments, the fire had gone out, leaving the cloth blackened and smoking. Curious, Cooley dragged the quilt onto the ground and attempted to set the unburned end on fire. It smoldered, but it would not burn by normal means. “I saw it, but I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t seen it,” he said.
It is worth noting that at the time of the incident, Calvin Tuck was not at the house. He had been gone about 16 hours, but his wife was there. She and the Suttle’s showed the officers a newspaper and a window frame that had caught fire just minutes before they had arrived. Tubs and buckets of water had been left standing in every room as a precaution, although there was no running water in the house. According to a later report, two more fires broke out after the police left. A curtain caught fire around 9:15 and a loaf of bread burst into flames on the kitchen table around 10:00.
As the strangeness continued, things got tougher for the Tuck family. Darrell Sutton finally conceded that he had to protect his home and family, so he asked the Tuck’s to move out. Calvin did not own an automobile and so his father came over to move the family and offered to let them stay at his house. They moved into their fourth home in eight days on September 2. The family settled in and once again, buckets of water were placed in each room and even the family washing machine was left filled, just in case.
The source of the fires remained as bewildering as ever but Calvin Tuck decided to try a remedy of his own. Burning their belongings and running from the “fire disease” had not worked, so he decided to consult an “herb doctor” (voodoo practitioner). He was promptly informed that a voodoo hex had been placed on he and his family and for a price, he could provide Tuck with a spell that would remove the hex. Calvin quickly paid."
In other news: This week I will be setting a lot of my short stories as FREE on Amazon. Keep checking back as I will post on this site what story is FREE on what days. I also will soon have some big news about my novel Wormwood which is still available at a reduced rate until August 1st. I will also have some news about the release date of my 2nd novel "The Third Gender" and about the release of the sequel to Wormwood "The Black Swarm" which will be out this winter.