Our families are our safe spaces. We find shelter and comfort with them. We also get our needs satisfied with them. And they’re the first team that we were a part of in life. You can also keep your secrets to them. However, it works both ways, as families can keep secrets from you as well.
To show this point, a Redditor asked, “What is the strangest/creepiest secret your family has?” Readers from around the world chimed in to spill their family’s best-kept secrets. Below, we compiled 20 of the best, heart-wrenching, inspiring, uplifting, and disgusting secrets that people have kept within the four walls of their homes!
More info: Reddit
My brother had his hand bitten off by a seal to avoid going back to army
Two of my great uncles ‘attempted’ to rob a convenience store with water pistols. *le sigh*
My uncle molested my sister when she was younger. He was sort of exiled for a few years, but now we talk to him again. Due to eavesdropping and discussions with my parents one-on-one, it seems they never bothered coming to terms emotionally with it, but rather prefer to pretend it never happened. I find it odd to watch them interact with that knowledge in mind.
I’m half Japanese, but my family would never talk about relatives in japan. Then I saw an old photo my “whole” family, half were in traditional Japanese garbs and the other were in military uniforms. Turns out half my relatives were war criminals.
My Great Great Great Great Grandfather was busted in England pretending to be an Anglican priest. At the time a marriage was not official if it was not conducted by an Anglican priest, and he’d done ceremonies for quite a swathe of important people. Rather than publicly expose him, thus voiding the marriages he’d presided over, they invented a charge of forging stamps and sentenced him to transportation to the Australian colonies. Thing is, they didn’t tell the ship captain or send word to the Governor in Sydney Town that his crime was actually impersonating a priest. When he arrived in Sydney the Governor saw from the ship manifest that there was a preacher on board who had committed a relatively minor crime. They had a lack of priests to minister the colony at the time, so the Governor pardoned him so that he could carry on his ministry, which he did. He started one of the first schools for children of the colony and led rather a worthwhile life from then on (aside from being a fake priest). The school he started still exists. Today it is Sydney Grammar School, one of the country’s most elite schools. In their entrance hall they have a giant portrait titled ‘Our Glorious Founder’. That’s him, my GGGGGF, the dodgy priest.
Condensed version: My parents abused me often. I told some friends about it, and child protective services were called multiple times. My mom convinced me to help her stage a dramatically emotional meeting between me, her, and my middle school guidance counselor, during which I confessed that I made it all up for attention. I made the same “confession” to all of the friends that I told, and was quickly alienated. This all happened under the pretense that it was my fault for telling them, and that I was “destroying the family” if I didn’t cooperate. Now there are at least dozens of people who remember me as a bratty, twisted attention whore.
When my dad was in high-school about 2 years after getting his licence, he was driving home from school, It was a sunny day and the sun was in his eyes, all of a sudden ‘thump’ he realizes that he has hit a jaywalker, he gets out of the car and realizes that the person he hit was his high-school principle’s son, who in the few seconds has passed away.
He wasn’t arrested and the principle told him that ‘he understood, and not to blame himself because it wasn’t his fault’.
My grand-father who was an alcoholic did the one good thing in his life for my dad and that was make him drive that car home, if it wasn’t for that I don’t think my dad would have driven again.
6 years of therapy later my dad was all right.
We don’t talk about it, and no one in my immediate family told me about it, I heard it from my friends mother who went to high-school with him, and confirmed it with my mom.
Driving with my dad now if he’s driving by smaller children you can see his hands tremble.
Great-grandmother was apparently a prostitute in Liverpool. I was actually as proud as hell to find this out, as I have nothing but respect for anyone who will do what they have to do to survive and provide for their family. No shame.
My uncle was kidnapped for two years when he was 15. He’s never spoken of it to this day.
Also my super uptight, neo-con, evangelical Christian uncle who lives in Nebraska was actually a hippie stoner in the 60’s. Oh and his wife is a mail-order bride.
Oh and my aunt’s college fiance was murdered by a hitch-hiker.
Image source: Delfishie
My distant ancestor (great (x8) uncle) was a sociopath and a serial killer. His name was Tom Quick and he was an “Indian Slayer” who stalked the Delaware tribe.
He claimed to have killed ninety-nine members of the tribe by the time he died, including an entire unarmed family with two young boys and an infant, which he beat to death with a rock.
