Ah, the innocence of childhood; a time of simultaneous wonder and confusion. Kids interpret things differently than adults because they don’t fully understand how the world works yet. As a result, people end up with memories from their youths that they can’t make sense of until they’re older. Does this ring any bells? Then read on as Redditors share their most interesting childhood mysteries that finally got solved years later.
1. Sometimes Parents Run Out Of Patients
I met my wife in college. When we were dating, she often mentioned that when she was a kid, she had a play doctor’s kit that someone swiped from her house. She had some surgeries really young, so her parents bought it for her to de-mystify the doctor’s office. She’d use it all the time on her dad, poking and prodding him.
One day, I asked her about the theft. Did they take everything? Jewelry? The TV? Other valuables? No, no, and no. Then, it hit me. I asked, “So, someone broke into your house and only took your doctor’s kit, leaving anything worth fencing there?” She replied, “Yeah, why?” I responded, “Did you ever consider your folks were tired of you using the kit on them all the time after you got better?” She finally realized. “Oh, dang.”
We confirmed it with her dad later, but for 15 years, she had believed some thief broke in and ONLY took her beloved doctor’s kit.
2. Messing With Mom
I solved a family mystery for my mom. I wasn’t allowed to play console video games during the week until I was 18, but some nights I’d really be craving it, so I would noiselessly creep through my house into my basement where I could play video games in peace. But once every 30 times or so, one of my parents would need something from the basement, so I’d quickly turn off the TV monitor, hide in the guest room, and pray they didn’t turn on a light or notice the Xbox was on.
One night, I ducked into the guest room and hid behind the bed. To my horror, my mom followed me into the room and turned on the lights. I was panicking, so when she started digging through the closet with her back to me, I made a run for it. I nearly brushed her shirt—if she’d seen me, I would have probably given her a heart attack. But I made it and kept going all the way to bed.
About five years later, my mother commented to me something along the lines of, “You’re such a quiet walker,” and I told her it was because of my basement trips, thinking that I had nothing to lose. My mom’s face immediately went kind of solemn, and when I explained, she said, “So there really was someone down there.”
She explained that she remembered that exact night and felt that a ghost was in the room. Over the next couple of days, she’d stare into space and just say, “I can’t believe you were really there.” She seemed to get over it, but she probably checks empty rooms closer now.
3. Something Seems Fishy Here…
One evening, while camping, my brother caught a fish that we decided to keep alive in the cooler for some reason. Well, the next morning, we ran out to see the fish, and it had grown like five inches! We were so excited, and we didn’t know how the fish grew that much overnight. But last year, we brought it up, and my dad finally told us what really happened… That’s when we realized it was all a lie.
He said that he had gotten up that morning and saw the fish get taken by a raccoon, so my dad spent the next hour or so frantically fishing for another one. He said he caught the new fish—the first one he could catch—just a few minutes before we got up. I had never questioned the fish’s growth as I grew up, but I felt like we probably should have wondered about that more after hearing what really happened.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
When my father would take us camping, we’d often go on hikes and bike rides. He taught us about safety in the woods and on the water and how to navigate using maps. So it wasn’t all that strange when, on a random day, he said that we would be playing a game where we’d be blindfolded and taken on a drive. The object of the game was to call out what direction we were turning by feel, and then ultimately, after driving for about 30 minutes, give a rough guess of where we were and which direction home was in.
He was impressed with how well we did. We then took off the blindfolds and went for a hike. I never thought much about it. Years later, I suddenly realized why we played the game—my dad was into psychology, especially child offenders. He was kidnap-proofing us, but in a lighthearted way, so there was no fear or trauma.
5. How Rude-Olf Her
When I was 10, my godfather gave me 20 dollars as a Christmas gift. However, the money had disappeared by the end of the dinner. For years, my parents blamed me for being irresponsible with my money. Years later, we figured out that my cousin’s fiancée at the time was a kleptomaniac—after she got caught stealing stuff from my aunt’s house. It turned out she was the one who took the money.
6. He Stood Corrected
When I was six or seven years old, I visited my dad at the place where he worked… or so I was told. I remember remarking about it at the time, and people laughed at me because I said it looked just like a prison. The people laughing were the guards, and I was indeed visiting my dad at the Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution, where he was a federal inmate.
7. It Was A Trick Of The Light
While driving, my dad could make street signs (stop signs, mile markers, speed limit signs, etc.) light up and then turn off with a simple hand motion. He would never do it when other cars were near so that “they wouldn’t be alarmed or see the magic.” My sister and I begged him to do this on every car trip. It wasn’t until I started driving that I realized he was just turning his brights on and off, and the light was reflecting off the sign like it was supposed to.
8. A Whisk Not Taken
I was solely responsible for washing the dishes in my teens. The only thing was, I was really bad about getting them done with any consistency, so I was always catching flak for that. When I was around 14, my mom noticed that she was missing some pots and pans and that the drawer felt light on silverware. So, she searched for them.
