tHis is a Big troLl
Checking your sources is an essential part of the fact-checking process. It’s a good thing you’re checking this one specifically.
While the 1954 book "Insect Fact and Folklore" is real, if you checked page 24 you would find that it says nothing about the "people swallow eight spiders per year" rumor, which likely originated decades after its publication.
After failing to find any relevant material in the cited book, you may be led by your curiosity to discover that "PC Professional" and columnist Lisa Birgit Holst do not exist. The latter's name, which many readers have successfully discovered, is an anagram of the phrase 'This is a big troll.'
While some wish to credit us with the origins of this rumor, this urban legend pre-dated our own debunking. For example, the twelfth entry of a 1999 listicle titled "50 Top Pieces of Trivia" states the “... average human eats eight spiders in their lifetime after they crawl into their mouths in their sleep.”
This "easter egg" was created over 20 years ago in April of 2001 as wink to our long-time readers who were familiar with trolling we engaged in during the early days of the internet.
We’re still on the hunt for the origins of this long-standing rumor. Let us know what the earliest instance of it is as you recall. Also, read more about False Authority and check out The Repository of Lost Legends.