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  • ramblingreader3

Spiders are the demons of the underworld.

Updated: Jun 30, 2021


I have personally fought my fear of spiders for the last twenty plus years. I did this by convincing myself that spiders are the demons of the underworld and are thereby banned form my living spaces. I know it sounds dramatic but it works for me so, whatever.


I can't name a time or place that made me scared of them. I don't remember suffering any trauma such as being woken by a tarantula on my face or being tied up and crawled upon (even though, those incidences are in my worst nightmares). My fear is the simple evolution of the spider, their creepy legs, size, fur, walk, it is literally sending shivers down my back as I write. I honestly believe that the most brave people in the world live in Australia. I watch YouTube like most of the human population and I have to say, I could not cope with the size of spider they get in their houses, nor the large lizards, or the snakes that come in through the toilet.


I am much braver when my children are near since I don't want to share my phobia with them, not that it matters. My youngest screams at the top of her lungs when she see's any crawlers of any kind in or around her. Try killing the smallest spider in the world while a six year old screams a blood curdling pitch that makes you jump every two seconds...not easy.

However, before children was a different story. While I was working on my bachelor's degree and working a part-time job, I managed to find a tiny two bedroom apartment close to both places. It wasn't great, but it was mine. I had three cats and was single, yeah I was single and no the irony isn't lost on me that I had more than one feline friend. Anyway, my apartment had a front and back door. The back door led to stairs out where the main door was always left open. This led to a large garden area that no one particularly cared about since most of my neighbour's were drug addicts. It wasn't what you would call high class, but it was a start for me.

One night I was sitting on my couch relaxing and watching t.v after an incredibly long week of work and school. It had been the first time I had sat down to enjoy my living room for some time when the, I'm serious here, the largest spider I have ever seen walked across the living room floor. It was evening, and I hadn't bothered to flip on a light as I stared at my tiny television. The light flickered from the t.v, cascading shadows along the floor. I sat there in mid-panic for a number of seconds before it all registered within my body. Suddenly, it all came together and I jumped up to stand on the arm of my couch (perched like a cat). I leaned over and smacked on the overhead light where I distinctly remember saying "OH HELL NO!" to myself and then begged my cat to eat it. I mean I really begged my cat to eat it…like "psst, get it, girl! Come on! Eat it!!" To my dismay, she looked at me, looked down at the massive spider, who literally bumped into her, startled, it stood completely still, while my cat looked back at me and I swear to this day conveyed to me that "yeah, it's a freaking spider, so what? Deal with it" and then left me alone in the room with the said freaking spider, later to be named George.

I promptly began doing the heeby-jeeby dance on the arm of my couch wondering what the hell I was going to do to save myself. I felt that it, aka, George, was going to rear up onto his back legs and charge me. This simple act would have sent me wildly over the edge of my current panic where I would have tossed the keys to my apartment at him and begin to beg him to take the place and spare my life.


After some steady breathing and slight rationalizing, and George, not moving a leg, I calmed down and came up with a plan. This is where it gets tricky, I could not touch the floor. If I touched the floor then I would have given him, George, a bridge to my face. He would have charged, climbed up my leg and paralyzed me for life. So, I began climbing the furniture to the half wall that joined the kitchen. The tricky part was to keep my eyes on the massive, deadly spider, as I crawled over all of my furniture to get to the counter.

After what seemed like an obscene amount of time, I finally reached the counter only to hit another obstacle, I had to take my eyes off him for a second to grab the largest plastic mixing bowl that I could find. At that moment I felt that the only thing keeping him still was my glare upon him. If I showed a moment of weakness he would, indeed, attack.


Now, you're probably wondering why I didn't just crush him with a shoe or smash him with a book...well, it's because I could not deal with the feel or sound of his crunching body. I felt that I would be able to feel it under a shoe or hear it with a book and both of these things turned my stomach. (I also have a paranoia of being sick, throwing up sick. It is the worst feeling and I cannot stand it). So, hence, bowl.

Sweat began to run down my back, my breathing was shallow, panicky, I looked away, then looked back, grateful that he was indeed in the same spot. I was terrified he was going to begin to move and I was going to have to burn the place down (good thing that back door is open). Luckily I reached the bowl, wildly with one hand while staring him down. Slowly I crawled all the way back to the couch so I could perch on the coffee table.

Now, this did leave me about three feet from my killer, but, I wouldn't dare get any closer since I would surely die in his grip. I slowly stood, reaching out, attempting to balance forward and tossed the bowl over him successfully trapping the bastard underneath!! You would think that after this simple act that I would feel safe, but you would be wrong!

I still couldn't bring myself to put my foot down on the floor. I was fully aware the beast was strong enough to toss the bowl off and come charging at me, so I grabbed one of the largest textbooks I had off the coffee table, luckily I had been doing my homework earlier, and had a few handy. I slowly placed my massive geography textbook on top of the bowl. Now that I was semi-confident I could get down, I bolted to my spare bedroom and grabbed the packing tape. Running back I spent about twenty-five minutes taping the bowl to the floor in the most efficient way I could, in a criss-cross pattern. The textbook remained and yes, I had to explain to a teacher why I did not have it, but I was confident in my decision.

