Some people collect Halloween masks. Some people collect trading cards. Some people collect toy trains. Mark Voegel, 30, however, collected spiders, snakes, termites, reptiles, and loads of other nasty creatures. He was said to have more than 200 of these various critters contained in his Dortmund, Germany, apartment, including a black widow spider.

Unfortunately, in 2004, this specific black widow spider, which Mark named Bettina, was believed to be the culprit who dealt the deathblow to Mark. One bite and Mark swelled up like an unripe melon and he passed away in his apartment, alone.

black widow spider

A typical black widow spider.

Normally, when someone suddenly disappears for days and days, someone is bound to notice. But Mark Voegel never let anyone visit his apartment. He was dead for somewhere between seven to fourteen days before investigators received a complaint about the smell emanating from Mark’s apartment. When the investigators arrived, they described his apartment as a “zoo” and a “jungle.”

Somewhere during the days when Mark’s corpse lay in his apartment, the heating systems for his creature’s tanks exploded, releasing hundreds of these creepy crawlies. Since there was no one there to feed them, they had to make due with what was available – Mark Voegel’s corpse, being the main source of nutrition.

A police officer on the scene said, “It was like a horror movie. His corpse was over the sofa. Giant webs draped him, spiders were all over him. They were coming out of his nose and his mouth. There was everything there one could imagine in the world of reptiles. Larger pieces of flesh torn off by the lizards were scooped up and taken back to the webs of tarantulas and other bird-eating spiders.”

Mark Voegel was consumed by his hobbies, literally.

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