All toxic, creepy, and twisted families are outrageous in their own way, and these Redditors found that out firsthand. From the outside, these broods might have appeared totally normal, but they gave themselves away in these incredibly bizarre moments. Once these creepy cats got out of the bag, there was no going back.
The nail room. There was a small cupboard under the stairs that had nails stuck to every surface. Like, the sharp end pointing into the room. Even the inside of the door was the same. It reminded me of an iron maiden device but not as tight-fitting. Other than that, the family was completely normal. My friend is completely normal.
No weirdness or anything. He doesn't know why they had the nail room either. Just always remembers it being there.
I visited a girl who I hung out with at school, and on every wall everywhere in the house hung paintings of crying children. It only got weirder when the girl, who had always been a quiet nice girl, pulled her pants down to her knees and started running around the dining room table in a crouching position while laughing in the creepiest way ever.
She expected me to join in, but I was too weirded out and just left the room. I never looked at her the same after that. I don't think her parents were home at the time. I don't remember much about them either, but I always felt like they were the kinds of people you couldn't have a stimulating conversation with. What was going on in that house??
I knew a girl who could never come over to play. Mondays, she had piano and had to spend the entire day practicing, Tuesdays and Thursdays she had gymnastics, Wednesdays she had cheerleading, Fridays she had tumbling, and Saturday and Sunday were solely for church stuff. She was never available to do anything and she also way grounded if she got anything less than an A on her report cards or any feedback other than her being a star in whatever sport she was in. I wonder what happened to her...I never saw her again after middle school.
They had two couches and two recliners, but the kids and their friends weren't allowed to sit on them. Like, we'd get yelled at for sitting on them, and they had bed pillows stacked under the coffee table that we had to use to sit on. I thought it was some weird thing about keeping the furniture new, but the dad would get crumbs and such all over the couch from "his spot." And that wasn’t even the worst part.
The animals, including the raccoon they had, were all allowed on the furniture. Just not the kids.
At a Girl Guide event, I met a new girl and introduced myself. Later after we'd done some things, she told me her real name was a different one. I was like oh, okay. She asked me what mine was and I said…well, I had told her my real name. She absolutely insisted that I was hiding something and there was some reason I wouldn't tell her my real name.
Not that I had, like most children, not given a fake name? So odd. We were maybe eight years old at the time.
I had a friend whose parents were divorced. Sometimes the sleepovers were at her mom's, sometimes they were at her dad's. Sleepovers at her dad's were less frequent but definitely more interesting. On the walls were pages from magazines featuring photos of women, some of them in lingerie or swimsuits. He had a couple of mannequin heads with hair and we'd style them with different accessories.
I think we even gave one a haircut. He also had a wall of TVs—some color, some black and white, and all different sizes—all tuned to different channels. Usually we'd keep one thing on the biggest TV, and use some of the smaller ones to surf for something better. Sometimes we'd stay up late, and once we were confident he was asleep, watch adult stuff.
He also had two cats that would do tricks. He taught them how to sit and jump over your arm. Nice guy, weird apartment.
My mom and grandmother told me about a family that lived in the town where she lived. This was back in the 1930s and 1940s. The husband didn't work but the wife did, which was unusual during this time period. The father would whistle commands to his wife and children. Never called them by name, just whistled orders at them.
If they didn't respond fast enough, they would be punished. Must have been a nightmare for this family to live with this guy. My mom told me that this guy gave her the creeps. People strongly suspected that bad things were going on in that household that weren't visible. Every time my mom would see The Sound of Music where Captain Van Trapp used a whistle to whistle commands to his children, it would remind my mom of this guy.
There was a girl in my school named Lisa. She was kind of strange and most of the other girls didn't like her, but I thought she was nice. Her mom seemed really, really strange, though. Lisa invited all the girls in the class to a birthday party and only three of us showed up. Their house was like a scene out of hoarders—stuff piled from floor to ceiling.
They had a small dog that was tethered to a pole coming off their kitchen counter who looked like he was out for blood. He was growling and barking while baring his teeth the whole time. We had some boiled hotdogs for a meal and instead of cake for dessert, her mom gave us apple slices (???). The whole party and the whole vibe in the house was just really, really weird.
