Arachnophobia is probably the second-most popular phobia (after coulrophobia), and even non-arachnophobes have to admit that spiders can be pretty freaky. Therefore, the most popular form of Big Creepy-Crawlies, and one of the most popular Fifty Foot Whatevers to attack has to be a big spider. (Don't click the link if you like to browse TV Tropes before bed.) The bigger they are, the less likely there are to be more of them, but they're almost all so big that they logically shouldn't be able to move or breathe. They will usually have hypertoxic venom, both spin webs and hunt for prey, and spit silk out of their mouths (most spiders in real life only focus on one trait). For extra terror, they may even attack in groups (again, most spiders in real life are solitary).
Needless to say, they can be a bit of a problem for viewers that really are arachnophobic, especially in video games with them as a featured enemy. Many games get around this by making the spiders relatively cartoonish, or not having them correspond to any real life spiders. Granted, they can still be freaky due to the sheer nature of being giant spiders.
They usually have little personality, beyond vague malevolence. Some of them can talk, but they're rarely very loquacious. Sometimes, they're just ordinary spiders who meet up with a protagonist who is small, although it amounts to the same thing. Crossed over with Humongous Mecha, you get the Spider Tank.
Not to be confused with Demonic Spiders, who are just difficult enemies, or Money Spiders, which are just enemies that drop money even though they logically shouldn't — although either of these can be literal spiders.
Compare Giant Enemy Crab.
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Anime and Manga
The third chapter of Majin Devil is rife with them. Demonic dog-sized spiders with embryos on their backs that crawl out of pregnant girls hoohahs, tear their way out of their stomachs, or rip themselves out of hosts head.
In One Piece the general zombie Talleran is an enormous spider that was crossed with a monkey by Dr. Hogback. If that wasn't enough he commands a large group of smaller (yet still big comparatively) spiders that were crossed with mice. Vice-Admiral Onigumo also lives up to his name by turning into some sort of human/spider hybrid with 8 arms, all with swords, and 2 legs to stand on.
Uru from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds. Not quite as scary as some of the other examples on this page, but still very big and menacing.
Bali Lali of Bizenghast. She and the other Cleaners are all spider people.
In his fight with Kidomaru, Neji fights giant spiders in Naruto.
In Spirited Away, Kamaji the boiler man is a youkai who seems to be a cross between an old man and a large spider. (Or perhaps a an opilione, also known as harvestmen or daddy longlegs.) He's not quite as scary as the other examples on this page, and is actually a rather decent fellow.
Spidey once builds one realistic enough to scare a thug trapped in a web into giving him information.
And there was a villain who was obsessed with killing Spider-Man and for some reason would only use giant spider robots called "Spider Slayers" for the job.
One version of the Spider Slayer was a scorpion though, which makes a bit more sense, given that scorpions do commonly prey upon spiders. This was the original reasoning in giving Mac Gargan the power and abilities of a scorpion to serve as Spider-Man's Evil Counterpart.
To say nothing of Spider-Man transforming into the Half-Human Hybrid Man-Spider on occasion.
In the first team-up between the Superior Spider-Man and the X-Men, they tackle a giant spider, which in addition to having mutant powers, also has human eyes. After being stunned by Spidey, the creature turns into a normal-sized blond human woman. It was revealed to have been created by Spider-Man's enemy, the Jackal, using technology stolen from X-Men villain, Mr. Sinister.
The villain Org, from Jungle Comics, uses a drum to control giant spiders.
Don Martin pitted his comical superhero Captain Klutz against Gorgonzola, a giant spider with distinctly Martinesque features - which turned out to be a costume worn by a criminal who was wanted for 'trick-or-treating' without a license.
The Goon has Spider (Actually called Percival Goodbody), a man-sized spider wearing a bowler hat with a tendency to cheat at card games getting him into trouble with Goon or other characters.
In one issue of Havoc Inc an unusually large tarantula caught Chester and Deck off guard as they were sleeping on a jungle planet. As portrayed on the cover art.
The second issue of IDW's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic book series features a few. They wear hats. One of them doesn't have one, so it takes Applejack's.
The Last Haga from Paperinik New Adventures is a giant space spider made of Nightmare Fuel. She is enormous (and can grow even bigger), is stated to be able to devour whole planets given enough time, reproduces extremely quickly and asexually (her offspring also qualify for this trope), and she is totally undetectable by radar or any other type of sensor.
One of the many opponents that The Monster must fight in The Frankenstein Monster is a giant spider whose zombifying bite is used to create an army of slaves.
Meriem runs a afoul of a nest of giant spiders in Cavewoman: Deadly Venom.
There was a 2000s film with the same name about a guy who injected himself with spider DNA in an attempt to become a super-hero, only to mutate into a grotesque humanoid arachnid-thing that was eternally hungry and devoured people indiscriminately. Yeah, it was basically a horrifying parody of Spider-Man.
The largest spider in the aptly-named Arachnophobia is not very big compared to Kumonga, but still slightly bigger than any real spider. Even Australian ones. The real problem with the spiders in said film are their sheer numbers and insanely poisonous bite.
Giant spiders constituted most of one of the most legendary (or, as some claim, overhyped) deleted - and now lost - scenes in film history: a section of 1933's King Kong, now known as the Lost Spider Pit scene (discussed here).
As of Son Of Godzilla, Monster Island is home to Kumonga, a spider with a 164-foot legspan. Unlike most of the other examples listed here, she gets a Heel-Face Turn. She shows up again in Godzilla Final Wars, still shooting her yellow webbing.
Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings, plied his actual arachnophobia to full use to make Shelob as horrible as possible. Strangely, Shelob had a stinger in her belly, and a gaping mouth instead of actual spider fangs.
The un-spider-like anatomy is from the book, too, although the mouth was a beak in the book. Since Shelob is the "last child of Ungoliant to trouble the unhappy world" and Ungoliant was not a spider, really, but an unpleasantly spider-like evil spirit from the dawn of time, we can't expect biological niceties.
The monstrous spiders of Mirkwood, lesser spawn of Ungoliant, aren't quite as big as Shelob... but are still plenty huge, and have similarly horrific maws. And, when Bilbo's wearing the One Ring, he can understand their speech.
At the end of the 1958 version of The Fly, a fly with a tiny human head — the other half of the movie's human/fly Mix-and-Match Critters — is menaced by a normal-sized spider. "Heeeelp meeeee!"
