Nevermind the ghosts and goblins and black cats — our local paper had a freakish feature yesterday in honor of Halloween, listing a whole bunch of real-life things that grown-ups can unabashedly be scared of.
Some of the tamer ones were things like drug-resistant infections in hospitals, mountain lion attacks, political apathy, avalanches, houses built unwittingly on some of Colorado’s many miles of old mine shafts.
But these two parasites took the cake on a sliding scale of creepy crawly eeeeeew-gross. For a special Halloween treat [not for the faint of heart]:
Maybe the scariest parasite of them all, this yard-long, spaghetti thin worm is contracted through untreated water in Africa. It lives in the body for more than a year before erupting from the legs or feet – or even eye sockets – of victims. The worm emerges after squirting acid into the skin to create a blisterlike bubble. Once the head emerges, the only treatment is to pull out the worm a few centimeters a day and wrap it around a small stick. This process usually takes weeks or months. Yikes.
You take a relaxing vacation in southern Mexico or Central America, spend quality time on the beach, and when you get home, painful lumps appear on your scalp. In a few weeks they start to move. You can hear them. It’s a colony of botfly larvae gorging themselves on your blood. Finally, six to 10 weeks after you first caught them from a mosquito bite, the fat, inch-long grubs bust out of your skin and drop to the ground. You’ll be rid of them, but the memory will haunt you forever.
Good lord, I think my head itches.
Ghost In You (Psychedelic Furs cover) – Counting Crows
The Halloween Dance – Ike Reilly
Black Cat (unreleased) – Temple of the Dog
Candy (duet with Kate Pierson) – Iggy Pop
Season Of The Witch (Donovan cover) – Luna
Frail and Bedazzled – Smashing Pumpkins
Thriller (Michael Jackson cover) – Ben Gibbard
Love Is Stronger Than Witchcraft – Robert Pollard
Some Candy Talking (Jesus & Mary Chain) – Richard Hawley
Halloween (UK bonus track) – Ryan Adams
“How Much More Black Could This Be?” – Spinal Tap