Shocking Family Secrets

August 26, 2022 | Sarah Ng

Shocking Family Secrets

Of all the people in the world, we feel like we know our families best. Unfortunately, even the most unassuming people carry the darkest secrets. These Redditors discovered the skeletons in their loved ones' closets, and boy did it take them by surprise.

1. Not My Kind Of Pickle

I found a pickled baby that was supposedly my "4x great uncle" that was stillborn when his family was involved in a scientific field. It's in his basement and I refuse to go anywhere near it. They managed to get away with it through some loophole that allowed them to list a formaldehyde container as a form of burial and so he's been that way for supposedly over 100 years. But that’s not the weirdest part.

My family preserved it in the hopes of one day finding a way to bring him back to life by some miracle.

Secret PossessionsFlickr, Rami

2. A Blood Bath

My ex-husband had tubes of fake blood. I thought it was weird when I found them stuffed in the closet, but I didn't say anything because it was not far off from Halloween. However, it wasn’t long before that blood came back to haunt me. Our marriage was over and I caught him cheating. I decided to leave. I went back to get some belongings—and made the most disturbing discovery.

My husband had staged an accident with the fake blood on the kitchen floor (he was a total nut job) to make me feel bad for leaving. He waited until I showed up and had an open bottle of Tylenol and fake blood all over his body as though he’d taken his own life. Well, he wasn’t fooling me. I banged on the window and told him to get up and stop playing stupid games.

Unsurprisingly, he started twitching and the life came back into him. He crawls to open the door mumbling he needs to go to the hospital. I step over him and grab my belongings. I find the tubes of blood thrown in the bathroom trash can and threw them at him on the way out.

Secret PossessionsPexels

3. He Liked Digging

We found three extra rooms. Apparently, my uncle liked digging under his house and had created a huge underground area—10-foot ceilings reinforced with steel I-beams, painted cinder block walls, and these ridiculous steel doors in all the rooms.

It looked like he was taking things very seriously to keep his house from caving into the hole he dug. Even had drains in the middle of all the rooms in case of flooding, I guess. You would never suspect it, as it was just a house in a normal neighborhood. All sorts of crazy stuff down there.

Looked like he might have spent a few years straight-up exclusively living down there; lots of handmade wicker furniture, and creepy clay sculptures...

Family SecretsFlickr, denisbin

4. Last Words

Not a spouse, but a roommate. My old roommate, who worked in construction, left a continuing learning binder that he was supposed to bring to work that day on the couch. My boyfriend went to move it to his room and a piece of notebook paper that was stapled together fell out of it. It looked terribly ominous.

The front of the letter said his name and “Last Words”. Panicked, I was like, “Just open it”. Sure enough, it was this letter about how, “If you’re reading this, I’m gone,” and had some stuff about remembering the good times and what he wanted done with his stuff. We are freaking out at this point and trying to call him but get no answer.

We’re calling our friends and trying to get in touch with him for 15 minutes but nothing. We started digging through his room for any clues about what his work number was, and luckily we found a piece of paper with the info on it. We called and asked if he showed up to work and they said yes. We told them it was an emergency and to have him call us.

About five minutes later, we get the call and talk to him and are just in tears asking what the letter is about and telling him we love him. It was a draft of a letter he had to write and keep on file at work because the type of work he did was dangerous. They’d been having safety issues and his entire team was told to write them during their continuing education classes that week.

He laughed so hard and we were just bawling our eyes out, lol. I watched him like a hawk after that, not entirely sure that he was telling the truth about the letter. I reached out to others who worked in similar fields and they stated that it can be standard at certain places.

It was such a stressful event but we were just glad he was okay. It’s a funny story to tell now, but it was terrifying in the moment.

Secret PossessionsWikimedia Commons

5. Onion Bread Sticks

My parents regularly made onion bread sticks for my great-grandparents. For someone not aware, it’s bread cut into strips and onion soup mix mixed in butter and slathered on before baking until crispy. And that's where this story takes a dark turn.

We found out after both had passed that my great grandma always kept one from each batch and hid it away in a Ziploc. She’d repeat until full and then start a new Ziploc. This went on for ten years. We visited every other month. Imagine finding 60 of those in varying states of decay.

Family SecretsFlickr, Nic McPhee

6. A Skeleton In The Closet

I found out that my husband was keeping a human skeleton. It was in his bedroom closet for weeks when we were hooking up and I didn’t know. Just hanging from this neat little hardware apparatus he made special just to display it. When I asked him how it got there, he said it was from the local university science department, only they were getting rid of a bunch of bone specimens in the 80s, including a skeleton that was missing the skull and rib cage.

My husband, weird and talented kid that he was, proceeded to repair the skeleton with the other human bone specimens. So it’s made of pieces of no less than three deceased people. Consider this next time you go out with a goth. Sometimes they really mean it.

Secret PossessionsPexels

7. No Explanation

A year after my parents divorced, my father took early retirement, sold the house, and moved with his mother from Ohio to Florida. All of this was very sudden and rushed; he accepted the first offer that was made on the house. He passed 18 months later. In his effects, we found his medical records—and that's when we learned the heartbreaking truth.

He had pancreatic cancer, did nothing to treat it, and never told a soul. He found out, retired, moved someplace warm, and waited. I also found his medals from his time in the Marines, including a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. My father was the poster child for PTSD.

A few years later, Grandma and I had a real heart-to-heart. She said I never really met the real him, a piece of him never really left Vietnam. He expired a broken and depressed man and told no one he knew that his time was up.

Family SecretsPexels

8. A Bond Between Brothers

So, about 40 years ago, my dad’s baby brother was in a BAD accident. He was driving a big rig through Alberta, and the stretch of highway he was on was raised up above the land around it. His cab ended up on one side of the road, his trailer on the other. He had to be air-lifted to the hospital. He was in a coma for days.

He couldn’t walk for a while after he woke up, but couldn’t remember he couldn’t walk, so kept trying to get out of his wheelchair and falling flat on his face—it was BAD.

My dad and their parents flew in from BC to be there for him. He pulled through, though had some minor brain damage. Went on to become a teacher, moved to Japan, got married, and had a couple of kids. Seven years ago, he went for a walk on New Year’s Day, but he never came home.

They found his body on the hiking trail. He’d had an aneurysm.

After his memorial service, my dad and I were staying up late into the night talking over some drinks. And the topic of his accident came up. Now, the first time I’d heard about the accident, I was a curious 10-year-old that had just noticed one of his pupils was bigger than the other. So I’d asked about it, and he told me the story over ice cream.

So when my dad brought up his hospital stay, I told him what I remembered being told: that when he finally woke up from his coma, he was alone in the room, but the room felt like my dad, and he knew he’d been there for him. My dad doubled over sobbing. He’d never known.

Family SecretsPexels

9. Don’t Keep It Bottled Up

On the day I kicked my ex-boyfriend out, I was removing his things when I stumbled across something that sent a chill down my spine: hidden bottles of urine in the back of the closet. Naturally horrified, I started checking and sure enough I found even more behind the couch, the curtains, and the radiator. There was urine hidden in bleach bottles and under the sinks in the back of the cabinet.

