If you've seen enough Italian horror movies, you've probably caught one or two scenes of live maggots or other wormy things wriggling on corpses or crawling over the skeeved-out actors. Sure, it's a cheap and easy effect, but it always gets a reaction, and at least you know it's just a movie... right?
Not so for Rochelle Harris, a UK woman who began feeling strange pains and hearing strange scratching noises in her head shortly after returning from a vacation in Peru. According to an article from Reuters, 27-year-old Harris went to the hospital thinking she had an ear infection, only to be told by the doctors that a family of flesh-eating maggots were feasting on her inner ear. Removing the creatures turned out to be more complicated than doctors originally thought, and they had to resort to surgery.
“I could still feel them and hear them and knowing what those scratching sounds were, and knowing what that wriggling feeling was, that just made it all the worse," Harris told Discovery Channel UK in their special Bugs, Bites and Parasites.
Doctors finally extracted eight larva, which had hatched from eggs laid in Harris's ear by a New World Army Screw Worm fly (a name that sounds pretty damn scary on its own). She's fine now, but had she gone untreated, the doctors believed the critters might have eaten their way into her brain.
Put down that sandwich and check out this clip from the show...