After turning the kitchen upside down, she concluded that I just did not want to do the dishes. She theorized that, in order to avoid getting in trouble for not doing them, I simply threw them out in the trash. The accusation stuck despite everything I said to defend myself. I caught backhanded comments and scolding about that for years.
Then, when I was 19, we visited a trailer my grandfather put on some rural property he owned. My mother then found a bunch of her dishwares. She realized she had left it there and that I never actually threw any of it away. My stepdad apologized to me immediately, but I never got any such thing from my mom herself. I resented her for that for a long time afterward.
9. They Didn’t Know ’Squatch
When we were kids, my buddy and I would ride our bikes up the road to this horse ranch that sat upon a hill. I have so many memories of that hill. Anyway, in the distance was another huge hill that was eventually bought and turned into a winery. Trees covered the entire hill except for the bare area that faced toward us.
Well, on one autumn afternoon, my best buddy and I spotted something very furry walking on two feet from one tree to another on that hill. This hill was hundreds of yards away from us, and whatever we saw was clearly bigger than us. As the sun was setting, it started to approach us. We. Freaked. OUT. Obviously scared the heck out of us, and we took off screaming down the road on our dirt bikes, away from whatever that thing was.
Many years later, I discovered that what my buddy and I saw was likely a bear walking on two feet. For nearly a decade, my buddy and I would’ve sworn we saw Bigfoot.
10. The Devil You Know…
When I was a little kid in the ’80s, I got swept up by the Satanic Panic. I went to a Catholic school in a medium-sized city, and they really took it seriously. Everyone did. They convinced me that a cabal of devil worshiping fiends was secretly controlling the entire world, and I was determined to grow up and do everything I could to stop them.
My school had a lecturer who was a priest who was a supposed expert on Satanism, and he showed us a movie where some people slaughtered and ate an actual cat. They told us that it was 100% real. Little did I know, I was being brainwashed.
Sometime in high school, the whole thing just went away. It was as if one day, the Satanic Illuminati were out to molest every little kid they could find, and then the next day, they were gone. Eventually, I forgot all about the whole thing.
Flash forward to my mid-20s. I was in college, sitting in my apartment when all of a sudden I remembered the whole Satanic Panic. I remember thinking, “Whatever happened with that? Were they all caught? Did I dream that?” At the time, the internet was in its extreme infancy, but since my roommate was a longtime computer geek, we had it in my apartment. So I went online and looked it up.
I’ll admit I felt mixed emotions when I found out that 99.99% of it was total bunk. I was both relieved and angry; I was relieved for obvious reasons, but I was still angry because it generated a lot of fear in me when I was little. Little kids shouldn’t hear stories of ritual carnal cruelties and violent sacrifices.
Anyway, it was all very horrible, but I’m glad I got closure. Now it’s one of those things that people are comfortable talking about. Being an adult, I find the whole thing very fascinating.
11. Dads Are Dedicated To Their Craft
I watched Star Trek: The Next Generation with my dad when someone in the show told Riker to “wash his back.” When I asked my father why someone would say that to another person, he said, “So you can smell someone coming up behind you.” It wasn’t until years later that I understood I was really just confusing the word “watch” for “wash”… It also showed me how committed my Dad was to keep up the deception for his personal satisfaction.
12. A Different Kind Of Worship
My dad is an ex-Catholic. Every night until I grew up and left the house, he’d tuck me in and say, “We love you. God bless you. Goodnight.” I always wondered why since he had stopped going to church long ago. Fast forward to me being 28 years old—my dad and I were watching an old Bruce Springsteen concert together (one of his favorite artists), and at some point, Bruce said, “We love you. God bless you. Goodnight!” at the end of his set.
I turned my head toward my dad and asked him if this was why he’d said that for years to me at night. He just laughed and said, “I have no original material.”
13. Paws For Thought
When I was four, I vividly remember getting into my mom’s car. She kept telling me that our cat had passed. She told me how she rushed him to the vet because something was seriously wrong. Despite her best efforts, he apparently passed. I never knew why he passed and why it happened so suddenly, but I accepted that it happened.
Fast forward about 15 years—I was home from college for the holidays, and on Christmas Eve I drove to the store with my dad and uncle. They talked about the cat my parents got for Christmas one year. When I heard the truth, my jaw dropped.
My dad said, “Yeah, that thing was too aggressive. I took it to a farm and gave it away.” Normally, when the family pet dies, the parents lie to the kid and say it “went to a farm upstate somewhere” to ease the burden. My parents told the opposite lie: they told me the cat passed away to cover up the fact that they just sent it away to some farm.