I also found one in the freezer and since I was throwing out my entire fridge, wretching, I'm gonna assume there was some in there too. No idea why to this day. None. Zero. No weird hint, absolutely nothing.

Shocking Family SecretsPexels

10. Karmic Crash

Okay hear me out, I NEVER go through my significant other’s phone. I haven't before this and I won’t in the future. Okay, so, rewind back to 2011. I’m fresh out of high school and dating the girl of my dreams. We're hanging at her house, just chillin’ and passing time, and while she's in the shower, she gets a text. No biggie, happens all the time. But another comes throughand then another. All in rapid succession.

So maybe it's serious, I look at her phone and the name is "Matt”. My heart drops. Matt was her most recent ex. Still, I’m an idiot and think, okay, maybe something happened with his family, they're close.

I open her phone and I see, "Cool, I didn't want X coming anyway”. And sure enough, I see, "I'm gonna tell him the beach trip got called off. We're leaving in like an hour and he'll go home”.

Oh. Oh okay, I see how it is. So, she gets out of the shower and I just hold up the texts. Of course, her first go-to was, "How dare you look at my phone etc etc etc”. But here's the kicker. She still went and tried to sleep with Matt. However, during the trip, she hit bad storms and crashed her car off a very tall off-ramp. She and her friends are all lucky to be alive. But what did they do?

They called me and blamed it on me and my "bad vibes”. Meanwhile, I was asleep on my couch, high as heck, watching Inception. Nice try Ashley, karma was looking out for you and your terrible friends.

Secret PossessionsPexels

11. Withdrawn Cousin

My cousin hadn’t totally withdrawn and become reserved like I thought. It was just around family. I had no clue what was going on behind closed doors.

His narcissistic mother forced him to hide his tattoos (which I also found out about when he was admitted to the hospital) under long sleeves, and our (also narcissistic) grandfather snapped at him when he was younger that he talked too much and was annoying. So my cousin just shut down and didn’t do much at family gatherings.

He was his normal, joking self that I knew and idolized as a kid when he was with his friends, though. It broke my heart.

Family SecretsPexels

12. Surprising Ancestry

When my father’s mother passed, I found out where I actually come from. My father was doing the paperwork that comes with a family loss, and he tries to correct his mother’s maiden name. It turns out the form he was reviewing was correct.

She’d been born out in Saskatchewan to Ukrainian immigrants who suffered a lot of discrimination at the time. At 16 she hopped a train to Ontario, and when she got off, she told everyone her maiden name was something suitably WASPy, married a nice Canadian boy, had three kids, and never told anyone she was Ukrainian.

One of my aunts figured out something was up in her late teens when she found stuff written in Cyrillic in her mother’s personal papers, but her mother asked her to respect her privacy, and she kept her lips shut until her mother passed.

As a kid, your grandmother is just your grandmother. It was a big surprise to me, and I’m still kind of taken aback that I was suddenly a quarter of something so different than the other three quarters of my ancestry, who have been in Canada and the New World a very, very long time.

It’s funny, looking at pictures of her now as an adult. She’s the most Ukrainian-looking woman you’ve ever seen, and my father takes after his mother, and I have more of my dad in me than Mom looks-wise. I was once invited to a Ukrainian family’s BBQ, and some old woman grabbed me by the face and started pointing my head at people.

“Western Ukraine! Western Ukraine”! she cried in a thick accent. She then grabbed my date’s face. "Eastern Ukraine! Eastern Ukraine”! I had to tell her my date was Irish-Italian without any Ukrainian in her at all. Still, half-right isn’t too bad!

Family SecretsPexels

13. The Escape Plan

When my ex and I lived together I found a box with a single set of dishes under his side of the bed. When I asked him about it, he said he was keeping them just in case he decided to break up with me so that he could leave at the drop of a hat at any given moment. I remember the conversation, he seemed so nonchalant about it all. Turned out to be a total sociopath.

Secret PossessionsPexels

14. I’ve Got A Pocket, Got a Pocketful…

I knew my now-wife in middle school and flirted around through high school. I moved away my sophomore year and came back three years later. We both married (other people) and never reconnected. After several years, we both ended up divorced and one evening I was visiting my hometown and ran into her.

We agreed to get together the next week—but I had no clue the surprise she had in store for me.

During our first date, she pulled a dead bird out of her pocket. I asked for an explanation and there wasn’t one?? She was just like, "I don’t know, why not keep a dead pigeon with you”?

It was in a sandwich bag at least.

Secret PossessionsPexels

15. Doing His Best To Help

My grandfather was a bank executive at a small bank in a farm town in Arkansas. After his passing, my mother opened his safety deposit box—and couldn't believe her eyes.

She found his hidden ledger. He made loans to people the bank had denied due to background, type of employment, and/or skin color. He made the loans from his own pocket.

Most of the loans were between $200 to $500. He charged a nominal percentage rate and everything he earned in interest, he donated to the church. My grandmother had no idea and was heart-warmed when she found out. He left us in 1972.

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16. Practically A Saint

My maternal grandmother, we found out after she had passed, was using 10% of her income to sponsor unfortunate kids all over the world. She had been doing it for the last 40 years of her life nonstop. We found letters of her giving those kids advice, and then keeping in contact with them pretty much their whole lives. She received pictures of them growing up, and having families.

Essentially, my grandmother had far more than five kids. She helped to raise more grandchildren and great-grandchildren than we ever knew. Most of the kids she sponsored were orphans. We spent the next several months after her death getting in touch with all these people. Some managed to attend her funeral. Some made a trip to where we spread her ashes and sent us photos of them there.

We knew she was a saint to us, but we didn’t know she was a saint to hundreds of children spanning four decades.

Family SecretsPexels

17. Buggin’ Out

My husband would go in the closet randomly for like 10-15 minutes at the most random times and I’d hear him open and shut a drawer. He left for work one day—and I open the drawer expecting to see naughty magazines or something. Nope! Audubon Society reference books for insects and arachnids. He was looking up bugs he’d seen throughout the day.

My heart almost exploded it was the cutest thing. He had never mentioned it and didn’t for a while, until one day he ran in and said he got bit by a weird spider and told me to get the book out of his drawer. It’d been so long, I forgot about the book. I got it and it was just a run-of-the-mill spider. Then he showed me all his Audubon society books.

So now he’ll get his books out and look at all the bugs he saw while he’s in the living room. It’s his and my daughter’s bonding time.

Secret PossessionsPexels

18. The Doll Room

A collection of dolls. Like hundreds of them, all types, mostly made of cloth/stuffing, some plastic, some glass, some beanie baby style, but all "human", no fantasy or animals allowed. Apparently she had been collecting them as a child and kept it going. So when we visit a new city or country, she will get a doll or something that is from that area.

We dated for like four years before we got married and I didn't know she had this many. Her apartment just had a room that she called “the doll room” and I never really questioned it. Now I have a room I call “the collection room” so that I don't have to explain to people why I have hundreds of dolls and that my lovely wife is not creepy despite having tiny figurines.