Her mom seemed to watch our every move. She never said anything, but just kind of sat and stared. She definitely had crazy eyes. Still, the four of us had fun despite everything, but it was easy to tell some bad stuff was going on in that house. Lisa ended up going to my high school as well. We didn't have any classes together, but I'd talk to her when I'd see her.
I wouldn't say we were friends, but we were friendly. I found out that about two years later, her mother was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility. It probably should have been done a whole lot sooner. Thankfully, their father was in the picture as well and they (Lisa had two sisters) grew up better than probably could be expected in those circumstances.
This family kept everything in a jar. Everything. Cereal? In a jar. Money and credit cards? Pocket-Jar. Dirty laundry? Large jar. They even kept some of their smaller jars in jars.
This family at my church I grew up going to in Kentucky was…creepy. The parents looked identical, like on the Simpsons with Milhouse's parents, but more alike. All of their children had severe learning disabilities. I did not realize until I learned about “family” relationships that they probably were closely related by blood.
I was in middle school and at a friend’s house. Her elderly grandparents lived with them. I had started wearing bras, but my friend hadn’t. I didn’t think anything of it until one day I was at her house and her grandfather was giving me a hard time about wearing a bra, which is weird enough. That’s when my friend revealed the whole disturbing story.
My friend tells me that she and her sister can’t wear a bra until they can show her grandpa that they can hold a pencil under their breasts. Yes, the parents knew, and apparently, her mom and aunts had followed the same rule.
It was my best friend in primary school. He lived with his grandmother and father in a small public housing unit. We were eight years old and I was having a sleepover. I had just gotten a Gameboy color, so we organized a night to play it together. His grandmother dropped a bottle of wine in the lounge, and it hit a table and smashed.
Her reaction was...insane. Instead of cleaning it up, this nice woman in her 70s dropped to her knees, trying to slurp it up from her carpet while crying loudly. Later that night, we saw his dad taking his "medication" (which I now realize was much harder than that) and then "falling asleep" in the room he shared with my friend. We slept on the floor in the lounge because his dad was sprawled out on my friend’s bed.
My friend didn't bother to explain any of the behavior I witnessed; he didn't even flinch. I presume it's because it had been normalized for him.
I was staying over at a friend’s house during the summer. We were like 11 or 12, and he told me he was going to shower. I told him cool, I'd stay and play Playstation, no biggie. A little while later, I hear multiple people laughing. It was coming from the bathroom down the hall, and later on both his parents and him all come out in towels.
I was confused, but asked him afterward what the laughing was about. His reply disturbed me to my core. He said his dad accidentally peed on his leg in the shower…yeah, this dude just took a shower with his whole family and his dad peed on him. It was definitely a what the heck moment. Also, they weren't poor or anything to warrant sharing showers.
They lived in an absolutely massive home that had like six bedrooms, three bathrooms, an in-ground pool, the works.
When I was a kid, there was this family that had an equal number of sons and daughters. There was a lot of them, I lost count. The family was religious, to the point that it was kind of cultish. The father was super controlling with his wife and all the kids, like they weren't allowed to even say things to each other unless he was okay with it.
All of them acted like this was amazing. Anyway, the weirdest, creepiest part was that none of the girls wore bras. It was super weird because I don't think they were allowed to.
The lady next door used to babysit us while my mother worked. She had children the same age as us (nine and 10 years old) and an older son who was 14 years old. She had a rule in her house that we could not close the door to a room, even if you were using the restroom or changing your clothes. I just hated when I had to use the bathroom.
I tried my best to hold it until I got home. When I could not hold it anymore, her creepy son would follow me to the restroom and just watch me pee. I would tell the mother how uncomfortable I was, but she just said that the rules are rules and I must leave the door open. I told my mother and that was the end of her babysitting us.
My stepfather's family. His father was married to a woman and they had a bunch of kids. The wife succumbed to some kind of illness, so he married another woman who also had a bunch of kids. Then they together had a bunch of kids. Basically, it was one enormous family. And then it turned outrageous. The stepkids began to marry each other, with the dad's kids marrying some of the wife's kids.
My stepfather was child number 25. And then after him, there were two more girls born. All total there were 27 kids. Oh, and two of the boys had the same first name. I never met all of my step-cousins. But one cousin lived in infamy. When he was 12 years old, my cousin Frankie shot and killed his own mother. At first they thought it was self-inflicted, but no.