14. What A Sweet Idea
Growing up, my family was poor. Yet, when I was 10 and all of my friends were having these crazy birthday parties with petting zoos, bounce houses, clowns, etc., my mother decided to throw me a birthday party as well. I would end up having a sleepover for my birthday when I turned 11. It was great—we were going to make ice cream cones! We got all the stuff out with my mom, but when she opened up the box of cones, they were all smashed up.
She explained that we weren’t having regular ice cream; we were having “magic castle sundaes” because the broken ice cream cones resembled the sections of a castle. We all thought this was great, and we enjoyed them. When my friends went home, they even asked their parents to make magic castle sundaes.
Two days ago, I found out that my mother was getting past sell-by foods behind the grocery store (the food was not expired, just past the sell-by date). She had no idea she got broken cones until she opened them with us. She thought of the magic castle idea quickly, and we all loved it. It just goes to show how stupid kids are.
15. He Got Layups Instead
My husband told me that when he was in middle school, there was a certain time of the day when he’d get pulled out of class to shoot free throws in the gym—only him. He didn’t think this was strange, but he also didn’t understand why he was the only one that got to do that. It turned out that his parents told his teachers he couldn’t participate in sex education.
16. Down The Rabbit Hole
When I was little, I used to have this experience where all of a sudden, my perception of size and distance would get all wonky. I would look at everything around me, and things would all look small and far away. I always felt like a giant, yet when I looked at my hands, they’d be so small. This only ever happened at night.
To deal with the sensation, I would get up, go downstairs, and walk around a bit in the kitchen. Then, after some time, it would fade away. I told my mom about what I was going through but she just brushed it off. Fast forward many years later—it turned out that I had what’s called “Alice in Wonderland syndrome.” Kids get it sometimes, and then the symptoms disappear as they get older.
Apparently, it’s harmless?
17. Beet The Odds
When I was in grade school, I walked from my house to school every day for about a mile. On my walk, I would always stop and give my vegetables to a homeless dude, so my mom would think I ate them. One day, while I was on my walk, a friend from my class pulled over with her mother. Her mother offered to drive me to the school with my friend.
I told her no. I had to give that dude my veggies, or else I’d have to come home with uneaten veggies and get in trouble. Also, I know now I could have just tossed them, but I was a dumb kid. Anyway, her mother got really pushy and insisted I get in the car, but I just continued on my way. That was the last time I saw that friend.
I was little, and we weren’t super crazy close or anything, so I didn’t think anything of it. Later in life, I thought about her and asked my mom if she remembered the girl. It turned out her estranged drug addict mom kidnapped her, and no one could find either of them. We lived close to the Mexico border, so they think she left the US.
My mom freaked out when I told her the story and was also kind of mad that I used to give my veggies to a homeless dude.
I figured out my dad wasn’t on a “business trip” in 2005. He was at my uncle’s wedding, and he didn’t want to take me all the way there because it was in Ireland. He knew I’d want to go if he told me. In hindsight, I probably should have picked up on the lie. My dad is a school custodian.
19. Hospital Heartbreak
I had meningitis when I was two years old. My baby brother also had it, but he passed. I had the viral for while he had the bacterial form. I grew up thinking I had it first, and I always felt like I gave it to him and that I was the reason he passed. I know I shouldn’t have thought that way, but oftentimes, you can’t help what you think; especially when you’re a kid.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned that he actually got it before me. I don’t know why no one had ever told me that before. Maybe they didn’t tell me because they weren’t aware that I always harbored this guilt about it since I kept everything inside. Not one person had ever mentioned to me that he had passed before I got it.
I was in the hospital for about three weeks, so it could have been before or during my hospital stay.
20. Music Speaks To The Heart
I remember being in the car with my dad when I was eight years old. I was in the front seat and we were driving somewhere. At some point, this song came on the radio. He cranked the volume up and said something about the guitar player being the best ever. He really jammed out, which was super uncharacteristic because he was usually so stoic. It was the only time I heard the song, and he passed before I could ever ask him what song it was.
When I asked around, no one knew what I was talking about or what the song might be. So I had this melody in my head for years, I had no idea how I was to look up a song that had no lyrics. For years and years, this song stayed in the back of my mind. I was afraid to forget it. Then, somehow, this story came up when I was like 26 or so while chatting with my husband. That’s when a lightbulb turned on in my head. We searched YouTube for “best guitar songs.”
After about 15 minutes, we found it. “Cliffs of Dover” was the song that I’d burned into my brain on repeat for 16 years. Now I jam out to it with my kids.
21. Don’t Drink The Pool Water
Once when I was about seven or eight, my family was having a pool party, and my twenty-something aunt was sitting by the pool with a glass of clear liquid. I was hot and thirsty, so I reached for her drink, and she said, “Don’t drink that; it’s pool water!” I wondered why in the heck she’d have a glass of pool water but I left it alone.
Years later, as my family’s drinking habits became clearer to me, I realized that she was probably drinking booze.