After that, I didn't feel as weird about springing my massive comic book and Star Trek collection on her. Our kids are going to have a lot to deal with when we die.

Secret PossessionsWikimedia Commons

19. He Wasn’t A Guy Everyone Loved

I’d always been told my paternal great-grandad was the kind of guy everyone loved, and a nice person. Turns out he only showed that side to certain people, and last year, my dad exposed him for he truly is.

He was a lying, narcissistic jerk who’d do anything to benefit himself. Apparently, he was a notorious swindler and would swipe things and sell them, and would make up huge lies to get himself some cheap momentary gain.

Like he purposely injured himself at work to get compensation. He would sneak onto public transport without paying, and if a conductor came around asking to see tickets, he’d get all Karen on them and rage about how disgusting it was that they were doubting him and painting him as a freeloader (which he was). He would threaten to get them fired until they left him alone.

He took my dad to a football game when he was a kid, but didn’t buy tickets and basically did loads of research about one of the team’s managers and when they arrived, he lied that they were friends of the manager and that he’d promised them free tickets because my dad was disabled (he wasn’t). But that wasn't the worst thing he did.

He also took his own wife’s wedding ring, sold it at a pawn shop, and told her my dad had done it. Just an uncaring no-good cheapskate.

Family SecretsPexels

20. Not Entirely Hardened By Life

I packed up my godfather/uncle’s apartment. He never had any children. So I thought it was my duty to clean his apartment. He was one of those men hardened by life, yet for a few members of his family, he was the kindest man. The rest of the world, in his opinion, could back right off. So I find his wallet and open it—and I almost burst into tears.

A bunch of ID, appointment cards, and whatnot. In there was a picture of baby me and him on the day of my baptism. Even 13 years later on, it still makes me happy and sad.

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

21. A Sordid Obsession

I found photos of my sister, without a stitch of clothing on, in his phone. My now ex-husband had looked through my younger sister’s phone while she was staying with us, sent her private pictures to his phone, deleted the proof from her phone to avoid detection, and shared them with two friends. Oh, but it gets worse. When I found them, he blamed our six-year-old. Our SIX-YEAR-OLD.

Sure, our child had the wherewithal to do this, then text them to his dad's buddy saying, "Remember her? She was in the wedding" ...a wedding that took place years before he was even born. He is a severely malignant covert narcissist, with serious issues with intimacy and obsession. I made sure he was never around my family again. Pics were scrubbed instantly, I even went after his friends.

He's a super sneaky, problematic creepsack whom I divorced in 2013 and he still tries to make my life a living hell. This is just one of countless stories of horrible things that man has done in and after the 11-year marriage ended. And I still haven't been able to bring myself to tell my sister, or anyone in the family after so many years. I just never knew how.

I had/have so much shame just being associated with him, but grateful to have gotten away. Don't ignore red flags and trust your gut. If there's any feeling of uncertainty, walk away and keep walking.

Secret PossessionsPexels

22. Sailin’ Away

I knew a quiet couple. Each summer, they used to vacation two weeks apart. Life is good, happy wife, happy life. Four kids growing up, and they do well getting their own careers and family. Great family, great people. And then about two summers ago, a tragedy strikes. The father suddenly passes due to a brain aneurysm.

The family mourns and they start going through his things. That’s when they found it.

The mother finds a receipt and key for warehouse storage. A large one, the largest one they had on the lot. This is in the middle of Sweden, by the way. She calls the company and asks about it and if she can visit it and see what it’s about. She didn't know what it could be as in as everything was accounted for. Turns out, it was a sailboat valued at $250,000 USD.

Dude had been sailin' all these years when he vacationed alone. He had never mentioned that he sailed, turned out that he was a stand-up guy, loved and cared for at the wharf close to the sailboat’s location.

Secret PossessionsFlickr, Simon Aughton

23. Penny Pincher’s Scavenger Hunt

Not necessarily life-changing, but my great grandfather had always been a penny pincher his whole life. He would do things like go with my great grandmother to go shopping, but he would sit at the front of the store and when it was time to check out, he would come up and pay to make sure everything was accounted for. We don’t know why because he grew up pretty well off.

We think he was just a stingy man regardless because he didn’t trust anyone with his money. He didn’t trust banks to hold his money. He had a checking account and was very strict about what went in, but he refused to have a savings account for fear that the bank might steal his money.

So following his passing, it turned out that he had his money in different places around the house, but he hid clues in his journals about where it was. The journals covered almost 40 years and every single day no matter what happened.

My great uncle and his family ended up managing to find some of the money just by looking through the house, but they ended up having to use the journals when they weren’t sure. We’re fairly certain they finally found all of it, but who knows? But we had no clue that he was that concerned about somebody stealing money from him until after he passed.

Family SecretsFlickr, Hilde Skjølberg

24. Hidden Struggles

After my grandma passed on, I found out she had seasonal depression while going through her stuff. When I asked my mom about it, she confirmed and then told me that some days when it was bad weather outside, my grandma would burst out in tears while looking out of the window.

This still makes me so sad to think about—my adorable, happy grandma struggling and being sad. God, I miss her so much.

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25. The Heart Of A Lion

When I first started dating my husband, eight years ago, I gave him a lion keychain that I had as a “stay safe” present while he went out to sea on the naval ship. This was my first time experiencing him going out to sea, so I was worried and the present gave me a bit of solace while he was away. Furthermore, he explained to me that the lion reminded him of me because of my wild hair.

Not that long ago, he was cleaning his backpack out from work on the kitchen table and to my surprise, I saw the lion keychain with the rest of his stuff. I told him how shocked I was that he still had that lion and in which he just replied, “I mean, yeah”? He then explained to me that the lion keychain has been in his work backpack all this time and he has taken it on deployments too.

So that is the most shocking thing I found in my spouse’s possession…a small lion plush keychain that I gave my husband eight years ago as a “stay safe” present.

Secret PossessionsFlickr, Marco Verch Professional Photographer

26. Lost, Not Found

There is something I worry about my husband and kids finding. I was very mentally unwell about seven years ago and was convinced I was going to die.

So, I wrote my husband and children each a letter telling them how much I loved them and a few of my crazy ramblings, (I also thought I could time travel at the time so I can guarantee something about that is probably in there) and then I hid them. But here’s the kicker.

I was disassociating the entire time and my memory of that time is so foggy, I have no idea where I hid them. I’ve searched and I can't find them anywhere.

Secret PossessionsPexels

27. The Greatest Gift

My dad lost his life suddenly of a heart attack almost four years ago. A month after that, I found a journal he wrote to me when he found out my mom was pregnant. It’s titled “To my daughter”. Its contents destroyed me.

He wrote about the first time he felt me kick, choosing my name, what was going on in the world at the time, and how excited he was to be a father and to know me. It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever gotten.

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28. Rockstar’s Unrequited Love

In 2006 after my aunt passed, I found a letter addressed to my aunt from Kirk Hammett, the guitar player from Metallica. The family knew that they had had a relationship. My grandma had this pop-up crystal Japanese thing (that she herself broke accidentally) on the fireplace.