I was also 12 years old at the time, and these people always held their viewings and wakes in the big family home. It was really creepy to see all this as a kid. They sang songs with no music, too. The whole thing was a new experience to me, so it was scary. While we were eating at the table, the five-year-old sister of that 12-year-old Frankie was sitting across from him and said, "I hate you, Frankie, for killing my mommy."
I was sitting right next to him. He flew up from his chair and went across the table, had her by the throat, and was down on the floor choking her. It took five uncles to get him off of her. He ended up only doing like five or six months in Juvie Hall, then he was sent home.
When I was very young, a friend once mentioned that she slept with the family dogs. Not a big deal, right? Our dog slept in my room, too. Then I went over to her house for a sleepover. We slept in the living room that night, but when she went to change into her nightie, I found out she slept in the basement, on a sleeping bag between two of the four kennels housing the family's 10 dogs.
All of her possessions were in cardboard boxes. There were three bedrooms in that house—one for her parents, one for her sibling who had moved out a few years ago, and one stacked floor to ceiling with the products for her mom's various pyramid schemes. No one seemed to think this was at all odd. My friend matter-of-factly said it was her choice to move into the basement so she had “space.”
She didn't tell me to keep it secret or say anything that made me think it was wrong, so although I felt weird about it, I just kind of dropped it. We faded in and out of contact all through school, and the last I heard, she moved in with her boyfriend when she was 16, but remained on good terms with her parents. So I guess the weirdest part of this story is that no one involved seemed to think anything was wrong with the situation.
My stepfather said that when he was little, he brought a friend home. However, his mother was a bit of a nut-job and decided that the kid’s hair should be black, so she somehow convinced the kid to let her dye his hair before sending him on his way. When he was reminded of it, my stepfather just said ruefully, “I never saw that kid again.”
As a kid I lived in a rural area of the Southern US in a lower middle class neighborhood. We all had average 50s style brick homes, except for this one neighbor. They moved in when I was in the 6th grade and they lived in a single-wide trailer. Turns out, this girl was really popular at my school, her parents divorced, and she and her mom moved from their own average 50s style brick home nearby into the trailer in the back of our neighborhood.
So I met this neighbor and I go to her trailer. I had never seen anything like it. There were bags of garbage everywhere. Old food and dishes in the sink. The entire place smelled like a cross between sour milk and dog poop. Speaking of dogs, they had two and they pooped in the trailer, and there was a bare spot in the living room carpet where they fed the dogs directly on the floor.
Filth would be a step up for this family. There would just be dog poop on the floor and it would just lie there, and you had to watch your step and sometimes you'd step in it while visiting. But they didn't clean it up or anything. They would just sit around the living room with dog poop on the floor, completely oblivious to it like this is normal.
Here's the weirdest part: the girl was incredibly clean herself. She was beautiful, neatly dressed, and easily the most popular girl in our school. However, she also smoked and her mom not only knew about it but also bought packs for her. Every morning before school, she smoked several darts, and every day after school she smoked.
She smoked in front of her mom all the time. She also had a boyfriend who was allowed to stay the night and they got it on all the time. She talked about this constantly. Her mom just didn't care. Fast forward to the eighth grade and the girl got pregnant. In ninth grade, she had the baby. In tenth grade, she got married. They were together for 25 years before divorcing.
Maybe the whole thing isn't creepy exactly but it was seriously sad. As an adult she's had cancer and still smokes. She believes nonsensical conspiracy theories. The baby she had in the ninth grade became an adult who was caught having some sort of inappropriate contact with a minor so she was left to raise her grandkids while her son went behind bars.
Other than that she's fine it seems, but her childhood was incredibly neglectful.
As a kid, I had a friend who came from a strongly religious family. This one time I was over at his house, and he angered his brother over some stupid computer stuff, which he did a lot because of his antagonistic personality. This particular time, he made his brother so angry that we had to hide in one of the rooms and push stuff in front of the door in order to hold the brother out.
Eventually, the father—who was a priest—came home. Then he got so angry at us and the older brother that I darn near peed my pants. I was so frightened. I always thought it was weird how a deeply religious family was so short-fused. There was a mild cognitive discrepancy. See, in my family we always talked things over in a rational way and never yelled really.
So this pushed my boundaries quite hard and ever since that event, I never went over to his place anymore. Instead, I'd invite him to my place where things were more chill.