It’s weird. These days his monument in Pennsylvania had to be removed due to vandals, but when it was erected in 1889, he was considered a hero and a defender of the civilized settlers.
My Great Great Great Grandpa was in the Ku Klux Klan and killed three black men in a lynching. We found out through a scrap-booked newspaper clipping which named him as a suspect.
I think that’s the worst
This’ll probably never be seen here, but I think it’s funny so here goes:
My uncle Rawhide (yes, that’s his name; no, we don’t interact with him at all) once tried to mug some dude back in the day. The guy didn’t have any cash, but he said he’d cut a check if he was given a name. Rawhide was stupid enough to fall for it, and the police apprehended him shortly thereafter.
A great Uncle of mine passed away when I was a little boy. The family met at his house after the funeral to start packing things up and all as he had no children and his wife died many years before him.
My great uncle was a highly respected member of his small town. He was a banker of some sorts, deacon in the church, all of those things that made him a good person.
Well tucked away in the attic, not covered by any dust mind you, was a large wooden trunk. Inside this trunk were the purple robes of a KKK Grand Dragon, various member listings, meeting notes and all other sorts of things related to the KKK. Turns out that my great uncle was a very active although very much secretive member of the regional chapter of the KKK.
I just found out that my grandparents wanted more kids but were having trouble getting pregnant for a second time. They adopted a toddler aged brother and sister when my mother was was 7. Soon after, my grandmother got pregnant, the girl died from a *very* mysterious fall down the stairs and the boy was quietly given to another family. They never, ever spoke of either child from that day forward. I thought she was pulling my leg but a quick search turned up the girls death record.
I was never close to that grandmother and can’t help but think back to every weird aspect of that women and all the strange relationships she had with her family.
I have no idea how my family gets its money. While growing up, I would ask my parents (usually my dad) how it worked, since my parents did not work, to which they would respond that we get money from my grandmother. Whenever we would get low on cash (my mom would always be reluctant to ask for more money from my grandma) and we kids complained about being low on money (thus not having much good food at home), my dad would tell us stuff like “we’re never actually short on money. we actually have a lot, just not right now” or something in that direction. He had also mentioned stuff about how when we kids are older, we’ll all get money that my mom was supposed to inherit.
Last year, when my mom, my sister and I were overseas staying with my grandparents over summer, I was able to find out that my mom had some stocks. I asked her how much they were worth, and simply said she did not know and that my grandmother handles those things. Grandparents are currently paying for my brother’s college tuition (I think around $4000 per semester, but I don’t know), and will soon be paying for my sister’s ($12,000). I asked my brother about it, and he said it was through stocks and that he didn’t understand it himself either and to just leave.
So yeah, that’s probably the biggest secret and sadly I don’t even know it.
I only know the story from being told when I was really little so the details are sketchy but apparently a cousin accidentally spilled my great-grandmother’s ashes into shag carpeting and they had to vacuum her up and emptied the vacuum bag back into the urn with whatever else had already been sucked into the vacuum from previous usage.
Some family from my dad’s side was asking if he would take in one of my distant cousins because the cousin was turning out to be a problem child. Apparently it’s pretty common for that side of the family to send problem kids to other members of the family in an attempt to get them to shape up. My dad said no because he didn’t have that much money and was dealing with some serious health issues like epilepsy and his heart. A few months later, the kid ended up robbing a store and murdering the owner of that store with a butcher knife. My dad felt guilty about it and I don’t think anyone in the family knows that the kids mom had asked for my dad to watch him. I personally don’t think sending the kid a state away would have changed him but my dad always used to wonder out loud to me in private if he could have done something to help.
An uncle i’ve never met (mom’s brother) killed my mom’s parents when he was sixteen in a fit of rage, and burnt down their home in an attempt to cover it up. I’ve never met him, as he has been in jail on a life sentence since before I was born. I was only informed of his existence, because my dad was black mailing my mom with this.
My great grandfather hit his wife with a fire poker, and slit her throat. He then proceeded to blow his head apart with a shotgun. He sat in a rocking chair and used his cane to push the trigger. All over an argument wither it was to cold for me to walk to a grocery store to get some milk.
My uncle is currently serving a lifetime prison sentence for murdering a prostitute with an axe.