We went to see Metallica in 1997 and had backstage passes (I was 12), so we knew a relationship of some sort existed. But reading this letter, Kirk was in love with my aunt. He had written dates and phone numbers correlating, so she could know which to call.

I can’t remember the year the letter was written, but it was before cellphones. He had talked about how much he liked her. My aunt, though, had not shared the same feelings back.

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29. Bottle It Up

My partner put a bunch of stuff in jars of other stuff, but it was always like bananas in ketchup or the light bulb in tomato juice…Until the day it took a very dark turn. I knew I’d found the worst of the worst when I discovered a three-year dead rat in half a jar of mayonnaise.

Secret PossessionsPexels

30. Bye Girl, Bye

I found a notebook with a partially finished letter describing in detail how she cheated on me and how she wasn't happy in the relationship. I called her at work and asked about it and she confirmed it was true. I was packed and gone before she got home. Luckily, I moved three hours away with my best friend and have had a great time since then.

Secret PossessionsPexels

31. Sneaky Grandma

I used to ask for copies of recipes of my favorites, but I could never make it taste right. I’d cook things with her that, when I did it without her helping, never tasted right. Always got the, “Oh don’t worry, it takes practice”. Thought I was just a terrible cook for years. But later, I found out the truth.

When clearing out her home after she passed recently, my dad found a secret stash of recipes very well hidden. Turns out all the “copies” she wrote for us were wrong, deliberately. I’m 43 and just started making these recipes again off her secret stash of recipes, and wouldn’t you know, I can make them so they taste the way they should.

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32. Secondary Button

After my cousin had a motorcycle accident, I cleaned out his apartment along with his brother. Nothing strange in particular, then went over to his computer to erase his history (as a bro should). Turns on. Linux OS. Encrypted. Asked for password. Then a loud bang just goes off.

The computer just dies. Turns out he’d set up the PC to self-destruct. I had failed to press some secondary button unknown to me. And there was a shell filled with pellets aimed at the hard drive, rigged to go off if the button wasn’t pressed. Obliterated the hard drive.

To this day, I wonder what he had on there to go to such lengths to keep hidden.

Family SecretsPexels

33. The Biggest Red Flag

A creeper van. When we first started dating there was always an unmarked white van parked somewhere around his apartment. As a woman who values her safety, I stayed well clear of it. Those things are not to be trusted.

Three or four months later, I learn the shocking reality. My very nice boyfriend owns this very suspicious vehicle. Apparently, he used to drive his stuff across the country when he moved here. He doesn't drive it, but kept having to move it because he kept getting chalk lines on his tires by the local traffic cops because someone kept reporting it for not moving, despite the fact he had nowhere besides the street to store it.

He didn't want to tell me about it because he thought it would make him look creepy. He only told me when I eventually let slip I thought it was sketch. The best part of all?

He ended up selling it to buy my engagement ring!

Secret PossessionsWikimedia Commons

34. Grandma’s Jewels

To my horror, I discovered my grandmother’s costume jewelry in one of my partner’s suit pockets. He’d pilfered it when I took him to meet her. I had never so much as lied to that woman in my life. One of the items of jewelry I found was a locket with perfume inside that my grandma wore for church every Sunday. She was the only one who ever nurtured and loved me when my parents could not.

She did this in every way imaginable. At 65 years old I still open that locket and close my eyes sometimes and that is priceless to me.

Secret PossessionsFlickr, Will Fisher

35. Genius Electrical Engineering

The smoke detector started beeping. It’s a very old one, like from the 1980s. I open it up. No battery, and a bundle of wires leading through the wall into the garage. I go into the garage and trace the wires.

They lead to a modern smoke detector in the garage, and a 12-volt battery. He had connected the old smoke detector’s beeper to the new one, so he could hear it inside if there was a fire in the garage. My grandfather was a retired electrical engineer. When I saw that, I just shook my head and said, “That crazy old engineer”. Genius move, but the work of a man with too much time on his hands.

Family SecretsFlickr, The EnergySmart Academy

36. Letting Her Shine

No terrible secrets or anything here, just a sweet story that tells what kind of person my grandpa was. A family friend stood up to speak about my grandfather at his funeral. His favorite story, he said, was the time the power went out during a storm and they had to use candles to see by. Now, my aunt had been gifted a candle-making set as a child and made many beautiful candles that she couldn’t wait to light.

But considering that the family lived in an ancient, rustic, very wooden farmhouse, Grandma would never allow my aunt to light the candles. However, one night during a storm, the power went out and with no other option, they had to light my aunt’s candles. She was so proud of herself. She went around for weeks afterward talking about how she’d saved the family.

The family friend looked over at her, tears streaming down her face with a big smile. Then he dropped a bombshell. “This was the kind of guy Bob was. Forty years later and he went to his grave without telling his daughter he turned the power off for her to get to light her candles".

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37. Double-Crossed

This wasn’t me, but my friend’s neighbor, we lived on the same street, so I always saw the guy. Old man and wife, lived on a corner lot, both retired. Everything paid off, the old man had no worries in the world and was set for the rest of his life. I used to see him cutting his yard daily almost every morning, just to be doing something. Well, when his wife passed, he found out the horrible truth.

The last 10 years of retirement, the wife had given hundreds of thousands of dollars to their daughter, and when their cash ran out, remortgaged the house and given that money as well. I heard the daughter had issues, obviously. He was beyond broke. The bank foreclosed on his house, and last I heard, he had to move in with someone.

This is the second time I’ve known where the wife gave all their money to their children without the husband knowing.

Secret PossessionsFlickr, Evan Long

38. Not Just Any Jersey

I’m a huge Buffalo Bills fan. My wife is too, but she wasn’t always into football as she is now. We’ve been together nearly 10 years now. My brother recently gave me an old Doug Flutie jersey because it doesn’t fit him anymore. It’s kinda beat up, but still cool. When I showed it to her she said, “Oh, that reminds me, I have an old jersey laying around somewhere”.

She went looking for it and when she returned with it in hand, I almost lost it. It’s an Eric Moulds jersey, still in perfect condition. I couldn’t believe she just had an Eric Moulds jersey just sitting in the closet and I never knew. Those of you who don’t know football or the Bills, Eric Moulds is a legendary player and one of the best receivers the Bills ever had.

I can’t believe she just had that hiding away in the closet and I didn’t know. She knew he was an old Bills player but had no idea about his legacy.

Secret PossessionsFlickr, New York National Guard

39. Devoted Caretaker

My dad had the saddest story about this. My grandmother had nine kids, so they had a caretaker (living in an Asian country at that time, so it was affordable) taking care of them. She took care of the kids and stayed with them even when my grandfather briefly went bankrupt, working for free in exchange for meals and lodgings, just to be with the kids.

My dad’s family decided to move out of the country and she stayed back since she was too old to make the move. My grandfather bought her a house in her village, and still sent her money every month anyway, since she was like family. She would always send little trinkets for my dad and his siblings even though they were all grown up now.

