True Spider Stories

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula
Photo by snakecollector

In researching this Halloween BeWeave It, we found a loom-sized void of textile-related stories in the horror genre. So instead of scary tales of human weavers, this BeWeave It is going to focus on scary tales of some not-human weavers: spiders. First, a disclaimer for all you arachnid affianados. We here at BeWeave It Headquarters know that spiders are, for the most part, completely harmless and quite helpful. We love spiders, especially tarantulas, and have read Charlotte's Web at least ten times. That said, the stories below still made us shiver with primordial fright.

This past year the town of Wagga Wagga, South Wales, Australia was evacuated during a flood. While they were gone, thousands of spiders (which were also fleeing the rising waters) took over the town, covering it in a blanket of webs. Take a look here if you dare. (Cue scary sound effects: "Mwaa-hah-haaaah . . .") Fortunately, these tiny spiders, known locally as sheet weavers and money spiders, are harmless and even considered good luck. 


Another scary spider story from Australia (which appears to have an abundance of terrifying spider-related incidents) involves the golden orb spider, which you may remember from this BeWeave It. Earlier this year, Ant Hadleigh of Cairns discovered a huge golden orb spider eating a snake in his backyard! Rather than run away and move house as we would have, Ant calmy took video and snapped pictures here


If you think the golden orb spider is big, the Goliath birdeater tarantula (shown above) puts it to shame. These arachnids, native to South American rain forests, have a leg span of up to 12 inches and can weigh over 6 ounces, making them the largest (by mass) spiders in the world. Their fangs alone can be over an inch long! Fortunately the Goliath birdeater, like most tarantulas, is harmless unless threatened. Despite their name, they rarely eat birds; however, some of the larger spiders have been known to eat lizards, bats, and, yes, even snakes. 


If all this hasn't put you sufficiently in the Halloween mood and you need more spidery fun, we recommend this 1990s classic for your Halloween night viewing.

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