In Japanese folklore there is a giant spider yokai known as jorogumo. It is believed that when a regular golden orb spider reaches 400 years of age it can develop supernatural powers including the ability to shapeshift. At this time it also chooses to eat humans instead of its regular diet of insects. In order to obtain humans to eat, jorogumo will often take the form of beautiful women in order to seduce unsuspecting male victims.

Shigeru Mizuki
She will then lure the men to her home only to trap them in her powerful web, which is strong enough to bind a fully grown man. Jorogumo use their toxic venom to poison their victims, and then enjoy watching them slowly die. This horrifying spider yokai can live among a community without being detected. Over time jorogumo can amass piles of human bones without anyone suspecting a thing. 

Toriyama Sekien

They also have the ability to control other smaller spiders, including fire-breathing spiders, which they command to burn down the houses of anyone who might be suspicious of their actions. The name jorogumo translates as 'entangling bride' but in older times they were known as 'whore spiders.' Jorogumo feature in many traditional Japanese tales and they often make their homes in caves deep in the woods. You can read about one of these tales set in Joren Falls here.

Anna Valerious