They tried telling her to stop since international shipping was even more expensive in those days, but she kept doing it anyway. One day, the trinkets stopped coming and after that, they couldn’t get hold of her. They got worried, so my dad and one of my uncles flew to her village to check on her, only to discover the worst had come to pass.

She had passed. Since she had no relatives, she willed everything to my dad and his siblings. When they went to her house, it was horrible. She was living in absolute poverty. She slept on the floor, only had makeshift furniture, and no proper cutlery/dishes. They found a box with all her valuables and it only contained pictures of my dad and his siblings and most of the money my grandfather gave her.

She remembered how bad it was when my grandfather went bankrupt, so she wanted to make sure she had savings she could give to the kids in case it happened again. She herself lived in the most miserly way. The only luxuries she allowed herself was mailing little trinkets to my dad and his siblings.

Family SecretsPexels

40. The Secret Recipe

Wow, my nana had a famous chicken stew. Wouldn’t share the recipe at all. After she passed, my grandfather admitted it was just canned creamy chicken soup, some veggies, and KFC chicken. I make it now, but no wonder it had a certain taste. It was KFC chicken!

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

41. Bunny’s Secret

My husband comes off as a manly guy who's pretty minimalistic. He collects pistols, plays games, and that's pretty much it. But if an item is not constantly useful or won't be used often, he usually doesn't have said item. So I was surprised to find a cute if well-worn stuffed bunny amongst his belongings. Originally, I teased him, telling him I knew he liked cute things. But his sad smile hid a darker story.

He explained that it was his as a kid and that it was his favorite stuffed animal. He also held and cried into that bunny when his father passed as a kid. He hasn't had the heart to get rid of it and plans to give it to our child when we have one someday.

I was rather touched by it and never expected to find such a cute yet sweet thing like a stuffed animal with a sad story attached.

Secret PossessionsPixabay

42. Two Baby Mamas

He always wanted me to do yoga and insisted we go to certain places and eat food. And that’s when I found out his awful secret. Turns out, his ex shared all the same interests. She was doing yoga. She liked going to those same places and ate the same food I ate. But that wasn’t the most devastating part. When I discovered his affair, I was pregnant…and she’d just given birth to their second child.

So yeah, I found out all of this in his phone that he gave me and when he was confronted. He thought it would be better for me to find out for myself. He's still around, asking for forgiveness for the last four years, regretting that he shouldn't have ruined things with me and insisting that I was the best for him. He is a great dad though, but as a partner...NOPE. Co-parenting is the best decision I made for our relationship.

Secret PossessionsPexels

43. The Real Sources

My family ran a multimillion-dollar company that we shut down shortly before I was born because my grandfather perished in a horrific accident. For years I thought the company was how we inherited our fortune and that’s what I told my friends. But that wasn't actually true.

Once I was old enough to inherit some of the money, my mom revealed that the company wasn’t worth nearly as much money as we have. Turns out my grandfather bought around eight substantial life insurance policies and lost his life a few weeks later. Most of our money comes from his passing and that was news I wasn’t prepared for.

Family SecretsPexels

44. Sweet Love Letter

My grandfather passed almost two years ago. He suffered from Parkinson's for 15 years and that lead to other health issues. In the last few years, his cognitive abilities were very compromised. In a brief moment of clarity, though, he decided to do something special.

He wrote a long note for my grandma. It was a collection of memories from the time they got married, purchased a ranch, had children, and other life moments. It was very sweet and so precious. He didn’t give it to my grandma, so she discovered it many months after his passing.

Family SecretsPexels

45. The Back Of The Drawer

Going through my ex’s stuff (which she had refused to go through—taking what she wanted, but leaving me to sift through everything as I purged her from my place), I found gifts I gave her that had literally been opened once and stuffed in her nightstand. Back of the drawer. Stuff I’d put real thought into. Also, gift cards sent to our kids by relatives. Quite a few over years. I doubt they even have any value anymore.

I just put them in her boxes, because like no way was going to explain that to my kids…

Secret PossessionsPexels

46. Hidden Pain

I discovered something in my wife’s belongings that just broke my heart: A journal where she chronicled her pain after a failed pregnancy. In it, she speaks of how she'd never get through it without me being strong for her (I never cried in front of her, only solo). I had to because of a few "friends" who got pregnant and thought that us still being upset was a slight to them.

I had to pull it together quick when she walked in after I put it away. She isn't a sappy type. She tells me she loves me, but never how much I mean to her, so seeing that melted me. Oh, and on the lighter side, she also has a calendar post that says "Yeah baby”! on the date of our first time in the bedroom. She's amazing.

Secret PossessionsPexels

47. Nutter Butter Cookies

A bit late to the party, grandmother passed a couple of years ago. Before then, my dad helped her with her numerous medications and tried to keep her on a relatively strict diet. When we went through Gammy's house, we found almost a dozen (some unopened, some half-empty) boxes of Nutter Butter peanut butter cookies stashed all over the house (under pillows, under the bathroom sink, behind her dresser, etc.)

And one half-eaten loaf of bread in the closet. As Gammy was a woman who was so “good” for her whole life (no drinking ever, bills on time, raised two boys, and always had dinner on the table by 5:30, etc.), I like to think of the cookies as her own little act of rebellion.

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

48. Grandpa Thought Wrong

My grandpa was a preacher in a little town in South Carolina in the early 50s. He preached at the white church most of the month and would go preach at the Black church once a month to give their preacher a break. He struck up a friendship with one of the guys at that church and eventually wore the guy down enough that he came to the white church for a visit.

See, Grandpa had never experienced these people as being anything less than totally welcoming and he thought they all believed as he did, that everyone is a child of God and welcome in church, no matter who they were. Well, he was totally wrong.

So the poor guy comes in and is made to sit in the very last row and is totally ignored. They wouldn’t even bring communion to him. Grandpa got down from the pulpit, ripped the communion stuff out of someone’s hands, and took it to his friend himself. Then he got back up at the pulpit and yelled at everyone about how God loves everyone equally and doesn’t differentiate based on color and made quite a stink.

There was a cross burning on his lawn that night. He had little kids and a wife to take care of, so he couldn’t fight the way he wanted to. Two weeks later, he moved back to his hometown in Texas, where they accepted Grandpa and his beliefs in people’s equality much more readily.

WHY I wasn’t told about this before Grandpa passed, I’ll never know. He was a class act from beginning to end. What every Christian is supposed to be and so few manage.

Family SecretsPexels

49. Where Is The Love?

I found my wife’s self-help book "How to deal with a loveless marriage". That stung, because I loved her more than life itself. I wasn't the best husband but I was doing the best I could in a big crazy chaotic family and clearly all that effort didn't mean anything to her. Things got better between us afterwards and we were in a good place before she passed unexpectedly.

I got left to be a single dad of five kids with no support network. Still a little bit bitter about getting left with this mess that I'm not suited to handle. I love my kids, and I do the best I can with them, but it's not the same.

