Just the whisper of their name can bring a squeal heard ‘round the world. It’s not just little girls who are affected this way. Grown men have also found themselves doing the quick-step and fighting that shiver snaking down their arm at the sight of this little, and sometimes not so little, arachnid.
Spiders are creatures that inspire fear and terror. The myths and beliefs about the spider are too numerous to count. It not only depends on when the spider is seen, but where the spider is and what it is doing at the time in order to know which superstition applies.
It is a widely held belief that if one sees a spider, especially in the house, they should not kill it. If you see a spider in the morning there will be a time of grief, at noon a time of anxiety, and a spider seen at night foretells financial loss.
In some cultures, the spider is seen as a protector. It is believed that a spider spun its web over the Baby Jesus in order to hide Him from Herod. If a spider is seen spinning its web in the morning, this means good luck in the form of income. If it is seen spinning in the afternoon, it signifies that the person who sees it will be going on a journey. A spider weaving a web in summer means good weather but that spider gets stepped on, expect rain.
A spider web over the front door means company and if one walks into a spider web they should expect to see a friend.
There are superstitions associated with nearly anything a spider does. A spider climbing up, down or running across its web is good luck. It is bad luck, however, to see him drop to the floor.
Look up to see a spider hanging overhead and there is a letter on the way. If he drops down and goes back up, good luck. If he drops down onto a person, that person is in line for a legacy from a friend. If a spider is seen sitting on one’s clothing that is a sign of good luck in the form of money but if it is running across one’s clothes, expect a new set of clothes.
Besides the myriad meanings behind spiders in the waking hours, there are myths and superstitions galore about what it means to see a spider while asleep. The person who dreams about a spider may be feeling trapped or caught up in a situation or relationship they cannot escape. It can also mean the dreamer is, or is soon to be, involved in some sort of dispute or litigation.
To dream of the spider web may signify the person is feeling like they are being pushed into some sort of unwelcome situation. A dream involving killing a spider denotes losing income or something else that may be precious.
There is just something about a spider that touches the human on a visceral level. Whether it be the silent approach and sudden appearance, the near weightlessness of its body as it scurries across one’s skin or just the idea of the creature sitting in a quiet, dark place spinning it’s web, waiting for the unsuspecting to walk into its trap.
Myth and superstition are born from fear and the unknown. Seeing a spider is, generally, a good omen. But many people are scared out of their mind by just the thought of the creature lurking near. For most, good omen or bad, they would rather the spider keep to the shadows and remain out of sight AND out of mind.