The Spider from Hell

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I usually reserve personal stories for my Weekly Wrap-Up posts, filling the other days with helpful tips, homeschool encouragement, or crazy things people say about homeschooling, but, y’all, this story deserves its own post. I suspect that it’s going to live in family folklore for generations.

Thursday night, Brian and I were lying in bed watching TV when I heard some sort of commotion downstairs. Since my kids are 15, 16, and 21, and there were no cries of pain, I didn’t investigate. Josh and Megan like to randomly rearrange their rooms, so I thought maybe someone had dropped something.

A few minutes later, Josh flung open the door to our room and insisted the Brian needed to come downstairs because “There’s a spider in the bathtub and it’s freaking huge! It’s as big as my hand!”

(For the record, I hate the word “freaking” and generally discourage its use, but that was a direct quote, so there you go.)

Brian went to investigate. I stayed in bed because I had a cat, who is not normally particularly affectionate, lying beside me wanting to be petted and not because I have a lifelong fear of spiders and no desire to see one the size of a 16-year-old boy’s hand in my house. Yeah, we’ll go with that.

Since the rest of the story is hearsay as related to me by the eyewitnesses, I’ll backtrack to the aforementioned commotion.

Megan had just gotten into the shower. The shower curtain was bunched up in one spot, so she moved it with her foot. That’s when the Spider from Hell, as we’ve chosen to dub him, crawled out from under the curtain into the tub with her.

I’m really surprised that the shower curtain remained intact. Had it been me, it would have been ripped from the wall, rod and all, as I bolted from the shower, likely injuring myself and traumatizing my children for life as I ran naked down the hall and possibly even out the front door.

Megan did say she hurt herself, but she did manage to grab a towel as she made her way to the nearest possible source of rescue, her brother. He took one look at the gargantuan spider, and that pretty much brings you up to speed with everything that occurred before the flinging open of our door.

I am now going to show you the one and only picture that we got of the spider, one that Megan snapped on her phone later after Brian and Josh were both on Mission: Kill the Spider from Hell. I added a couple of arrows and notes so that you can get an accurate idea of the size of this spider since there was nothing around it to put it into perspective.

People with a fear of spiders may wish to stop reading at this point.


Brian and Josh, who both confirmed that the spider was as big as their hands, decided that it was too big to squash. That would have been messy, and they ran the risk of the spider surviving and going into attack mode. They decided to try to torch it with a can of Axe spray and a lighter. (They may have watched one too many episodes of Myth Busters.)

Torching did not work. That only seemed to anger the beast. So, Brian decided to try to drown it. Nope, it just stood up on its excessively creepy legs out of the water.

Brian, who is obviously much braver than I, decided to use the cat litter scoop to quickly move the creature, whose relatives must surely have been the inspiration for the movie Arachnophobia (I’m only guessing about that. People with arachnophobia do not to see movies titled Arachnophobia) from the tub to the toilet so he could flush it.

I never, ever would have tried it because our cat litter scoop does not have the 10-foot handle that would be necessary for me to attempt such a move. He did it, though, and was successful.

Of course, we now have the problem that no one wants to use that toilet, lest the spider crawl back up through the pipes to bite some unsuspecting individual on the behind. Don’t laugh! Didn’t you ever see that ‘70’s TV movie about the alligator that was flushed down the toilet?

There is also the fact that everyone in the house is still a little leery about using that bathroom in case the spider was a mama spider or part of a couple. You would have laughed if you could have seen how cautiously I moved around in there on Saturday when I was cleaning up a bit. {shudder}

I know we’ll be talking about this for years because I still talk about a similar incident involving a gigantic spider (we think both were wolf spiders) when Brianna was an infant. It was on the same couch I was sitting on. I’m still slightly traumatized.

These kinds of things are always funny later, but so not at the time.

Have you ever survived a traumatizing spider-related incident?

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  1. Oh my gosh, I’m laughing so hard, I’m crying! My mom had a wolf spider on her bathroom floor about two months ago. I’m not too scared of spiders- if it would’ve been a mouse, I would’ve been screaming like a baby- so I took a picture of it to send to my son, the spider expert, to see what kind it was. Afterward, my mom calmly swept it out the back door. I’m so used to them now because my son is out and about everyday in search of spiders and snakes to bring home, so, generally, I think they’re cool to look at. If it had been in the tub with me, though, that would’ve been a different story…

    And I hate that word, too! I call it the “f-r” word.

    I’m showing this post to my son. He’s going to be jealous he wasn’t there lol.

  2. I swear I’m laughing WITH you and not at you! That thing looks just like the beasts that would haunt my bathroom when we lived in Okinawa, Japan. It seems like every time my husband would leave, I would find one at 3am sitting in front of the commode. I managed to subdue one with entire can of hairspray once. The rest were smashed to bits with the nearest boot. I also had a banana spider fly in my face on a windy night while walking the dog. ((((Shiver)))) I am still traumatized…..

    1. Oh, my goodness! You’re a braver woman than I am. If I’d come across that thing while my husband was gone, I think I’d have had to go stay with my sister until he got back and did a thorough search and destroy mission.

  3. I literally laughed out loud on this one! I would have torn the shower curtain down too! Spiders and snakes send me running! Literally. Last time I came in close contact with a snake I did my own little version of a snake-dance (running in circles and then tried to climb my hubby’s back when we saw a HUGE copperhead while we were walking in the woods.) I’ve made some progress though… we had one under our portico a couple of years ago. This mama bear killed it herself with a shovel! (only because my hubby was not home). Thanks for the giggle this morning!! Yes, it deserved its very own post!!