My high school girlfriend’s family didn’t have a TV in the living room. No big deal right? Yeah. No sofa either. Or recliner. Or coffee table. Just four computer desks, one in each corner of the room, each facing the wall, and each with their own computer and two monitors. I asked her about them when we got to her room.
She said they get on their computers and talk to friends and...each other. In a chat room on the computer, with no one ever saying a word out loud. And true enough, her mom, dad, and brother were on the PCs from after school until 10 pm, when I left. I was convinced we could’ve got it on all day and they never would’ve noticed.
I noticed this about my own family: No one was allowed over from outside the family. EVER. It made our family extremely mysterious to the whole neighborhood, and people told all sorts of crazy rumors about my grandfather, and us, and all the sinister things that must be going on in our house. The truth was actually so tragic.
In reality, my grandfather had PTSD when people still didn't know what to call it, and any and all loud noises could really mess him up. We couldn't trust other people’s kids to be quiet, so no one was allowed over. Ever. Was totally normal to me, but it made everyone else sure I grew up in a horrific environment. For the record, I didn’t.
One of my friends growing up had hoarder mom. We would go to his house, which was always dark because the shades were all pulled closed, and every surface was covered with condiment bottles. Ketchup, mustard, BBQ, pickles, and all that stuff. Some full, some empty. It didn’t smell good. Meanwhile, he lived in a trailer in the driveway that he kept immaculate.
This was weird in itself, considering he was like 10 years old. It was so strange when you’re too young to really understand mental illness. His mom was always super nice though. Just kind of sad.
In high school, I slept over at a new friend’s house and she lived with her father (who was divorced) and her other siblings. The home was mid-century style with large windows, and in every room in the house, except the kids’ rooms, there were life-size mannequins dressed in wigs and lingerie. Mannequins standing up, mannequins lying on the couch, mannequins in the kitchen.
All in different, sensual poses. All of them could be seen from the outside windows. I never went there again.
In high school of my freshman year, there was this brother and sister that were fairly attractive. They were probably actually step-siblings, but I can't confirm. He was the long-haired, laid back, witty, dream boy that girls would chat with. I'll call him Will. The sister was this cute, shy goth girl with striking green eyes but black everything else and piercings.
I actually had a crush on her because she would always say hi to me and give me the flirt eyes. I'll call her Iris. One day, we were bored in class and the teacher was feeling lazy. So naturally, we all got in groups and talked. I was around the brother and the topic came to bedroom experience. Obviously, I was virgin. But then Will made a shocking revelation.
He mentions casually that he got it on with Iris just two nights ago. Our group just kind of fell silent. Finally, someone asked, "Like...wait. Iris? Like your sister, Iris? Or some other girl?" We thought maybe he forgot to clarify and we'd laugh about it. But then he confirmed that, yes, he meant his sister. We started to lose our minds. Someone else asked Iris to confirm.
She also said yes. Then, as people start getting grossed out, they moved close to each other and started holding hands. They say they've been doing it for a while now—at least a year or so. Some people actually ran out the classroom to cry or throw up. Others just kind of gawked in disbelief. We were supremely upset by this and just kind of stopped talking to them.
I still had a mild crush on Iris, but that revelation always made my stomach turn. I ended up transferring schools a month later, so I never found out what happened after that.
I spent the night at a friend’s house with a group of girlfriends for a birthday. We were like 12 or 13 years old, and the parents gave us a strict bedtime of 10 pm. We made some effort to go to bed by then, but some of us were still up and talking in low voices. Nothing loud. Her dad came out of his bedroom with a bag and told us to grab our blankets and go out to the backyard.
Inside the bag was a tent. Then he closed the back door and left us out there. His daughter was too afraid to go inside to get a glass of water. We built the tent and everyone was kind of shell-shocked. It wasn’t dangerous out there, but we just didn’t expect to get kicked out of the house all night. Those parents were weirdly serious about bedtime.
My friend’s dad had his life turned upside down basically. He and I were friends since real early, first or second grade at the latest, clear into our thirties. I was never very well-off, and he was solidly upper-middle-class judging by his house. As I recall, his father was a very good fisherman who made most of their income from tournaments, while his mother was a dentist.
