Some months ago, I did a little survey of my siblings' childhood fears, as well as my own. It was well received and generated some fun/terrifying memories. I hope for a good response from this entry, though likely not as happy.
In several polls, like this one, arachnophobia dominates the #1 spot on a list of most common phobias. People just don't like spiders. Wikipedia says about 50% of women and 10% of men have arachnophobia to a mild or worse degree.
I count myself among them. I hate spiders. They gross me out most of the time. At worst, I hate spider surprises, i.e. moments when you are surprised by a spider: one appears in a place you weren't expecting, you walk into a spiderweb, one drops from the ceiling on you...
Yes, these have all happened to me. The first two have happened to most people, but there was one time at KRCG (in Jeff City) when I was sitting in the control room during a show and a spider dropped from the ceiling onto my leg. I freaked! I brushed it off and stood up in an explosive movement, then stomped it into oblivion, effectively making it one with the carpet.
So yeah, I have arachnophobia. I'd say it's mild, as in I don't go into a panic attack when I encounter one. But I shiver and cringe and shudder. Especially at the movie Arachnophobia. That one gives me the heebie-jeebies like no other.
As I said, though, it really only applies when they catch me by surprise. If I see a garden spider weaving one of their beautiful webs, I have no problem walking up close and looking at it. I'm not within nose distance, mind you, but close enough. I don't mind looking up close at spiders in cages/tanks at the zoo. I've even held a tarantula in my hand (picture below is not my hand).
But what makes spiders so scary? Is it their eight legs? Hairy legs? The other-worldly way in which they walk? The idea of a poisonous spider (even though only about a dozen known spider species are known to have venom harmful to humans)? What makes spiders the thing of nightmares and macabre tales of terror?
What about you? Are you scared of spiders? How badly (scale of 1-10, with 1 being "I like to pet them" and 10 being "Kill them all before I see them")? And more importantly, why are you scared of spiders? What about them scare you specifically? Any bad experiences you want to share?
Like one time, I was laying on the floor watching TV and noticed a bit of movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked at my torso, and sure enough, there was a little spider on me. I did another one of those aforementioned explosive movements.
Okay, Happy Wednesday! May it be spider-free!