22. An Old Classic
For over 20 years, I had a very distinct memory of seeing this movie with my dad around the holidays in our living room. It was a black and white movie, and I had a vivid memory of only this one specific scene. I was probably about six or seven when I watched it with him. I never got the title and that bugged me for the longest time. I would think about it periodically for years because I remembered it being so cool… I just wanted to know what movie it was so I could check it out as an adult.
Then one day, I can’t even remember where, but someone online had described this movie and mentioned the name. It sounded really familiar to me. I looked it up on YouTube, and it turns out the movie was Babes in Toyland/March of the Wooden Soldiers. The scene I remembered so vividly was all of the soldiers marching out of the toy shop. Figuring this out was literally one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever felt in my life.
23. The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors
I grew up in the deep South. As a child, we would take a winter trip up to Stowe, Vermont, to see my grandparents. While there, I would hear scary ghosts wailing outside the windows at night. It was terrifying! But once my grandparents moved south, we stopped going.
When I was in my 30s, I took another trip up to Vermont. During my first night’s stay, I heard the ghosts again! I freaked out until one of my siblings calmed me down and explained what was going on. It turned out, I was getting scared for absolutely nothing—the winter winds up north are just way different than the southern night winds. Suddenly, my general fear of the dark disappeared as I fully realized the source of the sound.
24. An Enlightning Revelation
I grew up wondering about the mystery of Zeus. When I was very young, I very distinctly remember having a friend named Zeus. How could you forget someone with THAT amazing of a name? At some point, probably in third grade, he moved away and disappeared. I could never even find him in the yearbooks. It was like he never existed. My mother, my family, and everyone kept telling me that I imagined this kid.
Then, one day, I was telling my wife about my old best friend Zeus, the kid who vanished off the face of the earth and took every person’s memory of him with him. I even showed her where he used to live when we drove by and recounted the day I went to his birthday party. I remembered that he had a great piñata and everything.
My wife stared at me for a moment and then asked, “Honey, did people yell for him a lot? Like, ‘Hey Zeus, come here?’” I said, “Well, of course, they did. How else would they get his attention? ‘Hey, Zeus, what’s up? Hey, Zeus, how are ya?’ Duh. That’s a silly question.” She inquired, “And he had a piñata?” I replied, “Yeah, why?” Then she dropped the truth bomb.
My wife then answered, “Sweetie, I bet you his name was JESUS. HEY-ZEUS. ZEUS.”
It was like being hit with a truck of realization. I asked my mother later and, yes, I did pal around with a kid named Jesus. It was one of the greatest mysteries of my life and it turned out it was just me being a dumb-as-a-rock kid.
25. Christmas Cookies
I always wondered how Sinterklaas made the pepernoten fall through the ceiling. I was CERTAIN that the Dutch version (Sinterklaas) was real because, in December, pepernoten (tiny Dutch cookies) would suddenly rain down on me. I thought Sinterklaas was on the roof, dropping it through the ceiling.
I was so convinced about this that I bragged to the kids in my class that MY Santa was real and theirs was fake. I simply told them that Dutch Santa only visits Dutch kids in America. The truth was that apparently, my mom would carry handfuls of pepernoten in her pockets, and when I wasn’t expecting it, she would throw it up in the air above me.
I don’t know how I didn’t realize what was going on at the time… The first year I was in on the secret, I watched my mom throw pepernoten on my brother It seemed so obvious.
26. Thanks For The Great Memory, Dad…
My dad used to burst out with this one line of a song occasionally: “…said Barnacle Bill, the sailor…” Only ever that line. When I was six or so, I asked him why. He said it was an old drinking song that was absolutely filthy, and I was too young to hear the rest of it. This continued once or twice a year until I was 18.
Once I was older, I told him that I was an adult now so he could tell me the rest of the song. I distinctly remember him looking up from the newspaper, sighing and folding it, then going, “The truth is I can never remember the rest of the song.” And then he went right back to reading the newspaper.
27. The Copycat
When we were young, my brother and I got a pair of kittens: a black one (mine) and a grey one (my brother’s). They got some vaccines, and sometime later, we woke up one morning to find that the grey kitten had grown. I thought, “Wow, cool! But why didn’t my black kitten grow too?” It was strange, but whatever. I stopped questioning it.
It turned out that the grey kitten randomly passed one night. My mom sent my dad out to get a new grey kitten so we wouldn’t be sad. All he could find was a slightly older and bigger grey kitten. So they told us one of his shots helped him grow. I believed that until late high school. My mom finally came clean to us one random evening.
28. Oh, Snap!
My dad used to say he could stop the rain for a moment by snapping his fingers. He’d always do it in the car when it was pouring. I was so mesmerized. I told all my friends about it, well into late elementary school. I’ve since realized he’d snap as we drove underneath an overpass.
