OK - Here is why I am DEATHLY afraid of spiders. One summer while we were up at the lake, my sister, grandmother and I were walking down a gravel road - I was maybe 7 or 8 at the time - and up ahead of us in the road was a tarantula. My grandmother - always one to protect "her girls" - decides that she can take on this tarantula and win so that we can safely pass. She goes of to the side of the road and picks up a pretty hefty looking branch - more like a small log. She goes over to the tarantula and hits it - intending to kill it of course. What she didn't know was that the branch/log she had picked up was completely dry or rotted, and when she hit the tarantula it simply crumbled, leaving a very alive - and a very ticked off spider. It proceeded to chase my grandmother in a circle for what seemed like an eternity to my young mind - I just knew that she was a goner. Eventually my grandmother shot to the side of the road and picked up another non-rotted stick and beat it to death. But the memory of seeing my grandmother chased in a circle by this tarantula and fearing for her life (hey, I was just a kid!) continues to haunt me to this day, and if I see even the most miniscule spider - in real life or on TV - I completely freak out!