Don Gio Maria Bertoli

Don Gio Maria Bertoli: The Bizarre Case Of Spontaneous Combustion Of A Monk

Spontaneous human combustion refers to a very rare type of “almost recognized” anomalous phenomena. Many cases of spontaneous combustion have been investigated by the police and there is still no solid theory that would completely deny such a possibility. let’s take a look at the case of spontaneous combustion of Monk Don Gio Maria Bertoli.

Among the oddities associated with spontaneous combustion, it is noted not only the fact that a person is suddenly engulfed in a flame that arose out of nowhere, but the fact that this flame is so hot that in a matter of minutes it can destroy the human body almost to the state of ashes and at the same time, For some mysterious reason, this flame almost does not damage flammable things near a person. 

Cases of spontaneous human combustion have occurred throughout history. One of them took place in Italy in 1776.

The Spontaneous Combustion Of Monk Don Gio Maria Bertoli

In September 1776, a monk named Don Gio Maria Bertoli, who lived in a temple on Mount Volore in the Livizzano region, came to the small commune of Filetto for a fair. 

He spent the day visiting the fair, as well as traveling around the area doing various jobs and handling some small businesses. In the evening, he went to the house of his son-in-law, which was in the neighboring village of Fenil. 

He felt very tired and therefore immediately went to the room allocated to him. He said he would pray and then go to bed. But a few minutes after he disappeared into his room, noise and loud screams full of pain began to be heard from there. Family members immediately ran there and were frightened by what they saw:

“In less than a few minutes, an unusual noise was heard in the room, and the cries of the unfortunate man were especially distinguishable. Hearing the cries of the monk, they immediately went into the room and, entering there, his son-in-law found him sprawled on the paved floor and shrouded in a thin flame.

The flames began to fade as they approached him, and then finally disappeared altogether. They put him on the bed as soon as possible and gave him all the help that was at hand,” one of the reports of that time said.

The first oddity was that all eyewitnesses described the flame as something alive that moved and reacted to the appearance of people as if it were a rational being. 

When Bertoli was examined, it turned out that he was still alive, but covered with very severe burns on his face, arms, and neck. At the same time, it turned out that although the top of his shirt was badly burned, the flame did not in the least damage the thin handkerchief hidden in the shoulder area. 

Don Gio Maria Bertoli

It was also rather strange that, although his silk nightcap had been burned to the ground, his hair was not singed at all, not a single strand was damaged. Also, his pants and underwear were also intact. 

When Bertoli recovered a little from the shock and was able to speak, he said that while praying, he felt a “phantom blow” to his right hand, “like a blow from a club”, after which his upper body flared up with a mysterious flame.

Interestingly, there was almost no specific smell of burning in Bertoli’s room, there was not even a smell of smoke. And not a single piece of furniture was damaged by fire. In general, everything looked as if the source and target of the fire was only the upper half of the body of the monk. 

The only other oddity was that a small lamp with a wick full of oil turned out to be empty and the wick burned to the ground. Therefore, one of the first versions was that the monk somehow poured oil on himself and accidentally set it on fire. 

However, when Dr. Battaglia came and examined Bertoli’s burns, he found them to be extremely unusual for burns due to spilled oil. 

It turned out that the skin of the monk’s right arm, shoulder, and also, for some reason, the thigh of the monk was almost completely separated from the underlying muscles and hung freely in shreds, which Battaglia decided to cut off. Also, the doctor was very surprised that Bertoli’s right hand looked blackened and foul-smelling, as if from instantaneous gangrene. The doctor decided to amputate this arm.  

But this apparently did not help, as it was indicated that the lesion began to spread to other parts of the body. Bertoli himself suffered terribly from this, complained of a burning thirst, and twitched in terrible convulsions. His feces were filled with putrid contents and bile, and he was also emaciated by constant vomiting accompanied by fever and delirium.

On the fourth day of such torment, Bertoli died. It was noted that a few hours before his death, Bertoli’s entire body began to show clear signs of rotting alive, and immediately after death, the corpse began to decompose incredibly rapidly. 

“Shortly before his death, Mr. Battaglia was surprised to notice that the decay had gone so far that the body already exuded an unbearable smell, worms crawled from it onto the bed, and the nails on the left hand fell off,” the report stated. 

What do you think could be the reason behind this incident?

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