Secret PossessionsPixabay

50. Sucked Dry

Oh, my partner really did me dirty. I found months of credit card bills, for cards I had paid off. I worked three jobs while she was on "disability", and she threw the bills away when they came in. Oddly enough, she was fine enough to email other guys and meet guys to go dancing every weekend while I worked. 40k plus the divorce costs...

Oh, and the absurdly large “toy” under the couch. Thankfully, still in the package. Chucked her and the toy.

Secret PossessionsPexels

51. Unsent Letters

Grandparent passed. I was staying at their house alone before the funeral. I was looking for something to write with in the standard desk drawer you put that stuff in. I found a very honest letter written to a family member.

I felt obligated and spent the entire night checking every nook and cranny of the house for more letters. I think it was their version of therapy. I told two people and explained the letters that related to them. For some letters, it was agreed to destroy them and only let me be the person who knew what was in them. Some of those letters explained a lot and covered gaps I never could understand.

Family SecretsPexels

52. More Accomplished Than Anyone Thought

My uncle had multiple master’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and a law degree. But he lived with my grandma for a really long time, only working part-time as a helper for older people, so we always thought he was a loner who barely accomplished anything.

I guess he was a consultant for a while, but was devastated when his boyfriend died, so kind of fell off the radar and moved home with his mom until he randomly passed a few years ago. Also, my grandpa was actually his second wife’s teacher. They didn’t get together until he was 50 and she was 30, though.

Family SecretsPexels

53. He Shattered Me

My husband at the time fell in our glass shower, shattering it and I took him to the hospital. I was at work when it happened. I smelled that he’d been drinking when he wasn’t supposed to (medication, bipolar, and doctor’s orders). He denied it all and told hospital staff he wasn’t drinking. We spend all night in the hospital—but when I arrived home, I had to face a bloody and glass horror scene.

I’m cleaning up the shower and find part of a silver necklace. He did not wear jewelry ever. He flipped out and accused me of putting it there to cause issues. I did have trust issues. Well, he successfully gaslit me and I let it go. Then about a month or so later, I find evidence of cheating. He went through a Taco Bell drive-thru and befriended a 19-year-old girl (I was 24 at the time in great shape and the breadwinner).

He potentially slipped her something and had her in the shower with him and she confirmed it was her necklace, that they were drinking, and that he told her we were already divorced but cohabitating until the lease was up. I mean we had pictures of us together everywhere in the apartment so she learned a lesson too and I wasn’t upset with her.

But I kicked him out and started the divorce process the day I found out, of course.


Secret PossessionsPexels

54. Loaning To A Loser

Our basement flooded, so while cleaning, I noticed my husband had this old blackberry in a box with the charger. So I plugged it inand got the shock of a lifetime. I found text messages between him and his best man, who ghosted him. Discovered that he loaned this loser 20k and said loser hasn’t paid back a dime. Oh, but it gets worse.

We were going through a bankruptcy and discovered our oldest needed out-of-pocket therapy for autism spectrum-related reasons and this guy refused to respond to the texts. I’m heartbroken for my husband, because he loved this guy.

Secret PossessionsFlickr, mxmstryo

55. A Shallow Man

My great-uncle was something of a shallow man—if someone didn’t have money, he didn’t respect them. When my paternal grandfather and grandmother (this was when my father, uncle, and aunt were very young) fell on hard times, my great-uncle refused to let them spend the night, and the five of them had to take a crowded night train to a different destination.

My aunt was less than five at the time. I was surprised to hear this, and remarked to my father how my great-uncle always seemed to respect our family now. His response shocked me.

My father said, “That’s because we aren’t struggling”. In contrast to his childhood in that specific time. Admittedly, I wouldn’t really say that my great-uncle was someone I loved...but still, it changed the way I thought about him.

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56. He Predicted His Outcome

My husband passed young, at 30, from a brain aneurysm. Not something we discovered from going through his things, but rather from getting together for a chat. His mother, myself, and his best friend were talking shortly after he lost his life, and it got onto the subject of his birth mother (he was adopted). His mother was saying that he had never showed any interest in finding his birth parents.

Then his best friend admitted to us that my hubby had actually tried to find out when he was 19. He contacted the adoption agency for info on his birth mother, and looked into it briefly, only to find out that she had passed on at 37. He had never mentioned it to anyone other than his best friend.

He used to say that he was convinced he’d be lucky to make 30, due to his unhealthy lifestyle (no exercise, bad diet, smoking—although, as far as we know, his end was not really related to this and he wasn’t overweight or even unwell before his passing), and we could never figure out why he was so sure. I guess he must have just thought that based on the age his mother passed on.

Family SecretsPexels

57. A Bag Full Of Trouble

I stayed home one day from work, and decided to do the laundry. I found 50 or so little baggies of what turned out to be tranquilizers. I’d had my suspicions, but this just confirmed it. Usually by the time we got home from work, my wife was halfway comatose. But the baggies were just the tip of the iceberg. After finishing the laundry, I began finding little bags of pills in the pockets of many clothes hanging in the closet.

Just as I was sitting down to have a “discussion with her,” a hypodermic needle rolled out of her purse and onto the table. I was in a controlled explosive rage at that point. "I'm holding it for a friend," she said. I know who that guy is, he's using her! He’d already left town a couple days ago, and dumped his hypo into her hands! I took it from her and said, “I'll deal with this”.

On my way to work the next day, I stopped on the side of the road, found a big old rotten tree trunk in the woods, made a big hole it, and put the hypo in the hole. I told myself, no one will ever find that! Her father, just like mine, was a heavy drinker. I can see why she did a bit of self-medicating, but that's not the answer to life. Within two years, our marriage was over.

Secret PossessionsPexels

58. The Notebook

You can imagine my dismay when I found a small notebook with names of guys she’d cheated on me with. Along with what they liked, what they didn't like, dates, where I was during, her reasoning, and finally a list of people she thought I was cheating on her with at the time. The most fucked up part was not that the majority of them were my friends, but that it started two days after we started dating.

On one hand I felt enraged that so many of the guys I called friends were fucking her behind my back. On the other, I'm just glad I never went through with proposing a year into dating.

Secret PossessionsPexels

59. The Ways He Was A Victim

I found out that my recently passed father had been stalked and harassed during the last days of his life. He wasn’t one to ask for help, so he ignored the fact that his fling began to call his workplace and that his current girlfriend tried to get him kicked onto the street. She coaxed him into her house and it’s still not clear just how he lost his life.

He was rendered nearly penniless before his end.

Family SecretsPexels

60.  Salad Fork Packets

My aunt was a nice, religious woman who mainly kept to herself. After she passed, we went through her stuff and found two odd things. One was that she had scripture scribbled on note cards everywhere. Weird scripture too, sometimes the same line over and over. And these cards were hidden all throughout the apartment in large stacks.

The second was McDonald’s salad fork packets. She had maybe, like, five full drawers throughout the apartment stuffed to the brim with McDonald’s fork packs.

Family SecretsFlickr, Marco Verch

61. Imaginary Friends

My ex had this ongoing lie that I think she actually began to believe. It was scary. I found letters and large art sheets filled with love declarations to her deceased best friend Roxy. But here’s the crazy part. Roxy wasn’t even a real person. My ex had made her up for sympathy/attention.

