The fictional story was made soon after into a movie, but is this phenomena just a theme in popular fiction, or does it have a basis in reality?
A Rare Ability?
But what about Pyrokinesis?
The ability to "speed up the naturally occurring vibrations of atoms in matter to alter temperature, possibly to the point of ignition if combustible by the power of thought or will" is one of many forms of Psychokinesis that has been observed and studied by parapsycholgists and scientists for the last 100-150 years.
It is a rare ability, with very few cases reported.
However, it is now thought that Underwood would hide a piece of phosphorus in his mouth and, upon spitting it on said handkerchief, would use the heat from his breath and the heat from rubbing his hands together to ignite the phosphorus, creating the illusion of fire starting.
The case was so celebrated that even in 1974 musician Brian Eno released a song about Underwood entitled "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch!"
The Human Torch, a comic book character in Marvel Comics, not only possesses said power but is made entirely of fire, and TV series such as The X-Files, Charmed and Fringe have had characters who have had the ability, sometimes used for evil purposes.
The subject is popular in fiction, however, it is still regarded as a rare form of Psychokinesis that has not been seen in most cases of psychokinetic activity and only speculated about.
The Power to Control Fire
In decades gone it was believed that psychokinesis and its many variants were the work of spirits, angels, demons or other supernatural beings - could this still be the case?
Fires igniting and extinguishing themselves were apparent in the famous Enfield poltergiest case of the late 1970's. (I'll be writing about the 'Enfield Poltergeist' soon ~Ash)
Is there an external supernatural cause/s for said phenomena?
Or are we all capable of different kinds of psychokinesis, including the power to control Fire?
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013