It may be the stuff of horrors, but for a woman in China her nightmare became a reality after doctors determined that a strange itch on the side of her head turned out to be a spider burrowing through her ear canal.

Doctors at China's Changsha Central Hospital told local news sources that the spider may have been living in her ear canal for up to five days, and that it may have crawled in there while she was sleeping.

In photos released by the hospital, the spider is seen deeply entrenched in the woman's ear, requiring doctors to reportedly use a saline solution to flood the canal and flush it out to avoid it climbing deeper into her head or biting her.

Doctors said they were also worried that the barbs on the spider's legs would damage her inner ear if removed by force.

According to the hospital, the flushing procedure was a success and the spider crawled out on its own.

The woman, a resident of Hunan, said she believes the spider may have gotten into her house while it was recently being renovated.

It wasn't clear what species of spider the ear intruder was, or if its activities in the ear canal included egg laying.