29. Nature Can Be Cruel
I had a guinea pig in kindergarten that turned into many guinea pigs after I babysat the class guinea pig for Christmas break. My parents were thrilled… (not). Anyway, my teacher took the entire guinea pig family back to her house—she was supposed to sell them, and then give back my guinea pig. They never returned, and my parents told me they all got sold together as one big happy family… But it was all a big, fat lie.
I didn’t find out until I was maybe 25 that a coyote actually got into the cage and they all got eaten together as one big happy family. This is the way.
30. The Mystery Caller
When I was like eight or so, I answered our house phone. It was a man who asked to speak to my mom. He didn’t ask for her by name… he just said, “Could I speak to your mom, please?” I asked who it was, and he answered, “It’s Santa Claus!” I was so excited that I ran to find my mom. I told all my friends for days that SANTA CLAUS HAD CALLED MY HOUSE.
This led me to believe in Santa for a few years longer than most kids normally do. I was HEARTBROKEN when I found out that Santa wasn’t real. Years and years later, I remembered to ask my mom who had called that day. It was our reverend, and my mom was a deacon. He had known me for years, so he recognized my voice when I answered, and he knew what age I was. It had never occurred to me.
31. Homeschooling Seems To Be The Norm Nowadays…
I was homeschooled growing up. I begged my parents to let me attend regular school when I reached high-school-age. They kept saying my math programs didn’t line-up right, and that I might get stuck an extra year if I tried to go. I was thinking about it the other day, and I was like, “Well, dang.”
I’m pretty sure it was not completely true, and they just didn’t want me going to normal school. I don’t know why I just realized this.
32. The SisTerminator
I had nightmares for years. In literally every dream I had, my older sister was a robot trying to kill me. She would come in the form of a tank, things that looked like Transformers, or a metallic spider, and she had a lot of knives and stuff on her. My dreams would conjure every single metallic robot you could imagine with my sister’s face on it.
I had these dreams for all of elementary school, but it was solved when I brought it up at the age of 17. I was born super early—I mean SUPER early—at four months old. I was born with so many issues and complications that I spent five months in the NICU, where I received a lot of attention from doctors. I also had multiple surgeries and a feeding tube put in me.
My mom was sad that I couldn’t meet my sister and that my sister couldn’t meet me (she was four years old at the time). So my mom put a picture of my sister’s face above me in my incubator thing so I could see her. A cute idea, but this ended up causing my brain to put together the only two things I knew—surgical tools and scary hospital equipment with my sister’s face on it.
It took us so long to figure out what the heck those nightmares meant.
33. Paranormal Paralysis
When I was 12 or 13, I had a horrifying experience one random night. I woke up completely awake (not dreaming) and felt encased in transparent concrete. I could only move my eyes, and even though I was breathing, I couldn’t control it. Everything was bizarre… I could sense a malevolent presence in the corner of my room, but I couldn’t turn to look at it.
This went on for what felt like hours. I was drenched in sweat and felt like I was suffocating because my adrenaline had kicked in big-time, but I couldn’t increase my respiration. Finally, after trying to scream a thousand times, I was finally able to get a squeak out. I kept going and going until I was screaming at the top of my lungs, but my family didn’t come to check on me. At that point, I really thought I was going to die.
After another thousand tries, I was able to start barely moving. I finally broke out of the encasement and realized what I thought was my screaming was a barely audible whisper. I didn’t wake my family because I had nothing to tell them that they wouldn’t simply dismiss as a “bad dream.” I didn’t go back to sleep that night, and I had horrific insomnia for decades until my 40s when I saw a documentary about people who said UFOs had abducted them.
It was a dry, fact-based documentary, and they had experts on explaining that many such “abductees” were actually experiencing something called “sleep paralysis.” My jaw hung open. I called my wife in, as I had told her about my “supernatural” experience, and we listened as these scientists described my experience EXACTLY.
Here, after decades, was the clinical description that literally changed my life. My sleep began returning to normal, and my mental health improved.
34. Nom, Nom, Nom
I wasn’t a kid anymore, but some years back, when my mom was terminally ill, my family was receiving food-based gifts from a lot of our friends: prepped dinners, baked snacks, a restaurant gift card or two; the usual support friends extend when people they care about are going through tough times. For a long time, I remembered dad asking me if I’d tried any pastries we’d gotten from some family friends. We’ll call them the Nelsons.
I let him know they were a little dry but very tasty, and he chuckled. It stuck with me because it was an odd reaction. It wasn’t until a couple of years later while driving home that I remembered his reaction and the fact that the Nelsons had suggested easing some of mom’s pain with marijuana, which they grew at home around the same period.
I had eaten pot cookies. I feel like an idiot for not realizing it, and I don’t remember anything that happened after eating the pastries.
