Name That Trauma :: Reader Angela J. on a Spider Swallower


A friend turned me on to your site…it’s FABULOUS. So I wondered if you can help me. I have a fear of spiders, which I believe goes back to a scene in a movie I saw as a kid. It went something like this:

A woman is in her house, I think asleep or something, when she kind of becomes under the power of this voice. The voice tells her to go out to the barn, which she does. It tells her to lay up on this table, which she does. It tells her to open her mouth “wider.” “WIDER“, and when it’s wide enough, a tarantula drops into her mouth and we see the lump kind of go down into her throat. I have very little recollection of what occurred before or after that, but that one scene has, apparently, scarred me for life.

Any ideas on what this movie could’ve been?? I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, and I’m thinking this was definitely a ’70s era movie.

If you can help, that would be great, although I don’t know if I’ll have the guts to watch the movie, even if I do find out what it is. I thought if I watched BURNT OFFERINGS again as an adult, I’d get the image of the smiling undertaker out of my head, but NOPE, he’s JUST as scary now as he was then…

Thanks for listening!

UNK SEZ: Angela, you are speaking of one of my favorites, WES CRAVEN’s DEADLY BLESSING! This might not be one of Mr. CRAVEN‘s most successful outings, but with a cast that includes MAREN JENSEN, SHARON STONE, LISA HARTMAN, ERNEST BORGNINE, MICHAEL BERRYMAN and DOUGLAS BARR, as JOY BEHAR would say, “Who cares?” My older brother somehow snuck me into the theater to see this one way back in 1981 and it scared the hell out of me too! I’ll never forget the film’s crazy climax, which, as it turns out, was forced on CRAVEN by a studio who demanded a surprise ending no matter how little sense it made! DEADLY BLESSING is not currently available on DVD, but for now you can watch the whole thing on YouTube starting HERE!

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Angela J
Angela J (@angela-j)
12 years ago

You have no idea how impressed I am.  I’m humbled to be in the presence of such knowledge.

I’m going to go do a couple of shots of liquid courage to try to get up the nerve to watch this….

FatherOfTears (@fatheroftears)
12 years ago

Maren Jensen from the 1978 “Battlestar Galactica”!   Oh, so Sharon Stone’s basic instinct is to eat spiders?

Amanda By Night
Amanda By Night (@amanda-by-night)
12 years ago

I LOVE Deadly Blessing and have seen it many, many times! It’s so addictive in some kind of weird, unexplainable way… And yeah, Maren Jenen. What happened to her? So beautiful, I just loved her.

FatherOfTears (@fatheroftears)
12 years ago

According to Wikipedia, Maren came down with a bad case of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the early 80’s so she dropped out of showbiz.  When she recovered she didn’t return to either TV or movies.

cmcmcmcm (@cmcmcmcm)
11 years ago

Wow!  I have had a spider-dropping-in-the-mouth trauma since the I was a kid too!  I know I saw it on TV – but maybe I saw the commercial on TV.  Cause if the movie came out in 1981, by the time it made it to TV I would have been 14 or 15 – and that seems way to old for what I remember.  I did remember seeing a whole scene where a spider dropped into someone’s mouth though – same thing – they were laying on their back in a bed.  But, and I know kiddie memories aren’t the most reliable – I always remembered the scene being way more plain than what was in that scene in Deadly Blessing – like a very drab room without any decor whatsoever.  I wonder if there could be another TV show out there from the 70s with that same scene in it.  That would be too much!
Thanks to everyone at this amazing site though – your work is truly appreciated!  I actually have quite a few very sketchy kindertraumas that still need to be named and will post them all here as soon as I can!