Woman lying in bed struck by lightning

Bethany Houghton says she was struck by lightning as she lay in her bed. She said it left a spiderweb-shaped mark on her leg. (June 18, 2014)
Bethany Houghton says she was struck by lightning as she lay in her bed. She said it left a spiderweb-shaped mark on her leg. (June 18, 2014)


EGELSTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Most people would expect to be safe from a storm in the comfort of their own bed, but a Muskegon County woman says she was struck by lightning as she lay in hers.

Around 3 a.m. Wednesday, Bethany Houghton was trying to sleep as a round of heavy storms moved through Egelston Township, east of Muskegon.

“I saw a couple of bigger hits and I saw the flash and heard the boom,” Houghton recalled. “I just felt this pain and this loud boom that woke me up and this light.”

In pain, Houghton ran upstairs to get her mother, who called 911.

“I was just saying, ‘Oh God, oh God,’ to myself as I tried to get upstairs just to see what was going on,” Houghton said.

Houghton said the strike left spiderweb-shaped mark on her right leg, as well as marks on her finger and thumb.

“I felt the pain here in my leg and then my thumb was just like tingling, so then I realized I had a mark there as well,” Houghton said.

Fire officials called the strike an anomaly. They say the lighting bolt likely passed into the home, into the breaker box located next to Houghton’s room in the basement, into her room and then into Houghton.

Paramedics were called, but Houghton’s vital signs were good and the tingling sensation had started to subside, so Houghton decided not to go to the hospital.

While the fire department says there wasn’t much that could have been done to prevent the strike, Houghton said she’s going to figure out a way to better ground the metal-framed futon she sleeps on and getting some carpet with a rubber back.

“They say lightening doesn’t strike twice, but you never know,” she said.

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