35. The FUNcle
My uncle, who was single with no kids, lived a few houses away from my grandparents. My siblings and I would often go between the houses. We always loved my uncle’s house because he had a huge fish tank of tropical fish, and he let us play video games. He was the most fun uncle there was—he was always taking us to the movies, amusement parks, fishing, and golfing, and he was just fun to be around in general.
He always had us rolling with laughter. But over time, he became less okay with us popping over, and we resorted to sneaking into his house. We didn’t get very far along, and it made him angry when he caught us. From that point on, we always just saw him at my grandparents’ house. We used to joke with him about having a girlfriend over.
Fast forward 17 years later, he had a massive heart attack, and while he was in the hospital, his sisters went into his house to look for paperwork and get the house ready for his return. That’s when we uncovered his dark secret. There they found ROOMS full of empty bottles of cheap booze. My uncle had a severe drinking addiction for years, and none of us knew it. And suddenly, so many little things started making sense. He ended up dying shortly thereafter of organ failure. He wasn’t even 60 yet.
36. Turtle Recall
When I was younger, like four or five, my family had a pet turtle. One day, the turtle went missing, and my parents told me it climbed the wall in our backyard to go to the creek behind our house. I, being a naive toddler-child, did not question this logic. Fast forward to when I was 17 and driving with my mom in the car—we saw a tortoise crossing the street, and I was suddenly brought back to my memory of us having a pet turtle.
I pulled over to save the tortoise and was all, “OH MY GOD MOM, TURTLES CAN’T CLIMB WALLS! WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR TURTLE?!” I came to find out it had burrowed a hole in our lawn, and my dad didn’t notice it until after he ran it over with a lawnmower. Obviously, it was easier to pick up the pieces and tell your kid it climbed the wall than admit that it lost its life to a lawnmower.
37. Jolly Old Saint Nixed
When I was a child, I believed in Santa Claus. As I grew up, I became more skeptical of his existence. But there was one fact I couldn’t get over—one fact that kept me believing longer than any kid should: How did every single adult have their story straight? Every grown-up could name the reindeer, tell you where Santa lived, how he got around, what he wore, how his toys got made, what you’d get for being naughty, etc.
How could it possibly be a lie when everyone knows all of these exact details? It would have to be a cover-up of a massive scale, possibly organized through secret meetings held by the government that only adults could attend. I toiled for years, wondering exactly how they could coordinate such an elaborate lie. I finally broke when, one year, I asked Santa for coal, and instead got CHARCOAL—suspiciously the same kind my parents kept in the garage.
I interrogated my parents, and they finally had to fess up that it was all a lie. They told me that every fact they knew about Santa came from stories, songs, movies, and television. There was no corporate conspiracy; just a bunch of adults that had heard far too many shopping mall winter playlists.
38. The Game Bugged Him For Years
As a kid, I played Medal of Honor: Allied Assault with my brother. We got to the fifth level, which took place in a rainy French city similar to the one in Saving Private Ryan. However, we always got stuck on the first objective, which was to locate the bazooka team. There were no clues as to where this team was in a giant rubble-filled city with poor visibility.
To make things worse, hidden enemy snipers would constantly fire at us, making the search much more difficult than it already was. My brother and I practically scoured every nook and cranny, but we never found this team. If the bazooka team was trying to stay hidden, they were doing a good job. In the months that followed, we reinstalled and replayed the game several times, but we would always get stuck on that level.
Fast forward several years, and I got the digital version of Allied Assault for nostalgia’s sake. I dreaded playing the fifth level, but to my surprise, I easily cleared the first objective by happening across the bazooka team’s corpses in one of the buildings. It turns out the CD we originally played on had a bug where the bodies were never even rendered into the game.
All we did was waste several hours looking for a group of people that never made it to the battle in the first place. Giddy at the prospect of finally completing the game, I happily continued the level only to quit when I kept getting sniped by those dang hidden snipers.
39. The Ring Of Truth
My grandmother is extremely religious. Despite this, she was surprisingly chill about both my sister and me having children out of wedlock. It never made much sense to me why she was so understanding when I knew she did not approve of it. Cut to my wedding, after the ceremony she called me over and put a ring in my hand.
It was my late grandfather’s wedding ring; it was a gift that I wore as my wedding band for many years. Once I started inspecting it, I saw there was an engraving on the inside. It had my grandparents’ initials and the date of their wedding. That date was AFTER the day my mother was born. That’s when I realized: “She’s rotten, just like us.”
40. The Yo-Yo Effect
One day, my friend was over at my house playing video games. My mom called us over to her room to help flip the mattress over. So we did. We then went to another friend’s house. My mom later called me at that friend’s house and said, “There were two $20 bills on top of the dresser. Did you get them?” I said no. I then asked my friend, and he also said no.