The Secret of NIMH had a fairly largish spider that looked enormous to the mouse protagonist. It mostly existed to serve as a very memorable way to establish the barely-controlled danger of the Great Owl; if Mrs. Brisby is threatened by a spider and the spider is nothing but a snack for the Owl... well, let's just say she's lucky to survive that scene.
Having produced The Film of the Series for Wild Wild West, one could think that producer Jon Peters included the giant metal spider as an interesting if entirely stupid sequence. However, the man has an apparent fascination with giant arachnids: Kevin Smith's story of his time working on Superman Returns (at that point known as Superman Lives) in the late '90s includes an amusing anecdote about Mr. Peters' demands on what be in the movie, which included not having Superman wear his suit or fly, and to have him fight a giant spider in the final act (Peters' justification being that "spiders are the fiercest killers in the insect kingdom").
Peters' fascination doesn't even end there: he is known to have requested a mechanical spider be present in a film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman comics as well. Rumour has it that he was at one point involved in the live-action adaptation of legendary anime movie AKIRA too, which conjures up terrifying mental images of Tetsuo mutating into a giant spider. Thankfully he no longer seems to be involved in the project.
When Peters produced The Colour Purple, Steven Spielberg apparently had it written into his contract that the guy couldn't be allowed on set. Just sayin'.
Also, see the Superman Vs. Doomsday entry in the Western Animation folder for an example of when a giant spider was included in a Superman film, as a nod to Peter's demand.
Hellboy: Sword of Storms has a woman sitting in a forest clearing covered in fallen leaves playing a stringed instrument who looks perfectly normal...until her fingers start bleeding as she plays, spiders start to swarm around, Hellboy gets caught by three spiders the size of dogs, and the woman rises up out of the leaves to reveal an enormous spider abdomen and set of legs - then she starts to breathe fire.
Ice Spiders, wherein Olympic athletes are terrorized by, you guessed it, Giant Spiders at a ski resort.
One of the last things to come from the Jumanji game were giant spiders. They didn't do much, as they got scared off by the earthquake in the very next turn, but they were still one of the more memorable and frightening parts of the film.
John Cardos' 1977 epic, Kingdom of the Spiders, has pesticide killing off all bugs in Verde Valley so naturally tarantulas team up to take down humans, especially William Shatner.
One of the sideplots in Krull involves a giant albino spider guarding/imprisoning an oracle in a rather comfortable-looking cocoon in a gigantic web. It moves to eat anyone coming to consult with her, and is only prevented when she pours the sands of her life away (freezing it in place while the sands are in motion).
In the 1966 Toei film The Magic Serpent, a giant spider appears at the very end for the Big Battle. She is a good guy, though. She throws silk and snow (yes, snow) over the title creature to subdue him.
Colin Wilson's Spider World novels are set in a post-apocalyptic future in which telepathic giant spiders (and various insects) are the dominant species ruling over mankind.
Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys has an entire army of Big Damn Spiders at the end. Given the fairly central use of spider motifs in the book - the two protagonists are the sons of a West African spider god - this trope was inevitable.
There's a battle with giant spiders in the novel A Rustle in the Grass by Robin Hawdon, but seeing as it's a told from the point of view of ants their great size is hardly surprising. Interestingly the ant protagonist doesn't find the spiders anywhere near as terrifying as his encounter with a toad, with its natural camouflage, ability to leap huge distances, and strike with its tongue from well out of stinging range.
Conan the Barbarian encountered one in the story "The Tower of the Elephant," which struck down Taurus of Nemedia, a prince of thieves, with one bite. It suffered an unfortunate death via treasure chest to the face.
Conan encountered giant spiders all the goddamn time. But his most famous adventure involving a giant spider was probably Conan's battle with Omm, a giant spider worshiped as a god in the city of Yezud. A later adventure had Conan fighting Omm's equally large offspring, Zath.
Another one shows up in Needful Things, created from the pain of Polly's arthritis.
Guess what the alternate form of the shapeshifting half-demon in The Dark Tower is?
A giant spider appears in Tarnsman of Gor; partially subverted though, in that it is civilized and can speak (with the help of Translator Microbes). It's not that big as giant spiders go either, although it's still pretty big for a spider. Despite averting, it plays to this trope when it assists the protagonist in a capture, pretending to want to kill the Damsel in Distress. His name is Narr and he's a relatively pleasant chap, although a bit of a fussbudget.
Edgar Rice Burroughs wasn't averse to a giant spider or two in his tales. Probably the best known are the targo which are native to Venus. The Venusians gather their webs, called tarel, which has thousands of uses.
The Harry Potter series includes creatures called Acromantulas, essentially giant spiders that can get up to elephant-size. They can talk and are sentient, but don't think you're likely to survive a conversation with one (unless you're Hagrid). They are most prominently featured in Chamber of Secrets, whose film adaptation actually specifies spiders in the BBFC content notice. Aragog, the "king" Acromantula, makes a cameo (albeit posthumous) appearance in The Half-Blood Prince as well... both in book and film versions, surprisingly, and the spiders return in Deathly Hallows when the Death Eaters drive them out of the forest and force them to attack Hogwarts, which also appeared briefly in the film. It should be noted that Ron is terrified of ordinary spiders, to the point that his boggart is a huge spider. Book Two wasn't very fun for him.
The Hobbit has lots of spiders about the size of a large dog, who can speak. The Lord of the Rings introduces Shelob, their much larger and nastier relative. And their ancestor, Ungoliant in The Silmarillion, is an even bigger, horrendously powerful magical abomination. J. R. R. Tolkien felt no conscious dislike of spiders; he said he began to put spiders as bad guys in his stories because one of his sons was an arachnophobe.
That being said, Shelob and Ungoliant aren't so much giant spiders, as they are large horrific monsters that are spider-like. Shelob has a wasp-like stinger (real spiders can only inject venom with their fangs) and in the movie has a large gaping mouth, whereas real spiders can only ingest liquid.
The arachnid aliens in the science fiction novel A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge.
Hawk, Fisher and the Special Wizardry And Tactics team fight a giant spider while traversing the sewers in The Bones Of Haven.
Baal in The Ancestral Trail, who was both intelligent and the size of a large house. And unlike most of the giant spiders on this list, he actually ate one of the heroes. Quite graphically too, with spurting blood and head-biting.
Perdido Street Station features the Weaver, a psychotic hyper-intelligent multidimensional giant spider. Brrr.
