Fear of creepy-crawlies… in the middle of the night…

I read an amusing blog about arachnophobia – not that it is amusing to people who are afraid of spiders, it is a horrible phobia, and can be really inconvenient and disruptive to ordinary life. The blog I read, which I will share below, is about someone who had to rush round to remove a spider from a friend’s student digs (it was in the USA so i guess they aren’t called ‘digs’!) it reminded me of a true story, something which happened to me.

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I used to live at the top of a very old Victorian house in Manchester, in what was amusingly called a ‘flat’. In fact it was a bedsit – two beds, a table, two chairs, a cupboard and a Baby Belling – do they still make them? It was described as a table top mini-oven with two hot plates/electric rings – in fact I’m not even sure ours had the oven, it may just have been the two rings to cook on.

I digress… It was the middle of a winter’s night, my room-mate and I were shivering under our paltry blankets as the condensation froze on the inside of our windows, when there was a knock on our door. A voice quietly called our names – it was our friend, who I will call Zena. In the house we lived in there were a number of rented rooms and shared bathrooms and lavatories. The light switch was on a timer so after about twenty or thirty seconds it went out.

I opened the door for Zena who stumbled in shaking, I thought from cold but it became apparent it was fear. She lived a couple of miles from us in a shared house. The problem was, we discovered, that there was a spider in her bath – the bath in a bathroom separate from her room (no en-suite in those days) the bathroom on a different floor from hers.

I guess my flatmate was less sympathetic, but anyway, it ended up with me getting dressed and going out, down the several flights of stairs, across the couple of miles and into the house where Zena lived. To be sure it was a pretty big black spider… but I think if I’d been in my own room on a different floor of the house I could have lasted until morning… But such was Zena’s fear, that she couldn’t. She was amazingly brave in other ways, risky almost, but she had certain fears which overcame her.

I got rid of the spider, picking it up with a flannel or a towel (no soft toilet tissue in those days) and throwing it out of the window. Thinking back now, I think Zena then walked me back to my flat through the deserted Manchester streets…

Here is a link to Tony’s amusing story – I recommend you have a look at other stories he’s written too!:



  1. lynnee8

    My daughter is terrified of spiders, but when she was sharing flats, or digs at uni, it wasn’t a problem.Now she calls people to go to rescue her, usually from a ‘monster’ in the bath!! I quite like them (British and non-poisonous!)

    Liked by 1 person

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