Monday, 4 February 2013

The Highgate Cemetery Spider

The Meta bourneti spider has been found at Highgate Cemetery.

Some one hundred species of the Meta Bourneti were found in the darkest reaches of the 1830s Egyptian Avenue during a bat survey carried out by the London Wildlife Trust last month.

The spiders require total darkness, so the sealed tombs in the cemetery have proved a perfect breeding ground.

A spokeswoman for the trust said the spiders, which measure 30mm in diameter, could have been living down in the sealed vaults for up to one hundred and fifty years without anyone knowing.

This comes as an uncomfortable reminder of the secondary contagion of vampirism spawned by the original infestation, which took the form of a massive spider, as recounted in some detail in The Highgate Vampire. The vampire tomb was located at Highgate Cemetery's Circle of Lebanon, exactly where the giant spiders have been dwelling for the past century and a half. The secondary contagion, directly linked to the Highgate Cemetery source, occurred some years later at the Great Northern London Cemetery (a few miles to the north of Highgate itself). A wooded section comprising some eleven acres has since been developed upon.


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