Alien Abduction Advent Calendar Day 16: Spiders

9 Days Until Christmas
10 Days Until Abduction


the painting is Spider by Michael Sowa

It’s hard to categorize the story of the spiders, as told in Whitley Strieber’s Breakthrough (1995) and Solving the Communion Enigma (2011). Are they connected to Strieber’s visitors, or are they something else entirely – something much darker?

It began with the beings I’ll call the little people. In the summer of 1992, Strieber began to hear extremely loud thudding noises on the roof of his new cabin, directly above the attic-like room where he meditated each night. One night, a group of tiny humanoid figures descended through the roof, like ghosts, and rushed around the meditation room in a frenzy. crashing into furniture and knocking against walls. Strieber wanted a deeper relationship with the visitors – true communion – but he had not expected this. He dashed from the room in a panic, and didn’t return to it that night.
Sometime later, he woke to find four tiny men standing beside his bed, staring at him with fierce, coal-black eyes. They seemed entirely human, but stood only about three feet tall. They wore identical white tunics, cinched at the waist.
They did not speak, then or later. They simply stared at Strieber, and he experienced the same thing he had felt while meditating earlier: Guilt. Images of people he had wronged and sins he had committed flashed through his mind like an awful home movie, agonizing him. Inwardly, he swore never to sin again. This was all he had to say in Breakthrough. In Solving the Communion Enigma, though, he added that he had been particularly haunted by the memory of a woman who had tempted him at one time (in this second version of the story, the appearance of the little people isn’t mentioned, raising the possibility that the two incidents occurred on separate nights).
The little people rushed from the room then and seemed to vanish. Uneasy, Strieber tried to return to sleep, with shame and regret still swirling in his head. He wondered if the sins of his past were preventing him from having a fuller relationship with the visitors, for there seemed to be no doubt in his mind that the little people were involved with the visitors.
That’s when he heard a rustling noise and opened his eyes. Above the bed, suspended from a ceiling beam, were several large black masses he didn’t immediately recognize.
They were spiders. Four of them (or, in the second account, two). Black, hourglass spiders with yellow markings. But these were not ordinary spiders; each was at least a foot long, with a leg span of about two feet. One of them was hanging directly over Anne’s side of the bed, weaving a web. Strieber felt certain these creatures were linked, somehow, to his sins and regrets. He was very contrite and very fearful, terrified that one of the spiders would fall on Anne unless he atoned. Again, he pledged to sin no more. He also resolved to protect his sleeping wife from these nightmarish things, and fought his fear to get back into bed and put his arm around her, shielding her.
Abruptly, the spiders disappeared.
Strieber concluded they had been a projection of his own fears, coaxed into reality by the little people, or the visitors, or both. If the idea had been to steel his resolve to face himself as he really was and become a better person, it was successful.


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