Anyways, they were always super nice and had me over a lot. The dad took me and my friend fishing most weekends in the summers, and he helped us build bikes and go-carts. He was a very good father. There was also a sister. As a 13-year-old, this 16- to 17-year-old was my absolute crush, but that’s totally beside the point. Her life became a tragedy.
Something happened at the lake I am still not entirely privy to and she died. Some form of collision that killed her on impact. Her dad was never the same; he was distant and disheveled, and he stopped fishing or doing much of anything but drink. He was still super nice to me, but he was different after that and you could tell he just never came to terms with it.
Later, his dentist wife would go entirely mental while in the middle of fixing a patient’s mouth, and she had to give up her practice.
The kid’s mother kept the youngest kid’s umbilical cord taped on the wall with scotch tape. My friend made it a point to show me. We also couldn’t come out after 8 pm because the adults were watching an adult movie. We were told we couldn’t leave the room for any reason, and if we needed the bathroom, we had to ask.
My mom freaked the heck out after I told her about my night; I was only nine years old at the time.
One of my best friends growing up had really weird house rules. No one was allowed to go into the garage, which we later found out was because her parents smoked in there. But the weirdest things were that both her and her brother were locked in their rooms at bedtime, with a deadbolt on the outside of the door, and they weren’t allowed to turn on hallway lights at night.
Light on in the living room while you’re watching TV? Sure. Light on in the kitchen or bedroom? Of course. But they couldn’t turn on any other lights when moving from room to room or going upstairs. I know there were other things, but those two still stick out the most to me. What the heck was going on there at night? I’ll always wonder.
The annual trash trip. While in elementary school, I went home with a friend once a week for a few months due to one of my parent’s scheduling. I noticed that any time we ate at this friend’s house, it was with paper plates and plastic utensils…and they always just threw all trash in a pile in the garage. The pile kept growing. And growing. And stinking.
Then at one point, it almost all just went away...all of a sudden the pile was less than one trash bag. I commented about this to my friend. His response made my stomach churn. He just shrugged and said last weekend was the “annual trash trip.” Apparently, they scooped it all into the bed of his dad’s truck and hauled it to the town dump, about a 10 minute drive away.
When I was 12, I went to the beach with one of my friend’s families. While most of it was normal, my buddy was a bit chubby and he wanted to wear a shirt while swimming. I assume he was self-conscious, which is fine and I didn’t care. However, this became a huge fight between him and his family, and to an irrational level.
They refused to let him wear it. It just was so weird to me. Now, I was always skinny as a kid but certainly if I had wanted to do something as insignificant as wearing a shirt at the beach, my parents would have no issue with it.
This kid in my fourth-grade class that I was friends with invited me to his birthday party. I had a baseball game or something, so I just went over beforehand to hang out a little bit. Well, they just casually had adult stuff playing on the family room TV. I apparently came home and told my parents we watched a movie about two people lying down on a couch and hugging and they kind of did the math themselves.
I grew up in an immigrant home but lived in a white middle-class neighborhood. One day, I was over at my white friend’s house whose parents were divorced. Her dad came by and she gave him some attitude because she wanted him to visit more. In a split second, everything changed. Her dad just pushed her—HARD—right in front of me.
His face was a mask of rage. I was scared and I grew up under a tiger mom. I thought no other parent could scare me. I was genuinely shocked my white friend got pushed by her dad. It was shocking because they had a nice house and all the things middle class families have. Pool, dog, nanny, tickets to the Backstreet Boys.
Also contributing to the shock was the sheer audacity of doing it in front of non-family. My parents hid that from outsiders like they were the CIA. Everyone who met her thought my mom was a tiny angelic mother who couldn’t hurt a fly. She even had a totally different voice she used for outsiders. That’s when I realized it's true. No one knows what someone is going through. I thought she was pretty tough after that. But I felt for her too.
When I was a kid, I want to say like five years old, I walked into a new "friend's" house and their family immediately remarked how much they liked my jacket and asked where they could find it. Flash-forward to two hours later, my jacket has vanished from the closet. I searched the closet, then searched everywhere we had played, but they told me "we'll give it back to you when we find it."
I never went back to see that "friend," and the jacket never found its way back to me at school. I'm approaching my 40s and to this day that bothers me.