Secret PossessionsPexels

62. Down The Rabbit Hole

My husband had a whole other identity and persona online that he used to date women, take them to five-star hotels, vacations, etc. Meanwhile, I was wearing jeans and shirts with holes in them, and the same shoes for years, and had an “allowance” of 100 a week to buy everything I needed for our son, cats and I. But he would spend a whole month of my allowance on a single night in a hotel with these women.

It was heartbreaking to discover the truth. I truly loved him with all my heart and had been there with him since he was just new at his job and not making that much. We built a life together. We got married. I had his child. Unfortunately, that is when the nightmare started.

It took me a long time to discover just how deep the rabbit hole went. Even now, years later, I still get this weird feeling in my throat when I think of all the lies and how this person I had built up in my mind didn’t even really exist. I actually didn’t know him at all.

Secret PossessionsPexels

63. Quirky Job Title

I found out that when my dad applied to a job in IT, which kickstarted his career and eventually led to him working at IBM, he wrote on his resume that he was currently a “Pizza Pie Engineer”. He got the job.  I just found this out today and it made me smile. I’ll miss him forever.

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

64. Vintage Collection

While helping my dad go through my mom’s things after she passed, we came across a stack of four old hat boxes and three cylindrical cases. I immediately knew that the cylindrical cases were Shriners fez cases because I already have two that I had collected years ago. Sure enough, there were three beautifully bejeweled fezzes in those cases.

The hat boxes contained a collection of different vintage hats, including several amazing completely feathered hats. The strange part was that neither my dad nor I knew that she had even bought any hats, let alone that she had amassed such a collection. I’m a vintage seller on eBay and we talked almost every single day, yet she never mentioned anything about them.

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

65. A Fake Hero

I got divorced in October after nine years of marriage. Yesterday, I was going through some things and found his DD-214. Apparently he failed out of boot camp and was never awarded any medals, ribbons or other awards. Why is this shocking you are probably wondering? Because the whole nine years we were married, he told me all about the horrors from his deployment…

According to him, he’d watched some of his friends horrifically pass from IEDs and been terribly injured himself. There were many, many stories that I now know were 100% fictional. I’m so mad that I just feel numb about it and I don’t even know how to feel……

Secret PossessionsPexels

66. Thou Art A Fraud

He claimed to be an artist and claimed to admire the old Art Nouveau movement and the Golden Age of illustration, as did I. He didn’t like to doodle nor paint with me, but enjoyed criticizing my realistic but stylistic pencil and charcoal drawings. He tatted himself and gave a lot of people "original" tats he claimed were all his design. I recognized one tat but couldn't place it at the time.

Then, when I was busy moving him to help make a happy living situation for us, and he wasn't lifting a finger, I discovered all of his "artwork" on tracing paper and magazine clippings in his strange cabinet stuffed in his closet. So much of my heart just crumbled that day.

Secret PossessionsPexels

67. A Bit Of A Hypocrite

My grandpa was an overgrown kid who owned the local toy store in town. After Toys “R” Us ran him out of business, he became a Santa at the local mall and sold handmade puppets and dolls on Etsy. So it came as quite a surprise when we found a manuscript buried beneath a mound of rejection letters entitled Putting Away Childish Things.

It was a 300-page riff on Corinthians where he shamed American men for refusing to put away their LEGOs and grow up.

Family SecretsPexels

68. Sentimental Value

I cleared out my dad’s house a couple of weeks ago, like a complete top-to-bottom purge of everything. I found all the stuff that he used to make Halloween costumes with and kept everything usable. Found a couple of his old costumes as well! But the thing that got to me most was a box we found in the attic.

Now, my dad has never been a sentimental man—he regularly got rid of things without remorse—but in this box was every card I had ever bought him. Birthday cards, Father’s Day cards, Christmas cards, everything.

He had kept every single one, along with ticket stubs to every concert he’d taken me to, and he’d even kept the old bus passes that we’d used before he had a car (featuring photos of a five-year-old me). I know this is probably the usual things that a parent keeps, but it was so lovely to know all of these things I gave him meant enough to him that he would collect and keep them over an 18-year period.

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69. Double Life

When my husband passed in a workplace accident, he was in another state. When I got his belongings, I discovered his secret. There were answering machine messages from a woman thanking him for being so amazing, and for dinner, etc. Then on his computer, I found emails and text messages from several women. I was pregnant and dealing with grief already. Then suddenly, I had this anger at him that I could obviously do nothing with.

Everyone told me you can't be mad at a deceased person. But it was confusing.

Secret PossessionsPexels

70. Crab Phobia

A rubber crab. My wife is freaked out by crabs. Apparently, her mom has been hiding it in her stuff for years to scare her and has become a game between them of hiding it somewhere the other person will eventually find it. Occasionally, I’ll be looking for something and stumble across it in a new place. First time I found it, it was in the dog treats two years into our marriage. I was very confused because she had not informed me of their game yet.

Secret PossessionsPicryl

71. The Things You Can Find

When my great-grandfather passed, we had to clean out his house, which he had lived in for YEARS. I don’t know if he built and moved into the house before or after his wife passed. But either way, he still had a lot of stuff of hers. Like a set of suitcases (gawd-awful orange, hard, super heavy), a few of her handbags (various styles, all vintage, and interesting-looking), stuff like that.

The weirdest was an old hairdryer. It was basically a plastic bag you put it over your hair with a tube off of it and a little air pump. I would never put that thing on my head. Then just general other stuff. Actually looking at dates of things, there were very few things in his house that were less than 25 to 30 years old.

Radio, record player, TV, lava lamp, lamps, vases, plates, etc. All kinds of stuff. We actually kept quite a bit because it would really be a shame to let it go.

Family SecretsFlickr, Marco Verch

72. A Simple Woman

It’s not weird, but I’ve recently had to clean out my grandmother’s house and she really didn’t have much of anything in terms of material possessions. Just basic necessities. I guess the most surprising was just the complete lack of things. But there was one dresser with, like, five drawers that was overflowing with newspaper clippings/photos/mementos of all her loved ones.

In it, I found a little biography that she had filled out about herself and under "hobbies" she had written, “Family comes first”. I honestly don’t think there will ever be another person who loves me as much as she loved me, so I’m trying day by day to incorporate her values into my own lifestyle. She was a very simple woman, but she had the most profound effect on me as a person.

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

73. Undercover Artist

I found a notebook full of beautiful sketches of trees, rivers, landscapes, animals, and people. He didn't tell me he was an artist, so I was a bit shocked to find out that he was so talented.

Secret PossessionsPexels

74. Double Whammy

My sister’s husband crashed his car, freaked out, and took his own life with a pistol he had in the glove box. But that wasn’t the only tragedy.

A few weeks later, we found out he had been cheating on her with both men and women, with the worst thing being him using HER Facebook account to talk to teenage girls. We were all beyond shocked.