The Cheka in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch books are a sapient Giant Spider species. They control the expansionist Magisterial Cheka Kingdom, in the Gamma Quadrant. Then there's the semi-sentient Comes-in-the-night-kills-many, which was essentially a giant spider wielding clubs. They're extinct, now; wiped out by the Jem'Hadar after threatening a Dominion farming colony. Finally, friendly aliens the Pak'shree resemble a cross between a Giant Spider and a giant crab or beetle.
In Poison, the titular character and her group must travel to the Realm of Spiders and retrieve a dagger. They encounter a gigantic spider's web, owned by an equally gigantic spider who they successfully trick. Poison then reaches a castle and finds the spider's wife, who for all intents and purposes looks like a pregnant dead woman. Later on, Poison is forced to press her hand to the spider Lady's belly, and she can feel the baby spider inside moving.
It's also implied that she will eat her "husband" after the baby spider is born. A giant spider will be eaten by a woman.
The giant Trundle spider in the Pocket Books novelisation of The Adventures of Captain Proton (the Flash Gordon-homageShow Within a Show on Star Trek: Voyager). Proton and his companions are sacrificed to the giant spider, but it tells them it's sick of the lousy diet and helps them escape instead.
Averted in Charlotte's Web where the titular spider is portrayed as a normal-sized (and good-natured) spider.
In The Dresden Files novel Turn Coat, Harry is accosted by a group of intelligent, pony-sized faerie spiders while traveling through the Nevernever. They threaten to kill him, but he convinces them to back down by showing them his wizard cred by pulping the apparent leader of the group with a force spell. Later on, these same spiders turn out to be the minions of whoever the conspirators were during the battle on Demonreach Isle.
Spider aliens attempt to heat up the Earth in John Lymington's Night of the Big Heat.
Arachne is a character in the Alex Verus series. The books describe her as a 'tarantula the size of a minivan'. Unusually for this trope she's extremely nice and helpful, and also makes really good clothes.
The last Graveyard School book, The Spider Beside Her, dealt with a wish-granting spider. That spider, though regular size, granted the wish of one Ari Spinner, an arachnid enthusiast whose deepest wish was to become a spider. Ari received the ability to transform into a giant spider at will, and while retaining her intelligence, developed the appropriate appetite of a spider of her size. Ari attempted to eat some of her classmates before being stopped by Mel West, who was bitten by the same spider. Mel's wish was to be able to create art with his left hand, and anything he draws with it becomes real. Mel had been able to draw Ari shifting back into a human permanently. Ari begged Mel to let her become a spider again by promising to never bother him or her classmates again. Mel complies. Of course, he turns her into a regular size spider, much to her frustration.
Galaxy of Fear has things called brain spiders in one book, though they're only about three feet tall and are robots piloted by brains in jars. They freak Zak out a bit. A later book has the knobby white spiders of Dagobah, which are actually the mobile larval form of trees and can get quite a bit larger.
In 1066 and All That, the Bruce "armed himself with an enormous spider" at the Battle of Bannockburn.
Destined To Lead has the spiedes, which are essentially cave-dwelling giant spiders, minus two eyes and four legs.
Large white spiders with crystalline carapaces are constantly attacking Nypre and others in the Stories Of Nypre series.
Live Action TV
Doctor Who has the Giant Spiders of Metebelis 3 and the Racnoss. Their empress was half humanoid though.
Episode 12 of the UK version of Who Wants to Be a Superhero? featured one terrorising various London landmarks and the superheroes' task was to mix a formula to shrink it.
In The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Raven", James West and a Native American princess are menaced by a spider while shrunk. That's right, the series did a Giant Spider scene (more or less) 33 years before The Movie (cited elsewhere).
Giant melon-sized spiders called "Mesothelae" appeared in the Carboniferous segment of Walking with Monsters. They were larger than any genuine spiders of that (or any) time, and were only depicted as being so huge because a proto-scorpion had been mistaken for a spider; otherwise, this would be listed under Real Life.
The UK kid's game show Knightmare had Ariadne, a very slow, very large spider who could block the path and eat the dungoneer.
Primeval had giant prehistoric spiders in its second episode. It's pointed out that, technically, they're not really spiders. They are not, however, the most threatening monster in the episode. A giant millipede is.
The Buffy episode "Selfless" started out with one of these.
Within the Sanctuary story, Big Bertha is an earth-moving, psychically powered, possible divine version of this. Yeah, it's pretty damn cool.
In the Merlin episode "The Poisoned Chalice" Arthur in trapped in a cave with a bunch of giant spiders. They aren't as big as some of the beasties on this page, but they are bigger than his head - not counting the legs. Oh, and there's hundreds of them.
An episode of The Really Wild Show had a spoof monster movie, in which the show's pet tarantula grew to the size of a building. This being an Edutainment Show, of course, it was followed by an explanation of why you couldn't really get spiders that big.
In the Gilligan's Island episode "The Pigeon," the castaways run into a Black Morning Spider, which is six feet long, red-eyed and weighs 500 lbs.
In the Lights Out Everybody episode "The Spider," two small-time down-on-their-luck thugs scour the Amazon basin for exotic butterflies, looking to make enough money to get back to the States. Instead, they spot a dog-sized spider, which appears to be their ticket out. But there's a problem....
The tsuchigumo and jorogumoyoukai of Japanese mythology, both of which are also known for shapeshifting and illusions, along with deadly poisons and large webs which they used to catch their prey. Archetypal myths for both involve posing as a beautiful girl or young boy to attract and snare unwary travellers, or accosting and offering wishes or marriage to someone who is kind to spiders. The latter is actually fairly common, since jorogumo's natural form is considered lucky for its bright coloring.
Dungeons & Dragons features spiders of variable enormous size. The Underdark is home to the Drow, who worship an evil spider goddess, and sometimes end up as Driders.
Variants include mechanical spiders, spiders that move through the astral plane, various kinds of really poisonous spiders, psychic spiders, werespiders and so on and so forth.
The Bebiliths, quite literally demonic spiders. The normal variant has a body the size of a plow horse and over 4 metres leg span.
Let it be noted that a Bebilith is an Arachnid demon that hunts OTHER DEMONS!
Giant spiders in the Classic D&D game (Basic, Expert, etc) were a bit more varied than in other versions of D&D, and often had Truth in Television (crab spiders blending into their surroundings) or folklore-inspired abilities (the "tarantella"'s poison causing a spastic "dance") to make them interesting.
