Appalachia Folklore

Spider Webs -They’re Everywhere!


I’ve never seen the like of spider webs as I have this year. Seems like every step I make inside or outside I run into a spider web. I walk outside in the morning: spider web; walk in the garden to gather veggies: spider web; walk in the chicken coop to feed them: spider web; go out on the porch: spider web; walk in the office at work in the morning: spider web. They are everywhere!

I’m wondering if the amount of spider webs is foretelling a cold snowy winter…but I’ve never heard that folklore before.

Here is some spider folklore I have heard:

Spider webs were used to stop bleeding back in the day, and are still used by folks when there’s nothing else handy. I once read spiders were being used to ward off fevers as early as 1681-you can read about it here.

This time of the year writing spiders are busy weaving their webs on all the eaves of our house. An old wives tales says the person’s name the spider ‘writes’ will soon die. Another one advises you should never speak someone’s name near a writing spider because you might give them the idea for their next web and hasten the person’s passing.

Here’s some more folklore about spiders:

  • If you wish to thrive leave spiders alive
  • If you get too close to a spider-and it counts your teeth-you’ll die (seems whoever came up with this one was really afraid of spiders)
  • If you see a spider on your clothes it means good luck (maybe I shouldn’t have run from all those spiders as a kid)
  • You should go around a spider’s web because if you tear it down you’ll for sure have bad luck (well I’m in for a string of bad luck this year!)
  • Eat a wadded up spider web to relieve asthma
  • Stuff a spider web down into a cavity to ease a tooth ache

If the winter turns out to be especially bad, I’m going to start my own folklore: the more spider webs you run into in August and September the worse winter you’ll have.


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  • Reply
    September 10, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I don’t know that there are more than usual for this time of year, but they sure as heck are everywhere and just this morning I swore out loud when I walked into a spiderweb in the barn AGAIN. I hate that feeling in my hair, or on my face and ESPECIALLY when a strand gets caught in my eyelashes and I can’t seem to get it off. I have to remind myself how amazing and wonderful spiders are.
    I have to remind myself a LOT.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    September 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    I don’t have spiders in my house. But I do have Geckos. If you live in Hawaii, you get accustomed to the little lizards on the walls or on the ceiling. They are voracious. I seldom see a bug of any kind. Now if a centipede gets in the house, I’ll be outside.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    I never seen this many Spider Webs this year, must be all the rain. …Ken

  • Reply
    September 7, 2018 at 11:42 am

    As like the rest of you, I to have seen and ran into lots and lots of spider webs. I go out every morning to feed, and walk right into a big web. I tear it down but its right there the next morning. I was mowing the other day and a brown spider got on my hand and bit me. I felt it to. I dont like them but I’m not scared of them.
    Thanks Tipper. God Bless!

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    September 7, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I ran into a spider’s web the other morning and did a one hour Tai Chi routine in about five seconds.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Seems like somebody wrote a song called “Spider Web Canyon”. Any idea who that was?

  • Reply
    Larry Proffitt
    September 7, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Spider Webs , AND Spiders to go with them. A big black one ran in the house as Norma opened the door yesterday. You would have thought she had seen a rattler as big as a roll of bologna . Caught him on my sticky traps last night near the washer.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    September 7, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Has Wilbur been lost? I think Charlotte has gotten all her friends together to write Wilburs name in hopes of a farmer finding him….You do remember the novel …”Charlotte’s Web”….loved it then, love it now….the movie too!

    We started spraying back in late July…hoping to ward off the spiders that somehow find their way into our house every late summer and fall…I let them live outside…but have already led two large wolf spiders to their “eternal home” in the last week…They must have squeezed thru and around an open window or the dryer vent….

    Thanks Tipper,
    By the way….If you want to see a whole bunch of spiders…(can’t remember what a bunch of spiders are called!) yes, there is a name for them…I think Murder would be more appropriate than for crows…however…If you want to see a lot of those tunnel spiders….go to your nearest large Western North Carolina boxwood early in the morning….they are usually covered with them….When I was a child, I used to get up, and go out early in the morning to look at my Aunts large boxwoods who lived in Canton…I have counted as many as two hundred on one large boxwood…..