Every day on the walk home, for a little over a week, I would give myself a pep talk, "Okay, today is the day. You are going to move George into the garden out back. Just scoop him up with a piece of cardboard under the bowl and place him outside, in the garden, simple!"

Every day I would feel confident that this was going to happen. Every day I'd get home and plaster myself to the wall as I walked around the bowl…every bloody day for a little over a week.

I could not bring myself to go near the contaminated scene other than to add another book to the top of it. I was positive for all that time, he was slowly chewing through the bowl to come and kill me. I couldn't even sit in that room and instead resorted to doing my homework in bed with the door closed and a towel covering the gap at the bottom of the door. Yes, I know it was excessive, maybe.

Finally, a friend popped over one afternoon. I made coffee in the kitchen while we chatted away. As he sat down he glanced into my living room. Taking in the scene. On the floor lies a white plastic bowl secured to the floor with an obscene amount of packing tape with approximately eight heavy textbooks.

"Hey, um, Shaun, why do you have a bowl taped to the floor with books on it?" He asked beginning to get up and go analyze the structure.

"Well, that's George and I'm fairly certain he wants to kill me," I say, fully aware at how crazy I sound but I don't care because it's totally true.

"So, it's a…" He thinks about this for a moment pondering his surroundings and looking at me, "spider?" He says with a slight smile in my direction.

"Um, it is a GIGANTIC spider," I say watching him cautiously as he gets closer to the scene and I prepare to jump onto the counter.

Obviously, my friend doesn't believe me as he begins to take down the tower of books precariously balancing on George's bowl.

"What are you doing," I ask nervously as I slowly climb onto the half wall that divides the kitchen and living room.

"George needs to live outside. I'm sure he's not ‘that' big. We live on Vancouver Island! They don't get ‘that' big out here." He says it with the drawl on the ‘that'.

I say "Alright but I'm staying at your house if he gets loose in here!" I climb up onto the counter as my friend looks at me, his eyebrows raised. I know he thinks I'm ridiculous but I don't care at this point, I am far more concerned for both of our lives.

I assure him, "I will not be able to save you if he attacks you and drags you out the back door." I look over at him as he begins to peel back the week old tape. My heart begins to quicken as the bowl is lifted slightly with each peel back of the tape. I begin to sweat, attempting to calm myself since there is a witness to my phobia. My friend slowly slides the cardboard under the bowl. I peer around the corner, shaking slightly, saying a good-bye to my beloved apartment. Suddenly the bowl lifts up just enough to reveal to my friend what horror lies inside. He smacks the bowl back down onto the cardboard lifts it all up in one quick motion and goes running out the back door tossing everything as far as he can from the top of the stairs into the bushes.


He walks back into the apartment and closes the door behind him breathing heavily. "Okay, well that thing was massive and probably a bit angry to have been stuck in the bowl for so long" He begins to laugh nervously.

"It was like a tarantula, wasn't it?" I look over at him with my eyebrows raised.

My friend looks over at me in mock disappointment.

"Fine! Large wolf spider, still un-killable!” I say with disdain as we settle in to finish our coffee. I sigh with relief as I look at my apartment. I feel free again. I stand up and walk into the bathroom, grabbing a towel and walk, calming through the apartment rolling it tightly together and then shove it under the large gap under the back door. All I can think about for a moment is if one of George's friends are now trapped inside. I push the thought aside and continue to fortify my apartment. When I am satisfied with my makeshift seal on the back door I turn back to my friend and head into the kitchen.

"I think that will help," He says, validating my efforts to keep the nasty eight legged demons out.

"I also believe that you have made a statement by holding George hostage taped to your floor for so long. You made it clear to any of the others that they are not welcome here." We both laugh as I pour us another coffee.


I want to say here that I have become more brazen after having three kids and running a household, unfortunately, this incident wasn't the last time I was gripped by fear from a spider. Another, slightly smaller one with hair, trapped me in the bottom of my three level split for about twenty minutes as I panicked on what to do. Of course, I didn't want to freak my kids out so I just kept telling them that everything was fine as I panicked with pure uncertainty. I vacuumed that one up, eventually, and then had to leave the vacuum on for an extended period of time to ensure its great demise. When I think back on these events in my life I cannot help but shake my head. I feel on some level I should be past this fear. I should be able to let go of any idea that they will indeed kill me. Alas, the feeling of faithful security when an eight-legged horrid creature makes its presence known continues to elude me. I continue to believe they are indeed out to kill me. They will pin me with my fear and begin to crawl over my body as I fight to move my body but know I can't. The long-legged bastards will continue to haunt me as they conspire to take over the world and kill us all.

"Such evil vile creatures" she whispers to herself shivering silently as she scans the walls and floor of her office.





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