    1. I confess that I’m much less creeped out by snakes. I had two corn snakes as pets for a few years. They’re relatively docile and super-easy to care for. Back when I was running regularly, I was training for a half-marathon, running on a paved road in a wooded area. I don’t run with my glasses on, so I had to do some fancy footwork to avoid a copperhead (that, I swear, was coiled to strike) that I thought was a stick in the road until I was right up on it. That would have been pretty scary had I had time to think of being scared.

  4. We have had a couple of wolf spiders and centipedes in our home and they have always been in the master bathtub. My husband seems to think that they come in through the pipes, as he is very liberal in spraying for bugs around the interior and exterior of the house.

    I have fortunately never been in the shower when one of the spiders has been discovered, though I spotted one when I was full-term with my first child and about to take a shower. I screamed and my husband came running thinking there was a baby on the way. Imagine his disappointment when it was only a spider (the baby came a couple of weeks later).

  5. Ick! I’m shuddering just thinking about your creepy crawler. A trick my mom taught me with bathtub spiders (not sure how it would work on that huge thing) is to scald them. If it was too big for her to turn on straight hot water in the tub she would get a huge pot full of the hottest water from the kitchen tap (I even saw her put some water on the stove to make it extra hot once) and pour it over them.

    1. I can’t even tell you how much that makes me shudder just thinking about it – unless they make Ziploc containers with 10-foot handles. I’ll pass the tip along to my husband, though, in case he’s game – and pray that we never, ever need to find out.

  6. Actually laughed out loud. Yeah, I can relate. Spider stories? I could write a book! Possibly the funniest one was when my husband called me into the rather small laundry room to see a spider. I was pregnant and didn’t want to move, and I HATE spiders, but for aome reason I went into the small laundry room to see the spider. My husband was standing there holding an air conditioner filter saying “look at him!” and I couldn’t see anything. (I suppose I was looking for something spider sized) so I was angry that I had waddled my big uncomfortable pregnant self all the way over there for nothing, and more upset that he had lost a spider instead of just killing it, when I suddenly saw it. The reason I had initially missed it was that I assumed it was the ahadow of my husband’s big hand. It was a huge grayish brown “wolf” spider (we were new to this area and had never seen anything like it) So, as soon as I saw it I teleported into the hallway while simultaneously peeing, vomitting and crying. After the screams subsided and the creature was dead, I had to heal for a day from the head to toe throbbing pain which I recieved for jump flying while pregnant.

    1. I’m sorry. I must be very insensitive, but that made me laugh. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s one of those things that are funny later or when they happen to someone else.

  7. My daughter who is 14 woke us up screaming bloody murder, she was actually outside (it was 2-3 am) she was stripping and sobbing and when we could get her to tell us what happened we learned that a spider egg had hatched above her bed and ALL the little baby spiders landed on her, her bed, her pillow. When we went to her room her bed was literally crawling with spiders, her sisters (whom she shares a room with) also now awake were freaked out. We had to have the room fumigated and the mattresses cleaned. She still has nightmares. We all do.

    1. Nope! No! No way! You would never be able to convince me to set foot in the bedroom again – and I’d probably never sleep without having night terrors. I can’t even imagine how horrifying that was!

  8. I know I just said I’m not normally squeamish about bugs, but there was one time…
    I had just married my husband and moved all my stuff from the desert down to his apartment in town. There were boxes everywhere, furniture jammed in and no clear walking path anywhere. So one night my husband was working very late, he’s a musician, and I was home with my daughter who was sleeping in her room. I was sitting on the couch watching late night tv when I saw something crawling along the floor. I bent over to take a closer look and discovered it was a centipede! Holy cow those things CREEP me out! It continued crawling until it went UNDER the love seat I was sitting on! I couldn’t move, thinking it was going to get me if I got off the love seat, but then I was terrified that it was going to come up under the cushions and get me. I was still sitting scrunched up on the arm of the love seat when my husband came home hours later.

  9. O M G! Time to remodel the bathroom! With professionals! I’m all for do it yourself projects, but in the case of a spider from hell it’d be time to call in a bathroom remodeling team and exterminators! That spider was HUGE! I’d never be able to use that toilet or that shower again! LOL

    1. Yes, it’s one of those things that’s funny later or when it happens to someone else – you know, like your poor, unsuspecting kid. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I myself am absolutely terrified of spiders and your description of what you would have done if that had been you is exactly what would have happened if it had been me (or my 4 yr old son, who is also terrified of them). My oldest (18 yr old) probably would have grabbed a shovel or something of that nature. Once I awoke from my heart attack, I’d have the hubs deal with the monster. Thankfully is fear is snakes, which I love so we trade off dealing with offending critters.
    2 years ago we dealt with earwigs in our house. This year, somehow, crickets have decided to get in and keep us up at night…ugh!

  11. I laughed so hard, but only because it reminded me of the night I took my dog out and ran into this enormous spider web. The spider landed with a “clack” on the concrete–a giant garden spider. I would like to believe I learned some pretty cool “kung fu” moves that night. I remember screaming and believing that the spider web was about to choke the life out of me. I promise it seemed to tighten around me as I fought it.

    I will have to agree with your son and husband–That was a HUGE spider. I believe it is correctly deemed “the spider from hell”. I hope you never find another one! Happy homeschooling!


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