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BellaOnline's Urban Legends Editor

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Spiders and Toilet Seats

Guest Author - Kristen Baker

As someone who is not a fan of any type of spider, I have to admit that this email caught my attention.


Don't forget to look !!!

This is really scary ...

According to an article by Dr. Beverly Clark, in the Journal of the United Medical Association (JUMA), the mystery behind a recent spate of deaths has been solved.

If you haven't already heard about it in the news, here is what happened.

3 women in Chicago, turned up at hospitals over a 5 day period, all with the same symptoms. Fever, chills, and vomiting, followed by muscular collapse, paralysis, and finally, death. There were no outward signs of trauma. Autopsy results showed toxicity in the blood. These women did not know each other, and seemed to have nothing in common. It was discovered, however, that they had all visited the same restaurant (Big Chappies, at Blare Airport), within days of their deaths.

The health department descended on the restaurant, shutting it down. The food, water, and air conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no avail. The big break came when a waitress at the restaurant was rushed to the hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on vacation, and had only went to the restaurant to pick up her check. She did not eat or drink while she was there, but had used the restroom. That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out to the restaurant, went into the restroom, and lifted the toilet seat. Under the seat, out of normal view, was small spider.

The spider was captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the South American Blush Spider (arachnius gluteus), so named because of its reddened flesh color. This spider's venom is extremely toxic, but can take several days to take effect. They live in cold, dark, damp climates, and toilet rims provide just the right atmosphere. Several days later a lawyer from Los Angeles showed up at a hospital emergency room. Before his death, he told the doctor, that he had been away on business, had taken a flight from New York, changing planes in Chicago, before returning home. He did not visit Big Chappies while there. He did, as did all of the other victims, have what was determined to be a puncture wound, on his right buttock. Investigators discovered that the flight he was on had originated in South America. The Civilian Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered an immediate inspection of the toilets of all flights from South America, and discovered the Blush spider's nests on 4 different planes! It is now beleived that these spiders can be anywhere in the country.

So please, before you use a public toilet, lift the seat to check for spiders.

It can save your life!

And please pass this on to everyone you care about.


This email is false. It is believed to have first appeared in 1999. It was resurrected and altered and was back in circulation 2002 and again in 2003.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Kristen Baker. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kristen Baker. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Mary Beth Crabb for details.

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