We had a family across the street that had a daughter around my age, maybe a little younger. Her house constantly had a distinct smell, and once when I spent the night she told me that God spoke to her and told her she was going to heaven. Then it got even stranger. One day the house was just empty. I came home from school, went over, and knocked for ten minutes.
When I peered through the blinds, everything was gone. I didn't think much of it at first, since families came and went often in our neighborhood. But a few weeks later, according to my dad, a bounty hunter came looking for the parents. I obviously had no information, but I always wonder where they went and what the smell was.
When I was a kid I was in a Bible study group, one mom quit as leader so another took over. Her daughter in the group always seemed totally normal, and she was really into gymnastics. The family was insanely rich, like gated community McMansion in California rich, and from the first meeting we had in their house, we started to notice chilling things.
This girl was horrific to her mom. We were only there once a week for an hour and a half, and almost every week this girl would scream insults and degrade her mother, throw food or dangerous objects at her, hit her, and we watched her mom just shrink and take it. It struck me even back then that her husband and son might be doing the same to her, too.
We ended up quietly convincing another mother to take over for the group. I hope that lady is okay.
My mom set me up on a pity play date with one of the least popular kids in middle school. I had the social awareness to recognize the situation as it was and treated it as if I was hanging out with any other friend. The whole time we were together, his parents kept telling him that he should be glad that I was hanging out with him, otherwise he'd be alone.
When they weren't being that blunt about it, they were dropping hints about it. I can't express how uncomfortable that was for me, being raised in a loving family and seeing someone else's parents treat their kid that way. I made sure to talk with him every day in school after that.
My grandma leaves the door open to the bathroom while she’s on the toilet no matter where this bathroom is located. She also takes phone calls now while in there too. She’ll do this at a friend’s house or a public washroom, it doesn’t matter to her. The phone calls are never muted either. We are unsure where she picked up this habit since no one else has done this that we know of.
Growing up, it took me a fair bit of time to realize that not all grandmas do that...
I remember when I was around 15 years old, my little brother had a friend, and this friend had a sister. Their dad was a pastor and both their parents were very strict about EVERY thing. I remember thinking they were crazy. They had their young kids on strict diets so they didn’t get "fat." I mean, no sweets or soda ever, among other restrictions.
They would come to our house and my mom would let them have soda, and to them, it was the best thing ever. I completely get wanting your kids to be healthy, but they took it to a whole new level.
I stayed the night at my friend’s house once, and his dad woke the whole family up (including me) and made everybody line up in the living room and stand at attention while he ranted for 30 minutes about Vietnam. He would also ask yes or no rhetorical questions and demand the individual sound off afterward. It got weirder.
See, everybody just acted like it was a minor eccentricity you just had to put up with. The guy also demanded everybody in the house refer to him as sir and salute him when he walked by. Vietnam ended 10 years before the guy was born and he was never in the military. I have no idea what the heck his problem was but it was definitely a problem.
My little cousin used to be really talkative, to the point of it being annoying. She was like that until she was about seven or eight years old, when she slowly was unable to say extremely common words like “school” or “street.” We weren't close to that side of the family, but you could definitely tell that something was off about her.
By the time she was 10, she had the vocabulary of a kid in kindergarten while her siblings were going to school without any speech problems. There were rumors going around that she couldn't use the bathroom by herself anymore. Still, her family didn't find her behavior indicative of a problem until she started hitting and slapping people for no reason.
I don't know what she was diagnosed with, but she's taking medication now and they're all doing better than they were. I guess the most what the heck part was that we were never told what was the problem. She's almost nonverbal, can't go to school, and can't recognize some of us at times, but no one has ever talked to us about it.
My partner’s father refuses to have more than ONE light bulb on in the living room after dinner when it's dark outside. We just sit there in this large room, barely able to see one another, with only one 15-watt bulb going in a lamp in the distance. One time, I got up and turned on another lamp so I could read something, and he got up immediately—without a word—and shut it off.
They didn't drive. Not a single one of them except the girl I was dating. They always relied on other people for rides. Then, after you said no, they'd try to guilt-trip you into it after complaining that cabs are expensive. It took about a month for me to realize that they did this to everyone they knew, and I could just say no. It was such a headache.
Half the time my girlfriend was out running her family around. They were so manipulative. All hours of the night, too! "So and so needs a ride to the hospital because he has a headache!" Then call an ambulance or better yet, drive yourself!
