Jorōgumo (絡新婦)

To anyone who hates spiders or has a phobia, you won’t ever look at them the same after this!

Jorōgumo means entangling bride or whore spider and is exactly as advertised; a shape-shifting spider who often takes the form of a beautiful young woman to lead handsome Jorogumo 1men to their death.  Known in English as golden orb-weaver, this spider lives its life as ordinary until it reaches the young age of 400.  At this point, the Jorōgumo is gifted its magical powers and can grow up to the size of a cow.

As the process goes, a young, handsome man is walking through a wooded area and comes across a stunning woman.  He is either entranced by her exceptional biwa playing to the point where he notices nothing else or he is invited back to the woman’s house to hear her biwa playing.  The man will then be encased by strong silk threads so he cannot escape and be eaten alive.  Should the Jorōgumo feel like playing with her food, she possesses a strong venom that slowly weakens the body and she can watch as her prey dies in slow, torturous agony.

Jorōgumo can also control other spiders to an extent and there are accounts of fire-breathing spiders being sent to the houses of those who discover her secret or oppose her.  These small spiders will slip in unnoticed and burn down those houses before returning to their Mistress.  Because of this, she could continue undiscovered for years as the husks of her kills build up in her home.

So……anyone else suddenly develop a healthy wariness of spiders?

~ Jordan

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