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SYFY WIRE Scary Stories to tell in the dark

Scary (real) story to tell in the dark: A venomous spider was found crawling in a woman’s ear

By Elizabeth Rayne
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

You know that scene in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark where a girl is horrified to find out a spider laid its eggs in her face? Sometimes life is scarier than fiction.

At least the arachnid in Scary Stories wasn’t nearly as venomous as the brown recluse spider that crawled into an unsuspecting Kansas City woman’s ear. Susie Torres was recently the main character in a very real horror story, which ended with a shock in the emergency room when she found out that creeping feeling in her ear was definitely not what she thought it was.

This is proof that some earaches are alive. According to a report by local NBC affiliate KSHB, Torres woke up hearing strange sounds in her left ear, which she passed off as smushing and water as she drove to the nearby Clay Platte Family Medical Clinic to have it checked out. When the medical assistant went in for a closeup, she suspected that whatever was in Torres’ ear (literally) had more legs than that. You know something is definitely not right when you’re in the ER and someone tells you they need to run out and get a couple more people for a second opinion.

How Torres didn't panic when the assistant suggested she might have had an insect in there is unreal, but it helps when you don’t know exactly what is crawling in your ear — yet.

"She came back in and told me it was a spider," Torres said. "They had a few tools and worked their magic and got it out."

While that may sound creepy enough, Torres escaped something horrifying and potentially fatal. Doctors later revealed that a brown recluse spider had been hanging out in her ear. If this mini-monster had bitten her, its potent hemotoxic venom might have caused anything from itching and muscle pain to abnormal sweating, headaches, difficulty breathing, high blood pressure, nausea, and fever. Sometimes a bite from this species can lead to tissue necrosis and even kill a human.

"I never thought they would crawl in your ear or any part of your body," Torres said of the spider.

The CDC recommends you should keep your cool if you get bitten by one of these creatures. If you can’t make it to the ER right away, wash the area with soap and water (which would have been impossible for Torres if she had suffered a bite) and put a damp cloth or ice pack on it to keep swelling down, since brown recluse venom can result in a nasty bruise. Of course, the sooner you can get to the ER, the better.

So where did the spider emerge from? That remains a mystery, but after a brush with terror, it doesn’t stop Torres from plugging her ears at night.