  • Reply
    September 7, 2018 at 9:47 am

    I grew up with spiders and bugs, and all sorts of critters, but was never terribly afraid of them. The blessing of easily accessing knowledge has made me become a paranoid bug spray carrying crazed woman. Avon’s Skin so Soft is my summer repellent/lotion. I now fear spiders because of all the recluse warnings, and the mosquitoes that used to get a firm smack have become my greatest enemy with all the Zika and Lyme disease scares. There are too many places those spiders and bugs seem to frequent, and no matter what one does a spider will just show up in our personal spaces.

    Just maybe you are onto something about an impending snowy cold winter….. I had just noticed the yellow Jackets building high as in the open end of my new neighbor’s clothesline. We discussed, and he has chosen not to kill them, and said, “we need bees.” I wish him good luck as I watched his tiny granddaughter give a piercing scream just seeing a bug all the way upon the top side of house. Children seem more afraid of critters due to no exposure. I do not bother with other types of wasps or bees, but after years of being attacked by yellow jackets while mowing I finally declared war. A brave male cousin agreed to pick my black eyed peas because those jackets loved them They did not bother him even though they were all over the peas. I read some on them, and seems they mostly attack if nest is threatened.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    September 7, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Same with tent caterpillars. They are everywhere this year. They say that they don’t harm trees, but when I see a tree that has no green leaves, I have to wonder.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2018 at 9:36 am

    I took a video of a leaf that appeared to be swirling and looping in a summer breeze.
    I had noticed it the day before but hadn’t thought anything of it. But it was still there the next day, still dipping and flipping gently in the wind. I thought to myself “How can that be? There has to be something holding it aloft.” But I couldn’t see anything no matter what angle I looked at it.
    I finally figured it out, I think. You see I still have on of those old timey antennas on a long pole(although I don’t have a TV) that reaches a good 8 feet past the roof line. That leaf must have gotten caught a single gossamer thread from a spider web on that old antenna and managed to hang on for three days and through four thunderstorms. Now, mind you , this only a supposition. I never was able to see anything between the antenna and the leaf and believe you me I looked.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Thank you, but I will continue to use an inhaler for my asthma! It seems I am tearing down more spider webs than usual this year. I was out of town last week when one of my outdoor security cameras sent an alert. The magnified spider looked like a tarantula as it built it’s web right on front of the camera lens.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    September 7, 2018 at 9:04 am

    I’ve only heard 2 of those sayings and I always said thousand legs for counting your teeth.
    I haven’t seen an excessive number of spider webs but my 12 yr. old grandson has. He’s scared to death of spiders and it don’t make any difference on their size. The little tiny ones you can barely see to the big wolf spiders. When he was about 5 yr. old we had a big sand pile for him to play in. One day he came running to me hollering there was a Black Widow in his sand pile bucket. I said thar ain’t no Black Widow in your bucket. I checked and there was 2 in the bucket. That’s not the kind of place I usually find them. Well, he didn’t play in the sand pile any more and he’s been scared of spiders ever since.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2018 at 8:21 am

    My friend’s 3 year old grandson asked his mother to kill the “wider sped” on his fort so he could play. She went out to see what he was talking about and he showed her a spider web. She videoed him for grandma.
    Yesterday my wife came in and wanted me to “take care” of the biggest spider she had ever seen other than tarantulas. I didn’t go to see it or ‘take care’ of it since they are everywhere.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 7, 2018 at 8:02 am

    September could with some justice be called Spider Month. This is the time of year young spiders go “ballooning” by extruding a long streamer until the wind catches it and carries them away to wherever to build another web. And I suppose that like yellow jackets the population builds until nearly frost.

    When I worked in the woods I would get so aggravated with myself if I saw a big spider web ahead then got distracted taking data, forgot to watch and blundered right through it. Like you, if tearing down a spider web meant bad luck I’m in deep trouble. It pretty much works out that if it looks like a good opening to walk through, spiders found it long ago. Works for doorways, gates, the space between garden rows, etc.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    September 7, 2018 at 7:14 am

    I have noticed they are especially bad this year. It seems if you tear one down they just rebuild in about five minutes.
    I ran face first into one covering my garage opening. I do believe I did a weeks worth of cardio getting it off of me. Yuk!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 7, 2018 at 7:05 am

    I have noticed an excessive number of spider webs recently. One of my outbuildings is just a shed with no door. My cat likes to sleep in it and every time I go looking for him I run into this very large spiderweb in the upper left corner. I don’t seem to be able to watch out for it, I forget it every day till I walk into it!
    It seems to me that I have heard that excessive spider webs portend a hard winter. I sure hope not!

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