One time I went over to a friend’s house, and there was a drum set in the middle of his living room. I assumed it was my friend’s, but when I asked him if he knew how to play the drums he said that he didn’t. A couple of hours later we were upstairs playing video games and rock music just started blasting at what I assume was max volume from downstairs.
We both go downstairs, and his middle-aged mom is rocking the heck out on the drums. My friend asked his mom if she could turn it down and move into the garage, and she did. But I could still hear her in the garage the rest of the time I was there.
One of my good friends in elementary school—first through fifth grade—had a deadbolt on the inside of her bedroom door. She also had a phone in her closet that she wasn't allowed to use. It was a second line and had a different phone number than the main house phone. Meanwhile, the Bible on her bookshelf was full of money.
There were $20 and $50 bills tucked between the pages. I didn't realize what this all meant until I was much, much older. Her father was very abusive towards her mother. Not the kids, though. Just the mom. My friend's room was the "safe" room. Mom would lock herself and the kids in there when he got in one of his moods. The phone was to call for help. The money was in case they needed to run.
My husband’s family gathers around the Christmas tree and opens gifts one by one...and if you don’t like your gift YOU GIVE IT BACK TO HIS MOM TO EXCHANGE IT. This was horrifying to my brother-in-law and me. We were used to opening ugly sweaters, smiling, and saying thank you, all while planning the Goodwill run in our heads.
While mortifying, my mother-in-law does it because she wants to buy exactly what you like while still having presents for you to open. At this point, my husband almost never returns stuff. Once I opened a pink shirt and took half a second too long to just say thank you to get out of the horrible tradition. My husband said without blinking, "Oh mom, she hates pink. You should do black or gray," AND HANDED IT BACK TO HER.
Poop knives. My sister's husband's family didn't have plungers when they were growing up, they had poop knives. Each member of the family had his or her own knife. Pretty self-explanatory, clog toilet => poke dookie with knife => poop knife. It was weird.
This happened when I was about 8 years old, and it haunts me to this day. It was Halloween, and a family member took me and some friends out trick or treating. It was dusk in a lovely neighborhood of big brick homes with big verandas, big thick trees on the lawns. So, we're having a nice time. My school was on that street, so we knew the area, we felt safe, and weren’t expecting anything weird to happen.
There was a really big house on a corner lot, all done up with Halloween decorations. We all go up to the door, knock and say our spiel, and a man answers. There's now about six of us crowded in a small huddle at the door. He gives us our candy, and says something, which I honestly forget the exact words, but he invites us in to see something.
He's got a HUGE grin on his face, almost busting out laughing, and the person who's taking us around says it's ok to go in. Big mistake. We all stumble into this beautiful foyer with wood trim and shiny wood French doors. It's burned into my memory. He says to come look, and opens the French doors leading into to the living room.
There's a room full of adults standing around the perimeter of the room, laughing their butts off at us, and then pointing to the living room floor, where a young kid, maybe same age as us, about 8, is on the floor in some costume or other, but the kid has some type of spastic disability, and is writhing on the floor in contortions, yelling, screaming, arms and legs flailing, face contorted, his back arching as he's writhing on the floor.
All while the adults stood around laughing and pointing at him, then bending over in laughter at us kids looking in the room. They were absolutely screaming with laughter, pointing at the kid, pointing at us. It was a nightmare scene. It was a scene of mocking and degradation. They were laughing AT the kid, in a mean psycho way.
It was like something out of a Stephen King novel. The person we were with spins us around and pushes us back towards the front door, and we all stumble out, not saying a word. The man stayed in the open door behind us, laughing as we went down the walk towards the sidewalk. What the absolute heck was going on there?? That was years ago, and I still can't forget it.
His mom and dad lived together...and his dad’s mistress and his half-brother lived in the basement.
Sophomore year of high school, I was invited to one kid’s apartment to work on a school project. I couldn’t believe what I saw. His house had no furniture—just a single mattress and the whole place was a complete mess. A giant stack of dirty dishes, etc. While I was there, the guy nonchalantly mentioned what was going on.
His only parent, his mother, had left to visit family in Korea two years earlier, and he'd lived by himself since then. She just sent him money each month for food and paid the bills remotely. Considering he must have been like 15 years old, I was kind of thinking what the heck, but it seemed like he was doing (relatively) fine so I just moved on.
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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