Magic: The Gathering has several spiders as creature cards, and they're usually able to block creatures with flying (presumably due to scaled-up webs). The first was actually called "Giant Spider."
Giant Spider is not the biggest Spider in the game, either. Goliath Spider is. It's a 7/6 and its illustration is it eating a drake. There's also Plated Spider, which has the amusing flavor text "Most spiders wait patiently for their prey to arrive. Most spiders aren't forty feet tall."
It was left out of Magic 2013, however (it came back in Magic 2014). Still, it holds the record for longest continuous run in the core sets.
Planechase gave us Dragonlair Spider, which spawns insects. Spiders are technically not insects, but then you read the flavour text. Those insects are not spawns of the spider; they're scavengers eating the bits of dragons that the spider discards. That thing eats dragons.
Necron Tomb Spyders from Warhammer 40,000, as well as Humongous Mecha versions called Tomb Stalkers that mop the floor with the Imperium's largest and best-armed Emperor-class Titans.
Also the Mutant Spiders in Necromunda, which can range from the size of a large dog to the size of an elephant, and have diamonds for eyes. Good luck getting one though, as they're the Alpha Predator deep in the Underhive, where they stride upon a literal sea of toxic waste.
Forest Goblins in Warhammer can ride giant spiders into battle.
Normal forest goblins ride spiders about twice their size, forest goblin bosses however ride spiders twice as big as those spiders.
And then there's the arachnarok spiders, spiders so massive that goblins can attach full-size rok lobbers to them.
The Arachnarok Spider is in fact one of the biggest kits for Warhammer Fantasy, with a base measuring 100x150mm. It is one of the few models which could take up an entire regiment base by itself.
In Old World of Darkness, Werewolf: The Apocalypse includes a race of blood-sucking werespiders called Ananasi. One of their forms is indeed a spider one-and-a-half times their human weight, and about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. Their other forms are human (with a few spider internal organs), spider-human hybrid monster, and an entire swarm of normal-sized spiders linked by a hive-mind. In that form, they can survive the death of any number of spiders, as long as one is left — though losing a lot will change their appearance and personality. Regular Ananasi are sinister and emotionless, but the Kumo of East Asia are sadistic, insane, and evil.
In the Monster Burner book for the Burning Wheel system, one of the 'playable' monster races was the Great Spiders, which were spiders of human intelligence that ranged from the size of a medium sized dog to that of a horse (depending on breed and life-path). Most were loners (like real spiders) and the ones that weren't were either pack hunters or 'Evil' (Although that is not a barrier to playing a characters in Burning Wheel where campaigns as one of the horde of the Evil Overlord is a viable option.)
Oddly toyed with in Mortasheen. You'd think the human-insect hybrid Arthropoid class of creatures would have one, but in actuality, the spider based creatures they have there aren't all that big and tend to look more like humans with weirdly spidery proportions (The biggest one looks more ape-like than anything else). But, there is a monster that fits this trope, though oddly enough it's actually a weird cow thing designed to produce meat.
Call of Cthulhu supplement Dreamlands. Leng Spiders can grow to gigantic size and weigh hundreds of tons.
RuneQuest supplement Into the Troll Realms, adventure "Skyfall Lake". Crab City has spiders that are as large as a mammoth. They have warty gray skin and drop pools of acid.
Exalted includes these among the variety of creatures in Creation. Some are mundane animals that just happen to be huge; others are smaller but intelligent, malicious elementals called Wood Spiders. Then there are the pattern spiders, the mechanical gods that maintain the Loom of Fate.
Lejendary Adventures. Jumping spiders are about twice as large as a human being and web spiders can be as much as 40 inches wide. They both inject a dangerous venom.
RolemasterShadow World supplement Jaiman: Land of Twilight. The H'taan is a huge spider that lives in ancient ruins and other rocky, remote locations. They dig holes like a trap door spider and lie in ambush, paralyzing victims with their venom. They grow up to thirty feet or more across.
BIONICLE has the Visorak horde, made up of car-sized spiders. There are also the elite Visorak, the humongous Kahgarak spiders, several stories high. Also, a variety of giant spider-like Rahi qualify as well.
Neverwinter Nights 2: The game has a rare example of a friendly giant spider. Your party comes across it in a cave, and it tries to communicate with you by drawing letter in the dirt with it's legs. If you befriend it, then later on when you get Crossroad Keep, it will show up in the basement and eventually weave a magical spider-silk cloak for you! "XP granted for befriending a giant magical spider!"
In the previous game, giant spiders were available as animal companions (for druids and rangers) and familiars (for wizards and sorcerers).
Elvira II: There was a level devoted to horror with an insect theme. Of course it had a Giant Spider. It doesn't get that freaky until it gets RIGHT UP INTO YOUR FACE. It was featured in a YouTube video devoted to the scariest games ever.
Several species of giant venomous spiders often prove to be real pests to the protagonist of Two Worlds II. Some are openly referred to as spiders, whereas others may come with different names. At one point, they're even encountered nesting in a location named after the famed Lost Spider Pit scene in 1933's King Kong
Most MMOs will have you fighting giant spiders at some point, especially MMOs in a fantasy setting.
In City of Heroes, Giant Spiders take the form of psychic women who undergo massive surgery and augmentation to be installed in a robotic spider bodies. Most of them don't seem to mind though.
Cute Knight Kingdom requires you to fight one for one of the endings. You get a rather neat ending if you beat this spider, and a rather depressing one if you lose.
Dark Messiah has giant spiders, from the size of a dog to one really huge one. The big one is creepifying, the little ones are horror incarnate as they leap onto your face and body, poisoning you making it hard to see the rest of them, in the dark. There's a whole temple you have to visit devoted to a deity of order who's avatar was a spider.
They also don't do "giant" by halves. On the 3X3 enemy grid, a human occupies one space. Heavily armored knights or sizable creatures like tigers might fill two adjacent ones, and particularly large bears and such occupy a 2X2 square. A Hell Spider's head and thorax alone fill the entire grid, its legs spill off the sides, and the abdomen reaches off the end of the screen.
The first game also featured Kyklopses; smaller spiders made out of rock. And by smaller, they're still about as long as Dante was tall.
Devil May Cry 3 features Arachnes, basically a freakish mermaid; except replace the fish part with a spider part.