Around five minutes later, my friend asked if we wanted to go to the toy store because he had $40 in two $20 bills. I said yes and we went—he bought me a yo-yo or something. It took me YEARS to finally realize that my friend took the money.
41. The Writing Was On The Wall
When my brother, my sister, and I were kids, there was the incident of the “little M’s.” I must have been about five years old, while my brother was seven and my sister was nine. One evening, my mom had been decorating the living room, and about halfway up the wall, there were these little squiggles that suddenly appeared in pencil over the fresh paint.
They went the whole way along the wall and around the entire room. When my mom saw them, she hit the roof. There were hours of screaming and trying to get one of us to confess to writing on the wall. I was the prime suspect being so young, but on closer inspection, the little squiggles looked like little “M’s.” Because my sister’s name began with an “M,” she was also a suspect.
My mom sent us all to our shared room to talk about which one of us would confess. We knew that none of us had done it, but we still had to confess because my mom was… well… crazy. Being the youngest, we decided I’d receive a lesser punishment, so I took one for the team.
Many, many years later, we asked our mom about it. She admitted that she had figured out the next day that it had bled through the painting from underneath. Someone must have marked a border around the room; possibly for a dado rail or something. We laughed it off, but we were pretty angry that she didn’t admit it and apologize to us at the time.
42. Fit To Be Tied
One time, when I was a kid, I had a bad dream. I dreamt that my parents locked me in my room by tying a rope between the doorknobs of my door and the bathroom door directly across the hall. I thought it must have been a dream because my parents would never do that to me. But years later, I found out that was exactly what they did.
Apparently, I had horrible night terrors, and I would run screaming into their room. After so many sleepless nights, they couldn’t handle it anymore. My door didn’t have a lock, so they came up with the rope solution. Thank goodness I eventually grew out of the night terrors.
43. The Hooch Heist
I’m from Ireland, and as unusual as it was, my parents never drank. Every Christmas, our family friends would forget about this and give our parents booze as gifts. Naturally, my parents either threw those bottles into the storeroom or regifted them. But one year, when I was eight years old, my parents got this awesome bottle of 40-year-old Scottish whiskey.
It was a cool looking bottle, so they placed it with pride on the mantlepiece. Then, when I was 16, my parents decided to go out of town for the weekend. My brother, who was 18, decided we should pull an Ocean’s Eleven on it—take the bottle and go to a massive house party with lots of beautiful-looking ladies.
I told him that we would surely get caught because this bottle was the pride of the house. My brother—who is so cunning that if you placed a tail on him, you could call him a weasel—explained that we would drink the finest bottle of booze on this side of Bonnie Scotland and then take it home and fill it with cold Irish black tea.
We duly did this and had an amazing time at the party. Mom and dad came home and were none the wiser. Day turned into night, days turned into months, seasons passed, years went by, and both my brother and I were in college. We returned home one Christmas and noticed straight away that the bottle on the mantlepiece was gone!
We were like, “Oh, no. Mom is going to murder us.” However, no one said anything, and we all had a great Christmas. Again days and nights went by, seasons came and went, and a few more years added up.
When I was around 24 years old, I worked in a hospital for a while and often had lunch with the janitors, cleaners, and handymen who worked there. After three months, one older Irish gentleman I got to know very well said to me, “Young man, do you like whiskey?” I answered, “Of course I do.” He replied, “Well, let me tell you a story.”
He then said, “Many years ago, your father asked me to paint the outside walls of your home. When your father went to pay me for my hard day of work, I refused. Knowing that they didn’t drink, I remarked if I could lift that 50-year-old bottle of fine Scottish booze. Your father thought this was an amazing deal, and I went home happy. My wife made me a steak and poured me a large glass, and I sat on the porch on a lovely summer’s day. Then I drank the dang cool tea and nearly took a heart attack.”
At this moment, I was literally in the end scene of The Usual Suspects. I couldn’t believe it and didn’t know what to say. Simply, I was gobsmacked. I offered to pay the older man for his work; however, he refused and laughed, saying that he was young once too. I am now 45 years old, and my parents to this day don’t know that we took the bottle, swapped it out with tea, and then a poor auld man drank it years later and never got paid for his honest day’s work! Only in Ireland, folks.
When I was a kid, we had a pet bird. One time, we went away for a weekend and left it with friends, but their cat “knocked over the cage and it flew away.” Years later, I was like, “Wait, their cat definitely slaughtered our bird, and mom didn’t tell us.” I brought it up with my mom, and you could see realization dawn on her face. She said, “You know what, maybe you’re right.”
So, yeah, my mom didn’t lie about it, but it’s possible our friends did. Or maybe he got away after all…
45. The Driver Got BUSted
For a while, in about the second grade, we had a bus driver who drove strangely. One time, he even tried to get the bus down a really narrow lane where it got stuck between a building and a tree, and we all had to get out and push. But the time I’ll never forget was when he didn’t drop off my friends and me at our designated stop.
