Today we present yet another plausible alternative to hauntings and possession. Spiders.
The tabloids just love creepy stories about spiders. So, there were plenty of links to the story about the woman who heard scratching sounds and thought she was possessed by evil spirits only to find out there was something alive in her ear canal.
After a hiking trip near Xiamen, in East China’s Fujian Province, Li Peng experienced discomfort in her ear. She had pain and heard scratching only she could perceive. Apparently, she was very worried. She didn’t immediately seek out medical attention, but went to pray. When she finally consulted an ear specialist, it’s reported he found the spider that was building a web in her ear canal. The spider was finally safely extracted.
So, we have a number of interesting claims in this story:
- Do spiders (or other arthropods – insects and the like) use the human ear to hide?
- She feared evil spirits over a natural explanation.
- Built a web in the ear? Why? Waiting for other visitors to drop by?
There are many cases of hoaxes and exaggerations about things living in human orifices. Creepy crawlies in ears are popular tales.
In late May 2015, Bruce Branit posted a video where he used his phone to film his ear to examine why it might be painful after a swim. A cute little set of eyes appeared peering from inside his ear hole. It was faked, CGI.
Shortly after that (about two weeks), there was another video of a man who posted a similar setup claiming he saw a black widow spider in his ear. This one also looks fake since he reacts IMMEDIATELY when the itsy bitsy spider appears. How did he see what was being filmed? It’s also not a black widow, too small and wrong shape. The setup sounds like just another hoax. But it was not officially revealed as one that I can find. I’m still going with fake because there is just no decent evidence for it being real.
No we don’t swallow spiders, though I’ve probably ingested some pesky gnats. But it is plausible that a small animal can mistake the ear canal for a good hiding place. We likely don’t hear of most of the incidents. Those we do hear of, are difficult to read, like this one about a beetle doing some damage. We also know that leeches might head up people’s noses. And, in this rare case, a botfly larva lived for a while in a child’s eye. That one showed up in the medical literature.
Holy Wrath of Khan!
Recall this story last July about a boy who had a centipede as an unwelcome guest. The invader didn’t get far but it was again a plausible scenario. The media however, will often play it up for literal yucks. It also makes for great horror fodder.
And… who knows what else has happened that we’d all rather not hear about. That’s enough of THAT. You can forgive me for NOT looking for more videos about bugs in ears on YouTube to confirm this, but I’d be surprised if anyone can actually catch the culprit on a cellphone camera.
As for the spider in the featured story building a web, spiders often will trail silk behind them. There’s really not a whole lot of space in the ear canal. From an original Chinese source, it sounds more like the spider lined the ear canal with silk. So, this is another bit of exaggeration to make the awful story sound more horrific.
Even more spine-chillingly, it had started to weave an intricate web there.
~ Daily Mail
Thank you for descriptive words, Daily Fail!
Subsequent sources will capitalize and repeat such stories without confirmation. It’s just too “GOOD” not to share.
People are understandably concerned that critters will crawl into their ear, especially during sleep. That this happens is confirmed by insect experts. [Note: spiders and centipedes are NOT insects but we’re generalizing to things with 6 or more legs.] It can be difficult to confirm many cases that the tabloids report. Several of such tales appear on Reddit, in other self-reported posts, or from foreign language sources, so they are best not taken at face value because they are unconfirmed.
To be clear, earwigs, spiders, roaches, moth or beetles, or any other critters would rather NOT be in your ear. They just weren’t quite smart enough to figure out it wasn’t the nice, safe dark and cozy place they thought it was.
So, now that we’re all itchy and freaked out a bit, evil spirits don’t sound so scary, eh? About that…
The link above was sourced out of CEN (Central European News). This source has been called out for fake stories by BuzzFeed. (CEN didn’t like that.) That is where the “possessed by evil spirits” quote originated. It’s not mentioned in the original Chinese sources except as a brush off showing the woman’s desperation “at one point”. So it seems more like an aside that CEN (or whomever) capitalized on to make this story even more sensational.
Don’t worry about it. Now, sleep tight.