The Magnus Archives Wikia

Statement of Jonathan Sims, regarding a childhood encounter with a book formerly possessed by Jurgen Leitner.

Statement []

John muses about how he became entangled in the facets of the supernatural and confesses that he must be claimed by Beholding. When he was 8 years old, he encountered a Leitner, which he believes put him in touch with one of the Entities: The Web. He reveals that his parents died when he was very young, his father from a fall and his mother from complications from surgery, so he was raised by his grandmother. As a child, he was difficult to control but settled when reading. He refused to read any book he had read before, or that had a distinctive authorial style he had already encountered. His grandmother would buy him books en masse from charity shops as a way of raising him.

One day, she bought him a book entitled A Guest for Mr. Spider. The front cover had a web design and the title, on the reverse was a crude image of Mr. Spider, who stood on his back legs and had a massively swollen abdomen. The rest of his legs gave the appearance of dancing, his head was covered in eyes but no mouth and he had a red bowler hat on his head, the only splash of colour on the cover.

Inside was the plaque of Leitner's library. It starts with a blank room in a simple house, with a door on either side of it and a table with flowers. Mr. Spider stands in the middle of the room, staring at the door on the left. Pages 2, 3 and 4 show his arms moving and nothing else, on page 5 are the words "Knock knock," and Mr. Spider's hands are by his sides. "Who is it, Mr. Spider?" is the next caption. The next page shows a scrawny, concerned-looking fly in a suit at the door holding a box, the caption reads "It's Mr. Bluebottle, and he's brought you a cake." The next page is an image of a pale green slice of cake in the box, with a look of concern over Mr. Bluebottle's face. The next page is blank, except for the words "Mr. Spider doesn't like it."

The next page shows a scene the same as the first, but with a splash of ink over the lower half of the right-hand door. There are several pages of Mr. Spider's arms flailing before there is another knock at the left-hand door. "Who is it, Mr. Spider?" the next page asks, showing Mr. Spider with an engorged belly. At the door is a larger fly in a pale yellow dress, "It's Mrs. Fruit and she's brought you some flowers." The next page shows pale pink flowers Mr. Fruit has brought. "Mr. Spider doesn't eat flowers." the next page proclaims.

The next page is the same as the first, with more ink spilled on the right-hand door, an almost flaky brown on the hinges. The new flowers are on the table with a deep red stain on them. Mr. Spider's abdomen is more engorged, and there is a similar smattering of brown paint to those on the door and his arms weave a huge web that is bigger than his house.

There is another knock on the door, and another fly stands in the door, this time in baggy overalls, with a child dressed in the same manner. Both flies are weeping. "It's Mr. Horse, and he's brought you his son." and "Mr. Spider wants more," the next page claims. The next page is the same one of Mr. Spider weaving, his time the whole room is covered in the red and brown ink. Mr. Spider is facing the reader, now, weaving his web. The penultimate page shows the right-hand door up close, covered in reds and browns. It has a cutaway panel to open onto the final page and has the phrase "Mr. Spider wants another guest for dinner. It is polite to knock.".

The young John reached up to knock on the wooden door before his childhood tormentor, whose name he cannot remember, snatched the book from him. He then realized he was in the park near his house with no recollection of how he had gotten there. The unnamed bully started to torment John for reading a child's book, but as he started to read the book he began to wander away, legs flailing strangely. John, desperate to get the book back, followed the 18-year-old down and around the backstreets and alleys until well after dark. The bully reached a house and placed 'A Guest for Mr. Spider' on the door. With the book open to the last page, the teenager knocked on the door in the book, and the door in front of him opened. Two thin limbs with coarse hair reached out and dragged him inside and the door slammed behind him.


This is the start of John's interest in the supernatural, and his hatred of Leitner. His grandmother passed away five years prior to this statement. As he ponders about Elias killing Leitner and Gertrude, he realizes that he needs allies. Georgie, creator of What The Ghost, has let him live with her whilst he gets back on his feet, although he does not tell her what has happened.