He just completely missed our neighborhood, the last area on his route, and he went on to pick up the kids at the high school. My two friends and I were too scared to speak up. We stayed sitting in the back seats until a high schooler yelled, “Hey, there’s a bunch of little kids back here!” The driver cursed a blue streak, peeled out of the high school parking lot (probably without half his next load of kids), and drove us home.
All of our moms were distraught since we were like an hour late, and this happened long before cell phones. I told my mom all about the adventures we had with this guy driving, and the next day we had a new driver. Of course, he had been driving around for weeks, intoxicated, with a school bus full of kids.
46. A Deep Sleep
I remember waking up on our couch and being very bothered that I got taken from my nice warm bed, but I was too sleepy to say anything. My mom and dad were in the next room, screaming at each other, and then my mom came to me, crying and telling me not to fall asleep. I passed out. Then, when I woke up, I realized I was lying across my papaw’s truck’s back seat in the dark. Something was very wrong.
My mom was crying in the front seat, and my aunt was holding me crying. Papaw just stared straight ahead like he was mad. Later, I woke up again in a bright room, being jostled around and pinched. The next time I woke up, I was back in bed, and I thought it was all a dream. Twenty years later, I learned that my fever spiked at age three, and both my mom and dad unknowingly gave me medicine.
Those meds reacted to each other and I had a seizure, but my dad had to go to work and couldn’t be bothered, so my aunt and papaw took me to the hospital because an ambulance would have taken longer. In the truck, I was turning blue. The bright room was the ER, and the pinches were multiple IVs and tubes and such being placed.
I was there, out like a light, for three days.
When I was eight or nine, I won Kings tickets in a school raffle. My dad couldn’t go for reasons I don’t remember, and my mom is about as anti-sports as you can get. So I took my uncle with me instead. He mostly wanted to be in a private suite and suck down stadium food, so that’s what we did.
He took me to the box, and there was this couple with us. They were probably in their 20s. Initially, they were kind of quiet and made very little small talk with my uncle. Then, he headed out to get some snacks, and the couple kind of slid over to me. Remember, I was at that “blushy-shy-kid age,” and the woman WAS rather attractive.
Then, the creepiest thing happened. Somehow—I swear that I don’t remember how—she asked what I would do if she kissed me, then bet me to let her. She kissed me, and I turned that kind of red you only see on stop signs. They had a HUGE laugh about that, which, of course, only made me blush harder and get a lot more self-conscious.
She started talking about doing it again, and I kind of did that thing little kids often do where they shake their heads and hide. She kept calling me cute, and then they said something about me going somewhere else with them. But my uncle came back with the stadium food, and they went back to their side of the box.
I was too dang embarrassed to say anything, and hey, stadium food is good, so I never gave it a second thought. When that memory resurfaced in my twenties, I went, “WAIT, WHAT THE HECK!”
48. How Awful
When I was little (around six or eight years old, maybe), my mom, brother, and I were on the train traveling home from visiting family. Suddenly, the train stopped in the middle of nowhere, and we just sat there confused for a minute until my mom saw something outside and gasped, “Don’t look out the window.”
Naturally, this piqued our curiosity, and we clambered all over our mother to get a look out the window while she tried and failed to hold us back. There was nothing there—just some sticks and maybe some paint. We were like, “What gives?” My mother laughed and said, “Gotcha! Were you scared?” We both slumped back into our seats, disappointed, and waited for the train to start moving again.
She told us years later what she really saw that day… The truth sent chills up our spines.
It had been a suicide by train that we had happened across. There was just no way we could have recognized what we were seeing as a human being, and my mom managed to just play it off like it was nothing, even though it must have been a truly horrifying sight to somebody who knew what they were looking at.
49. Something Strange In The Neighborhood…
When I was around six to eight years old, I remember I had to start asking my mom to go play in the backyard with my siblings so that she could supervise us. We never had to do this previously, so my siblings and I were very confused. Any time we didn’t ask, we got in big trouble. Eventually, when we got older, my mom finally told us the truth. We were absolutely floored.
It turned out the neighbors were harboring a known pedophile in their house, and that’s why mom got so upset with us going outside without asking.
50. Maybe It Was The Hamburglar
When I was like four or five, my mom, brother, and I went along with my dad on a business trip to Seattle. I have a distinct memory of being in like a Taco Bell or a McDonald’s (I can’t remember which), but I remember waiting in line, getting to the front, and then my mom just taking us and leaving. I remember being so disappointed, and my brother and I whining and complaining until we got to the next place.
Well, a couple of years ago (I’m 28 now), it somehow came up in conversation, and my mom told us the whole story. We got to the front of the line, and the cashier said, “Those men over there are robbing us; they have weapons. Take your children and leave now,” so my mom did exactly that and never told us what happened.