The Final Boss of the first Doom game, the Spider Mastermind, and its progeny in Doom II, the arachnotrons. Neither of these have eight legs.
Doom 3 has the the Trites, multilegged, swarming horrors with basketball-sized bodies. It also has the Vagaries, creatures with a woman-like upper body and spidery lower halves. They can use Psychic Powers to toss objects at you and seem to serve as brood mothers to the Trites.
Dungeon Siege has quite a few spidery enemies, including Drider-esque humanoid-hybrid ones called mucosas (with an annoying habit of shrieking loudly when they attack) and an extra-large giant spider Mini-Boss.
It's still around◊ in EQ2. To give some impression of the scale involved: That refracted image in the center of the shot? That's a player character. Some of the smaller spiders are almost as tall as her horse.
World of Warcraft includes a giant spider that might be a Shout-Out to this, the Terokkantula. However, it lives in a place called the Terokkar Forest, named for a god which has nothing to do with spiders, so the name might be just a mashup of "Terokkar" and "tarantula," and/or a coincidence.
Not even Thrym's shoe is big enough! KILL IT WITH FIRE!
In the first game, there are those terrifying metal creatures in High Caves. While they're not spiders in the truest sense of the word (more like beetles) they still have gigantic nightmare pincers and are invulnerable to normal attacks.
The first real boss of Final Fantasy X-2 is Boris, a giant spider-crab hybrid. Its name is actually a reference to a fan favourite The Who song called "Boris the Spider", so is its special attack "Sticky End" ("He's come to a sticky end / Don't think he will ever mend") and a part of its entry in the bestiary ("Maybe he's as scared as me / Where's he gone now, I can't see").
Guild Wars has many types of giant spiders in its large bestiary, most of them about human-sized. One dungeon in the fourth chapter, Arachni's Haunt, has the party fighting their way through spider-infested caverns to face the eponymous spider-queen boss at the end. Besides fighting against spiders, Rangers can tame giant spiders to fight beside them (after a fairly difficult quest to reach the tamable ones).
While spider enemies have always had bit parts in the Zelda games, it wasn't until The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's Skulltula-laden first dungeon and the Queen Gohma that spiders in the series really took off.
Majora's Mask has giant invisible spiders under the Ikana graveyard.
Twilight Princess took this even further with its sixth dungeon, which was packed to bursting with the things, and the boss being the biggest of the lot of course - Armogohma is MASSIVE. And then, when you defeat the giant spider, its body disintegrates and its large, central eye becomes another spider, surrounded by hundreds of tiny little spiders... and they swarm chaotically around the room...
Giant spiders are one of the most common enemies in the rail shooter Lets Go Jungle!.
The first boss in Ōkami, as well as the Bonus Boss Bandit Spider. And the Block Spider.
The Resident Evil universe features spiders mutated by the T-Virus, who grow to the size of cars.
Then you have the Black Tiger. Apparently giant huntsmans were not scary enough so Capcom had to come up with a freaky redesign based on Australian funnelwebs to make your S.T.A.R.S commando shit their pants. Seriously, the games peaked the fright factor here.
One section of Resident Evil 5 has normal, non mutated spiders. While accurately portraying African arachnids, they're about the size of Chris' fist. The game actually keeps tabs on how many you kill like any other enemy, so by all means squish'em.
Most of the games have giant tarantulas (called "Webspinners" in the in-game media). Code: Veronica has giant Black Widows instead, while Darkside Chronicles not only has lovingly rendered and even more ghastly Webspinners and Black Widows, but a South American version, the Jumping Maneater, which is made from, you guessed it, a jumping spider. Amusingly, they're all depicted as retaining their original proportions; even though they're all Giant Spiders, the Webspinner is bigger then the Black Widow (except for the Widow Queen, who showed up in the original Code: Veronica as a boss), which are bigger then the Jumping Maneaters.
They return in the aptly named Lost in Nightmares. Small, in comparison, but see Jill's Nice Hat? They're that size. Bigger.
Giant spiders are a common enemy in the lower levels of Rohan Online, particularly if you're a Dark Elf in Ignis, which is packed with both various species of these and the giant scorpions known as Akepions.
SimAnt has the giant Wolf Spider of sorts. The damn thing, once it is going after you, cannot be stopped, and a small window pops up with its beady little eyes staring right at the player. Its mandibles opening and closing, drool/venom/ant blood hanging from the tips of its fangs. There is a subversion however, in that you can choose which ant you are controlling. And apparently, you can even choose to take control of the spider...This means you can take the spider and do a suicide run on the red ant colony (The black ants mortal and sworn enemy) kill hundreds of the red ants, eventually the red ants will swarm the spider and rip it apart (Which isn't graphically represented, Thank god) the spider merely falls over on its back. And shortly afterwards becomes four points of food. A reasonable exchange for possibly wiping out from a fourth to up to 3/4s of their numbers.
And if you turn the silly mode on... "Running will only prolong your suffering!"
But once you get a large enough group of ants, getting revenge is very sweet. And you can eat them!
The Big Bad of TR 3mutates into a giant spider-human hybrid for the final battle.
The Warcraft universe has the Nerubians: giant, sentient, vaguely humanoid spider-creatures, as well as the more traditional giant spiders of various sizes, ranging from human-sized to size of a small house. The Nerubians also have an undead variant called the Crypt Fiends, which are Nerubians killed by the Scourge during the War of the Spider and reanimated as undead. In turn, there is a bigger, meaner variant of the Crypt Fiends known as the Crypt Lords, though those are less spiders and more like huge, bulky scarabs of sorts, with mantis claws.
And then there's Shadra, the lake-sized spider god.
They also have more generally-huge spiders, usually bigger than a human but not quite as big as a tauren. Until you enter Naxxramas. There they get to be gigantic. For one thing, there's Anub'Rekhan, one of the most trusted lieutenants of the king of the Nerubians, Anub'Arak (both are Crypt Lords rather than true spiders, but hey...) And then there's Maexxna.
Another large, but not quite as big, spider, is Hadronox. Some people consider her to be scarier than Maexxna (it's the spikes).
Giant spiders show up in Wizardry VII: Bane of the Cosmic Forge in the dwarven mines, and occur periodically from then on out. Their only noteworthy trait is the ability to shoot webs and paralyze the party. Oddly enough, the Silence spell stops them from doing this...
The PC role playing game Wizards And Warriors had scary giant spiders that would get right in your face and attack. They were rather lethal as well, given the game is played from a first person view and seeing them up close to attack is horrifying.
