Spiders: They are not an irrational fear


Illustration by Ali Beatty

A freaky-looking spider emerging from its web, ready to attack .

Hannah Sales, Staff Reporter

There are so many different types of bugs in this world, from ladybugs to praying mantis to butterflies. 

Then, there is the SPIDER. Ever since I was young, I’ve hated spiders. It does not matter if they are as big as a quarter or as small as a pinhead. I have had a few run-ins with spiders that have definitely progressed my fear of them. The most recent encounter was:

August 24, I was driving to my friend’s house. While I was driving down I-55, the Stevenson expressway, I was checking my blind spot. I expected to see a car, truck or motorcycle, but no. I turn around and see this big hairy, terrifying creature dangling from its precarious spindling web. What was this creature you may ask? It was a spider… but not just any spider, it was a big orange spider. I started to shake and freak out, but I still had 10 minutes left in my drive until I could do something about this spider.  

When I finally reached my friend’s house, after the longest and most fearful 10 minutes of my life, I had a chance to take a closer look at the beast. I noticed that the spider was the size of a dime. Not only was he big, but he was bright orange. When my friend came outside to see me, I made her take this disgusting creature out of my car.

She said I made a big deal out of nothing, that spider wasn’t even that big, but in my eyes it was HUGE! I thought it was going to eat me for lunch.

I was obsessed with this creepy-crawly thing. I had to look up the picture of this spider out of curiosity. I found out it is called a pumpkin spider, mostly because of its orange color. Looking at pictures of the spider that was in my car made me itch and feel uncomfortable. I even feel this way when I see a spider in TV shows and movies. 

Some spiders are portrayed as cute but this is not the case for me. They are ugly and hairy. I’ve noticed that spiders like to have an unusual number of body parts. Take the eyes, for example: they have four of them. Don’t even get me started on legs, they have eight. As I said, spiders look creepy. But they aren’t just creepy, they are also dangerous. Some spiders are poisonous and their bite could kill you. Have you seen the webs upon webs in Australia? I would not be caught dead there during spider season. There is not one inch of space that does not have spider webs on it. Spiders are so messy. 

This is not just a fear, it is a problem. I have had a few instances where my so-called friends have taken advantage of my fear and used it for their comical gain. For example, my friend had called me over to look at something. I had walked over to where she was and she shined a flashlight on a big spider. They think it’s funny, all the while I’m having panic attacks. 

While writing this opinion piece I was talking to my mom about spiders and she had the desire to itch, she then started convulsing. So, see? It is NOT an irrational fear.