Spider Bite

By: Ashley Parker

Last week I participated in a photo shoot at a local cemetery for an affiliated organization. Sardonically, my photo scenes were labeled “Horror” as I was photographed sitting on a tombstone, caressing a granite angel and lying on an overgrown grave. I was completely terrified.

“Touch the grave! Hug it! Yeah, climb on it just like that,” coached the photographer and my giggling associates.

My mind fluctuated between taking a daring venture into the realm of the supernatural and the moral responsibility of engaging in an activity that was disrespectful and bordering on the illegal. However, to create a creepy ambiance, our executive board and photographer insisted that the setting for the flash shots stir up eerie visions and shocking thoughts Because I selected to journey into the frightening arena of horror, my actions came back to bite me, literally.

During the shoot, I suddenly felt a tingling sensation on my arm that I presumed was just an itch so I rubbed the irritation through my clothing and continued to pose and taunt the dead. The crawling tickle continued. As I was changing my clothes for the next scene, I discovered the truth behind that “small itch.” Underneath my dress and on a mass of swollen flesh were five oozing pimples. Bewildered, I quickly glanced back and forth and all around to discover the source of this repulsive intrusion. Unconsciously, I scratched the ugly malformation and a painful explosion erupted in my arm. With throbbing soreness and panic escalating, I questioned whether I had goaded evil spirits into retaliation. I was no longer the self confident model and was quickly descending into the blackness of terror. When my friends saw my distress, they quickly gathered round to lend their support and disavowed the presence of the occult. Nervously laughing, they said, “That’s a spider bite!” Attempting to convince themselves, they kept repeating, “Yep, that’s a spider bite!” Trembling with fear, I completely freaked out. Had the spiders assaulted my body as I lay on Mr. Morley’s grave or had they mysteriously infiltrated my being under the guidance of evil spirits? Not only are spiders paramount on my list of fears, I guiltily knew I was being paid back for being insolent to the dead. Swallowed up in terrifying misery, I immediately called my mother.

exxs“Mom, something weird has bitten me and I think something horrifying is happening to me.”

Even after Mom applied a cream to the bitten area, I still could not shake the unnerving sense of the mystic in my life. Restlessly sleeping, I tossed and turned and visualized spiders laying eggs inside me and eventually possessing me. I began to fantasize myself as a bizarre Spider Woman shrouded with clinging spiders like those pictured on the left.

Today, my arm looks like the figure below and the spider bites are diminishing. However, it is still early in the healing process, and the possibility of remaining spider eggs in my body and the potential for me evolving into Spider Woman still loom on my scary horizon.



5 thoughts on “Spider Bite

  1. Engaging post. My first thought is, what was the photo shoot for? I imagine that i would have the same nerves and fears were i trying to be fun and funny while in a graveyard. My hunch is that this incident was a coincidence. Nonetheless, coincidences can still stir our emotions and thoughts. Maybe the spider bite was just the trigger for your underlying discomfort and uneasiness about what you were doing and allowed your true feelings about the situation to emerge.

  2. Spiders and graveyards… Not the most pleasant things. I do agree with Grace that it was probably coincidence and that it just allowed you to come out about your real feelings about the situation. I know I have a tendency to assume if something goes wrong in getting ready or going to a place I don’t want to be, I just wasn’t meant to go. It certainly doesn’t make the story less creepy though. And messing around in graveyards creeps me out almost as bad as Ouija boards do. They might be harmless, but there’s also a chance that they aren’t and you’re inviting very unpleasant things to come out and play.

  3. Even though spider bites are pretty average things, the fact that you were in a graveyard is what added to the horror surrounding those bites. I think that is what made you so scared. Don’t get me wrong, I would have been freaking out about the bites as well, but I do believe that you doing a supernatural-like photoshoot added to your fear. It’s interesting the tricks our minds play on us using the different contexts of situations. I’m glad that the bites weren’t serious and seem to be healing well!

  4. I have many of the same thoughts as Katelyn. I think if I got a spider bite in the comfort of my own home I would be frightened but I would get it checked out and everything would be resolved. However, the setting of a graveyard makes your experience scary because it makes you think something more serious is happening. Also, I would probably have similar, strange and supernatural-like dreams due to worry. Lastly, the first picture is weirdly unsettling! Glad you are on the mend.

  5. I’m glad it looks like it is healing, I got to personally see it and i was very worried for you. Specially after the story you told me, I was kind of terrified. I honestly thought you could have had a serious infection! but anyway reading the story just made it a million times worse in my eyes, hope it gets better soon!

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