Categorized | Fiction

Halloween Horror: The House Spider

Posted on October 10, 2008 by Flames

Horror author and game designer Richard Dansky (Firefly Rain, Worlds of Their Own) has offered up a new monster for the Halloween Horror collection here at Flames Rising.

Jeff Preston adds a little horror of his own with a stunning visual of this rarely seen but always felt (and feared) creature…

The House Spider

Created by Rich Dansky
With Art by Jeff Preston

The House Spider does not feed on blood, or flesh, or anything so messy and gory as that. It lives in the dwelling places of the timid, the fearful, the cluttered and the cautious. It finds them by their tell-tale signs, their overloaded bookshelves and their disorganized collections, their piles of papers and dimly lit rooms, and there it settles, invisibly. In olden days, many lived in reading rooms, on top of green-shaded desk lamps or in the rare empty spaces on bookshelves. These days, they settle more beneath the computer desk, or near the television, or in amongst the video game consoles and their surrounding debris.

House Spiders are, to most, invisible. They make themselves known, slowly, by the effects of their presence. A house burdened with one feels stuffy. Oppressive. Close, even. And yet the denizens, the ones who invited the House Spider in without even knowing it, find themselves ever more reluctant to leave it.

It’s not their fault, of course; it’s the House Spider’s. Each day, it attaches another invisibly glistening thread to their backs, one that only stretches so far. To go beyond the tether is to invite unease, gradually shading into discomfort, nervousness, and ultimately, outright terror. Soon the victim begins making excuses not to go outside; canceling engagements, refusing invitations, even calling for delivery rather than set out on the simplest chores. All the while, the House Spider feeds on their ambition, on their spirit and energy. It draws this out of them, bit by bit, line by line, thread by thread.

And when it has attached enough threads to them, it reels them in.

It doesn’t kill them, oh no. It never does that. It just keeps them, and tends them, and never, ever lets them go.


About Rich Dansky
Richard Dansky is an author, game writer, and game designer. The author of five novels, including the critically acclaimed Firefly Rain, he serves as the Manager of Design for Red Storm Entertainment and the Central Clancy Writer for Ubisoft. A veteran of the original World of Darkness, Richard worked on well over a hundred books for White Wolf. He’s also contributed to video games ranging from Cold Fear to Splinter Cell: Double Agent, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Austin Game Developers’ Conference. You can find Richard online at

About Jeff Preston
Jeff Preston is a Freelance Illustrator who has been doing concept art and quality interior art and a few covers since the early 21st century. His first gig was for Key20 for a Halloween Special in 2002 with a deadline of four hours. Since then, Jeff has been producing art under deadlines consistently, building a reputation as the go-to guy for artwork to order, with no guff, and always on-time!

Visit for a look at his gallery and upcoming projects.

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3 Responses to “Halloween Horror: The House Spider”

  1. Jeff LaSala says:

    Very poignant, Richard. I like.

  2. Glad you liked it, folks!

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