In RPGs, the Fellowship Of The White Star event "Web of Lies" has a creepy cat lady whose pets are cat and dog sized spiders that act like cats and dogs. Hilariously creepy.
Ah, spiders in Thief: the Dark Project and System Shock 2. These two games were made concurrently using the same engine and were released in 1998 and 1999 respectively. Do not be fooled by the Dark Engine's graphical primitiveness; Looking Glass Studios was filled with great game designers who really loved their horror and went out of their way to put the "demonic" into their Demonic Spiders. Try to pinpoint the exact moment when the following descriptions cross the line between "that's appropriately scary" to "what the hell is wrong with you designers".
Both games feature spiders in the "high as your ankle" and "high as your waist" sizes.
Thief had small white spiders, big green spiders, and red spiders in big and small sizes. System Shock had big and small deep purple spiders.
All Dark Engine spiders show their presence by soft hissing. If they're moving, they make soft rhythmic foot-taps.
Spider walking animation is slow, intricate, and deliberate, which explains the soft foot-tapping.
All spiders fight melee. System Shock spiders appear to bite you, while Thief spiders seem to swipe at you with their front legs instead.
Thief is a stealth game, and therefore the player has poor fighting capability, especially in melee where the spiders are too small and short to hit with the sword. System Shock is a combat game, but melee against spiders not recommended because System Shock spiders are highly poisonous.
In addition to melee swiping, large red spiders in Thief can spit webbing at you to slow you down.
When searching for you, Thief spiders point their front two legs and slowly wave them left and right as if they were antennas. System Shock spiders seem limited to a strange up-and-down bob for whenever they're not moving.
When the spiders see or hear you, their soft hissing abruptly quintuples in volume and remains that loud thereafter.
Unlike walking, the Dark Engine does not render spider running movement smoothly; instead, spiders seem to sprint-lurch, and when the spiders are running at you, this lurching sometimes appear to be quasi-teleporting in long steps.
Large spiders are resilient. Killing them have been known to require over a dozen broadhead arrows or steel-jacket handgun bullets, and more than one explosive fire-crystal arrows, direct psionic fireball attacks, or inflammatory nanite-based assault rifle rounds. All while sprint-lurching full speed at the player in total defiance of any self-preservation instincts.
Large Thief spiders are able to parry your sword with their front legs. Accompanied by the actual metallic sword-parrying sound effect.
Certain Thief spiders have a curious behavior, where if you allow them to approach melee range, they will prevent you from getting a bead on them with your sword or arrows by jumping over your head.
Late game System Shock spiders tends to show up in low-light areas. Also, they are invisible. But don't worry, if you're careful to listen over ambient environmental noises, you will still hear the hissing.
Conversely, System Shock features a player power that turns the player invisible. A reliable panic button tactic when surrounded by enemies is to activate this Photonic Redirection power and move away from the current position, which stops the enemy from attacking and sends them searching. Spiders do not play this game. They will continue to track and attack you.
If by fortune you are spotted by Thief spiders and manage to run to a position where the spiders cannot reach, they will orient in your direction, rear up their front legs, freeze in place, and stare at you. Forever. If you shift your position, they turn to track you. If after working up the nerve, you come down from the table or ledge, they will drop their stance and sprint-lurch toward you. After scrambling back onto the safe spot while manically soiling yourself, they will again rear up and stare at you. Forever.
System Shock's spiders were so bad that a patch was created to remove them from the game so arachnophobes can play the game. Also, one Thief fan mission, called the Inverted Manse, features a large, gray, and—given the theme of the mission—presumably undead spider the size of a small shack.
Atlach Nacha, an obscure H-game where you play a spider demon in high school.
The most powerful creature that Nero Chaos in Tsukihime has inside him is some sort of unnamed spider that is slightly larger than a large elephant. It's not pictured or named because Shiki just kills it in one blow like everything else.
In Overlord II, you fight spiders the size of your minions after being shipwrecked on Everlight. Deeper into the jungle you fight their queen, who dwarfs your Overlord and minions and spits out egg clusters that hatch into smaller, minion-sized spiders. After finishing this Puzzle Boss fight, the smaller spiders do a Heel-Face Turn and allow themselves to be used as mounts by your Greens.
Alien Soldier had "Back Stringer". You fight this bugger on the previous Mini-Boss, a giant moth that had recently become its dinner. Worst part was that destructible baby spiders would appear every now and then to pull down the "platform" you were on, and would cause you to fall into a Bottomless Pit if they succeeded.
The old Mac Venture game Uninvited has a giant spider underneath the house. If the player tries to jump down a hole, they end up right in front of said monster and killed, while if they come across it later they can get rid of it and move on.
One of the bosses of Alundra 2 is a giant robot spider.
Giant spiders show up frequently as enemies in Dragon Age: Origins. Spiders who have been corrupted by darkspawn blood verge into Demonic Spider territory, particularly if they have the Overwhelm ability. As well, any mage with the Shapeshifter specialization can become these creatures. The same goes for a Rogue with the Ranger specialization, except they summon one.
They reappear in Dragon Age II alongside the Queen Spider, which makes the others look like midgets.
Darksiders features an entire level filled with oversized arachnids. They range from the table-sized mooks (which can be annoying until you realize you can just have War stomp on them with a melee attack), the car-sized Loom Wardens (which can be easy enough once you get the Abyssal Chain), the house-sized Brood Mother (which isn't so hard once you figure out the trick to beating it), and three-story tall Spider Queen Sliltha (which is... not easy at all).
MIMIMIMIMIMIMIMIMIMIMIMIIIII!! The music that plays while she chases you is terrifying. You can outrun her and spend a couple of minutes in a room, feeling fairly safe then "DUNNNN, DUN DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!"
Donkey Kong Country 3 has Arich the Arachnid. Being the second boss (third in Donkey Kong Land 3), he shoots green orbs and hops around the boss arena.
There's also a friendly giant spider named Squitter, who appears in both that game and it's predecessor. He lets the Kongs ride on his back and can create web projectiles that can either form platforms or attack enemies.
The Xbox Arcade game Limbo features a supremely creepy giant spider as one of the games first main obstacles. See page picture for details.
Pokémon has three, and they're rather small for a trope about big spiders, but Ariados is still triple the size of a tarantula and even its former form is pretty bigger than any real spider. Galvantula is another "small giant" spider of comparable size to Ariados, but its pre-evolution is the size of a real-life tarantula.
