The spider is a symbol linked to treachery and death in many cultures.
It was seen as a "trickster", a "spinner of fate" in ancient goddess cultures.
The goddess Arachne turned into a spider by her jealous rival Athena.
They have linked it both to an evil force that sucked blood from its victims and to "good luck" because of the cross on the back of some species.
The Chinese have welcomed the spider descending on its thread as a bringer of joys from heaven.