Minecraft has spiders that are about half as tall as the player character. Giant by real life standards, but one of the smallest monsters in the game. They deal the least damage per hit, but they can strike swiftly and repeatedly, run fast, jump, climb walls, and fit through tight crevices too small for anything else. They have a nasty habit of traveling in groups and hiding on your shelter's roof at night, waiting to pounce when you come outside in the morning. They also have a chance of dropping string, which is needed to craft fishing rods and bows.
There are also the rarer cave spiders, which are less than half the size of regular spiders. Still, at twenty-eight inches wide, they're unrealistically large, yet small enough to fit through a one-block gap. Unlike their larger counterparts, these ones are poisonous. Their hissing may not be as tongue tearingly-frightening as you know who's, but these meter and a half blocky menaces can still ruin your day. By pushing you off a cliff.
RuneScape has several types of large spiders, most of them which are about a size of a dog. Larger ones are also present.
Giant Spiders are very dangerous in Tibia and are credited for a good number of newbies deaths; even well leveled and experienced players avoid them if they don't have the proper gear to fight or just can't run from those monsters. However, once hasted they are faster than a level fifty player and will kill the player.
Bugdom: A Macintosh computer game has spiders in levels four and five, they may not be giant ones but they look as ugly and scary as hell, thankfully they only attack Rollie McFly (the pill bug you control) by trapping him in a balled web and jumping up and down on him rather than seeing him horrifically torn to shreds and eaten, still doesn't make the spiders any less scary and ugly the way they look in the game especially since Bugdom excells in having great graphics.
Queen Cadavra, the fat and obnoxious black widow spider in Bug!. At least in proportion. She's at least two times the size of Bug.
Several kinds of giant spiders figure prominently as enemies in Act 3 (Kurast) of Diablo II.
Diablo III has the Caverns of Araneae, which as the name might suggest are utterly infested with giant spiders. They were bred by Archbishop Lazarus and let loose into some ancient ruins to protect the borders of Khanduras (and because Lazarus is kind of a dick). Giant spiders also show up in Arreat Crater/Hell, as the special minions of Azmodan and Cydaea.
Might And Magic VI has an entire class of monsters dedicated to this. Although they aren't very tough. They get poisonous attacks, though, and they are fast.
The second episode of Blood ends with an encounter with a giant spider named Shial, who is the mother of all the smaller, more annoying spiders that show up in the rest of the episode.
The Buffy video games take the term Demonic Spiders literary, with small ones dog sized and large ones Buffy sized. They're quick, run along the walls and ceilings, knock Buffy down in one hit before jumping on top to bite (a killing move if she can't fend them off) and realistic enough to be rather unsettling.
Arcanum has a vast variety of spiders. They are all poisonous and range from size of human hand to roughly three meters in height to even larger... em, spidercentauresses, who wield longbows and can conjure poisonous vapors. Some species of "ordinary" spiders also can summon zombies, and other species shoot fireballs (which can be extremely annoying as those eight-legged freaks can and will destroy your equipment).
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has Giant Spiders that spit webs and Venomspitters that spit, uh, venom. They occasionally burst out of the ground to ambush you because the game didn't think giant spiders alone were terrifying enough. The Webwood area is crawling with them. Even worse, the spiders in the Webwood are being controlled by an insane Fae witch called the Widow who wants to reclaim "her" woods by destroying the town that mortals built in the woods while she was sealed.
Baldur's Gate has huge spiders, giant spiders, astral spiders and sword spiders in Cloakwood and a few other areas. The astral spiders can teleport at will and like to sneak up on your casters, and the sword spiders are crazy fast and pack quite a punch. The sequel lets you summon them with a spell, and they're considered one of the best summons in the early game.
Larger than average (roughly the size of a dog) spiders are common Mooks in Vindictus, while larger variants are serve as dungeon bosses (one being the boss of the intro/tutorial). One Royal Party Raid deserves special mention. Your party is dropped in a canyon, where a single giant spider is sitting. As you approach, a second, larger, spider jumps over the canyon wall. Only moments later a third, even larger (to the point where she takes up about 1/10th of the circular canyon by herself), spider queen bursts forth from underground. The ensuing battle is generally only won after the spider queen (and possibly one of the other two) gets her self stuck on the bodies of your fallen comrades.
The Evil Wizard, final boss of Castle Crashers, turns into a giant spidery abomination as his fourth phase (of six). He gets some additional creepy points for fooling you into thinking he's dead right before this phase: a huge chest falls down on him and seems to squish him, like most bosses in this game when they die. So you walk up to the chest, it opens and the giant spidery abomination pops out... Rather eerie if you're seeing it for the first time.
Penumbra's spiders might not be as large as some examples on this page, but they're still larger than any normal spider and have a taste for human flesh.
Dark Souls has many of the corrupted daughters of the Witch of Izalith, most notably the early-mid game boss Chaos Witch Quelaag, and her sister, the central figure of the Chaos Servant Covenant. They take the form of colossal arachnids with human female upper bodies, and tend to spew lava. Also, they lack mandibles in favour of toothed maws, in the style of Tolkein's spiders.
The Binding of Isaac has numerous giant spiders, mostly added on in the Wrath of the Lamb DLC. Widow, a fleshy spidery mass that has human toes at the end of her legs, is a frequent bane of early games. An upgraded, undead version named The Wretched can be encountered further down. Also, Daddy Long Legs and the Triarachnid fit the description nicely.
Don't Starve features Minecraft-sized spiders with not-so-high damage. However, they are almost always encountered in pairs, have a bigger tiger-coloured variation, and their nests can house up to a dozen of them. They drop precious silk from their glands, which act like best healing source in the game, encouraging player to scam their nests. The catch: overgrown nests turn into the flunky Spider Queen, which is a very tough boss. After her defeat, though, she drops the "Spider hat", effectively negating further spider problems by turning them neutral.
FTL: Faster Than Light has a Random Event where a space station is under attack by these. Your default options are to either send in your crew, which will either result in a small reward or loss of one crew member. However, if you have the proper equipment, it is possible to Take a Third Option and use risk-free ways of dealing with the spiders, giving you the rewards without worrying about losing crew members.
NetHack has "giant spider" as one of the enemies you can run into. They can be a bit dangerous in the early game due to their speed and ability to poison you, but as you grow stronger (and gain poison resistance), they are much easier to defeat.
In addition to the big stompy war clanks, Girl Genius also has real giant spiders, ridden by the Geisterdamen priestesses. This is actually one of the least creepy things about them (the Geisterdamen).
Lots of large spiders appear in the first chapter of the Web Serial NovelTasakeru. Also applies to their sentient and very hostile mother.
In the Kriegs Maiden novel universe, there's a series of Spider-type Kriegs Maiden. The most infamous is the Widow, which doesn't look humanoid at all, and can have a legspan longer than the average car!
This. A guy finds a pretty big spider in his backyard, so he sprays insecticide all over his house and on the spider... only it turns out he picked up insectisteroids instead. Then the all-grown-up spider invades his house and kills him.
MC Pee Pants in Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a diaper wearing giant spider who gets releases a rap CD with not so Subliminal Seduction in his lyrics. Said lyrics are about eating candy so his fans can come down to his place and use their hyperactive blood-sugar levels to power a drill into hell so that he can release demons for his global diet pill pyramid scheme. Averted, because very few traits aside from the fact he's a giant spider belong to this trope.
In the episode "Terror Island", a Mad Scientist turns several animals (including a spider) into giant monsters.
The long legs and giant body of "The Robot Spy", well-known from JQ's opening credits, qualify it for this trope as well.
The titular creature in the BBC animated series Spider was probably supposed to be an ordinary-sized house spider, but the protagonist is a very young boy and in proportion to him it looks much bigger.
The Transformers Animated version of Blackarachnia not only has a giant spider as an alt-mode, she became a half-organic being after trying to use her copying ability on spider that became huge from eating energon.
Come to think of it, both Blackarachnia and Tarantulas from Beast Wars would qualify as well.
Her Beast Machines robot form carries even more spiderlike features, notably her concealable extra eyes. Though whether she counts as canon is open to debate.
On his way to ditch work, Homer is confronted by a giant spider in the bowels of the nuclear plant. According to his map, said spider can be bypassed by quoting a Bible verse. After a failed attempt, Homer kills it by beaning it with a rock.
When the family visits Africa, a giant spider destroys Homer's luggage, which he claims was bound to happen.
South Park had the Queen Spider in one episode, ruling the Vatican. Subverted in that it wasn't particularly frightening or dangerous.
Mighty Max featured a huge spider on one episode - the only thing Norman feared. For the unfamiliar, Norman was basically Hercules, Thor and Chuck Norris rolled into one, faced any threat with "I eat X for breakfast", and nearly had a breakdown at the sight of said spider. His fear is later justified when he reveals a prophecy he once heard that a Giant Spider will eat him.
In the Halloween Episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Ed, who is suffering from hallucinations, sees Johnny as a one of these. Subverted by the fact that the spider is friendly.
An episode of Static Shock briefly features one that got infected by some "Big Bang" chemicals.
This is shown to be Buttercup's biggest fear in The Powerpuff Girls episode "Power-Noia", but she eventually overcomes this.
Averted in A Bug's Life where Rosie the black widow spider is portrayed as being normal-sized.
Scroop, the main villain of Treasure Planet resembles an evil, giant alien spider.
An episode of Xiaolin Showdown was about the heroes attempting to retrieve a Shen Gon Wu called the "Hidoku Mouse", which allows the user to undo any wrongdoings, from not only recurring villain Jack Spicer, but also several giant spiders living in a cave. Unfortunately, neither side ends up getting the Hidoku Mouse as it ended up falling into a large pit full of spiders and was presumably destroyed. And the spiders themselves? According to legend, the spiders despite being neither good nor evil, are actually all constantly hungry, and therefore they must eat everything (including rocks and trees) in their path in order to survive.
A giant spider couple is the main focus in the Adventure Time episode "Web Weirdos". When Jake and Finn get caught in a giant web, Finn tries to find a way for him and Jake to escape by offering advice on how the male spider (named Ed and voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait) can improve his relationship with his wife, Barb (voiced by Susie Essman). After making up, Barb gives birth to a thousand baby spiders.
The Looney Tunes cartoon "Claws for Alarm" begins with traveler Porky checking himself into a derelict hotel in a western ghost town with his nervous pet cat Sylvester, who gets terrified by a mammoth sized shadow of a spider on a wall - cast by a teeny-tiny spider.
Teen Titans has minor villain Fang, a punkish teen thug who has a giant spider for a head. No, that's not a typo; he's basically a giant spider with a fully functional human body growing underneath his head.
Mostly averted in Real Life: spiders as a whole are tiny creatures, with most of them being smaller than your fingernail.
Everybody meet the new kid in town! The recently discovered Heteropoda maxima, also called the Giant Huntsman Spider is another 30 cm (12 inch) beast from Laos. It isn't as bulky as Goliath, but it definitely holds as much Nightmare Fuel for those scared of lanky, skinny spiders.
La Princesse, the fifty-foot spider marionette. She appeared on the side of a tower, was taken to a dock, and started roaming Liverpool and spraying people with water. She "seemed to be leading the entire population of the city on a merry dance, like some kind of arachnid Pied Piper." Creepy, but highly awesome.
Maman, the giant pregnant spider which now menaces Ontario.
There is an extinct species of spider that grew to eight feet in length! Granted, the body was only about a foot long and it was mostly leg, but still! Freaky! Of course, these lived in a time period long before dinosaurs, when the oxygen in the atmosphere was much more concentrated, and bugs could grow to gigantic sizes. After a while, the atmosphere started shifting to what it is today, and the giant spiders - as stated above - were unable to survive at that size due to inability to breathe. Scientists are still arguing about that one.
Australia is infamous for its thick concentration of huntsman spiders, which can grow to be the size of one's face. According to native Aussies, the first time you see one you scream and run away, the second you try to get rid of it, the third you just ignore it.
Although they are not true spiders (though they are related), some species of pycnogonids (also known as sea spiders) can reach 2 feet across. The largest ones tend to be found in cold, deep water so you're unlikely to encounter those kinds.
A persistent Urban Legend holds that giant spiders were found in the Summer of 2001, living near Windsor Castle. They were discovered by British Telecom workers in an underground maintenance tunnel. Entomologists initially reported that they were venomous, aggressive and possibly a type thought to have been extinct for centuries. On later examination they proved to be ''Meta menardi'' cave spiders◊, which are notoriously nonaggressive. The colony was rehomed to a nearby forest.