Secret PossessionsPexels

75. No Reason To Attend

My grandmother—she lived in Florida (me in New Jersey). The day after she passed, I was talking to my mom about if I should fly down there or not for the funeral. She told me that it was up to me, but no one would be mad if I didn’t. Why? Because she wasn’t as great of a person as you think.

She left my father along with seven other children for the better part of 15 years, leaving my grandfather working two jobs and raising eight kids alone. Packed a bag one day and didn’t come back.

I didn’t go to the funeral.

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

76. Needing Glasses

My mother passed in 2006. I was 25, she was 46. She never wanted to admit to needing glasses, so she would just buy reading glasses from the dollar store. Often, she would push them up into her hair when not using them, then forget that they were there. Sometimes she would do that twice; two pairs in her hair, looking for a third pair.

When cleaning up her things, we found almost 30 pairs of reading glasses. We placed them on the mantle as a display next to her favorite picture of herself.

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

77. An Inside Job

I was a relationship banker for a little while (guy at the desk inside a branch). We would help people with account issues and such all the time. One time, this guy comes in saying there’s been a huge mistake with his checking account, there’s $80,000 missing! This seems crazy, and if it’s fraud, they likely would have caught something that big before letting the cash leave the account.

I pull up the account and see that it is a joint account with his wife and that she is the one who withdrew the money. Now, we had a rule that you could not reveal the nature of transactions like that on joint accounts. All I could say was that it was not fraud. Dude was shook, he was saying it must be fraud, etc. I just say that I can see the transaction withdrawing the funds and it is all above board.

When it dawned on him his face just went white and he says I just saw my wife this morning at breakfast (the withdrawal has been that morning right at 9 am). I didn’t say anything and asked if he wanted to speak with my manager, which he declined.


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78. Ringing In The Memories

I bought my mom a pretty gold ring with diamonds around the band for Mother's Day one year. She wore it all the time. My mom loved simple delicate rings. One day I noticed that she wasn't wearing it. I asked her and she just started crying. 

She said I'm so sorry Bran, I lost it. I was hoping to find it before you had noticed, I've looked everywhere and it's gone. She beat herself up about it for a long time. A few years later she passed and I had to go through all of her things in her bedroom. I got to her bedside table, which had two drawers. I start going through them, I get to the bottom of the last drawer and guess what was there?

The ring I had got for her. I sat there and cried and cried and cried some more. My mom has been gone for eight years now and I still wear the ring I got for her.

Secret PossessionsWikimedia Commons

79. Unnoticed Hobbies

My grandmother passed on last month, and that evening, all the family members who made it in time gathered at her condo to make dinner together.

I went from room to room remembering her and noticed a lot of things I hadn’t before—how much embroidery she did, like all the copies of her late Irish husband’s family crest she’d done, birds, flowers on cushions, and a whole table set with ten napkins and placemats in addition to the tablecloth in traditional Swedish embroidery (where her family is from).

She also had a small box of seed pearls displaying perfume samples on her dresser.

Family SecretsWikimedia Commons

80. Missed Connection

My stepmother passed in January. We’d fallen out of contact about 15 years ago, after my dad had passed. I found out that she was in town and in contact with family friends who know how to contact me. She could have called. And she just didn’t. If I would have known she was in the same city and in contact with our friends, I would have called her. That’s one heck of a missed connection.

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81. Pulling A Columbo

I was shocked to find six credit cards in my name I didn't apply for. New accountant pulled a Columbo and busted the soon-to-be ex after discovering 60K in hidden CC debt. Cut up all the cards in her wallet right there in her office and handed me the business card of an attorney-client she recommended.

"You'll be glad you did," was all she said as I got up to leave. She's still my accountant after 23 years.

Secret PossessionsWikimedia Commons

82. Hitting The Jackpot

When we moved in together, she knew I was bringing my workshop (console repair) to the basement and said she has some games in a box around there somewhere. When I saw what she actually had, my jaw hit the floor.

She had nearly a thousand dollars worth of Gameboy games, a ps2 and Wii collection, among other stuff. She admitted that she never knew you could sell your games back to the stores, so when she finished playing them they went to the basement.

Secret PossessionsWikimedia Commons

83. Never Being Hungry Again

The most interesting thing we found out about my grandmother was she had clearly never recovered from living through the depression era as a kid. Her fridge was jam-packed with food. The freezer had steaks that had to have been there since the Carter administration. She had boxes and boxes of cereal.

Her basement was like a fallout shelter; cobblestone basement with walls lined with canned goods, like tomatoes to make sauce with and beans and boxes of pasta. Food “hidden” throughout the house.

And her house had basically no other things. She didn’t keep a lot of stuff. Her furniture was ancient. Her toaster oven had to be adjusted with a pair of pliers. But she seemed pretty determined on never being hungry again.

Family SecretsPicryl

84. Beautiful Graphite Sketches

When my pop passed, we were going through boxes in the basement and found piles of his drawing books. They were these beautiful graphite sketches of wildlife and scenery he’d seen while in the woods (he worked for the logging mill). My sister and I have always painted and sketched, but we never knew where the skill came from until that moment.

It was very emotional. I wish I could have known and talked to him about it when he was alive, but he was always a very introverted and quiet man.

Family SecretsFlickr, Arturo Espinosa

85. Don’t Toy With Me

I found a small thin rod that was attached to a plastic base when we were moving from our apartment to our house. The metal rod portion was covered with a thin plastic sheath. For all the world, it looked like some sort of naughty toy which brought up the question "Why have we never used this”??

I was stupidly apprehensive about anal play for the first few years we dated and in that time she had kind of cooled on it so nothing major ever happened on that end. I decided to try and be coy and showed it to her and asked if she wanted to take a little break "wink wink" and she busted up laughing.

My wife has to take daily HGH injections and it turns out that what I thought was a toy was actually an agitator that was part of mixing her meds together on a delivery system she used before we started dating. She was thoroughly amused and spent the rest of the night asking me if I thought various objects were toys as well.


Secret PossessionsPexels

86. Sneaky Romantic

A short note I had written her on our 3rd date. Apparently, I was waiting in her car for her to come out of work so I wrote a short note about how much fun I am having dating her and how gorgeous she always looks. It was late in the evening so I stuck it in her sunglasses case for her to find at a later time that week. Okay this was like from 15 years ago. Man, I was romantic.

Secret PossessionsPexels

87. Mutual Appreciation

My wife of 21 years passed. Going through stuff—including “get well” notes and cards, I saw how many times she told friends and others what a loving, caring husband I was. For all these years I thought I had “married up”—way above what I deserved. Surprised to see she felt the same about me.

Family SecretsPexels

88. The Chestnut Tree

When I was a kid, the house next door had a huge chestnut tree. I used to pick chestnuts up and “sell” them for a penny each. My grandma was the only one who ever bought them, except maybe twice my mom did. When my grandma passed, we went through her stuff and in her desk, and lo and behold she had two chestnuts wrapped in tissue paper. Two of the many that I had sold to her.

I kept them and have them to this day.

Family SecretsPexels

89. Poetic Irony

My partner always used to mock me for writing poetry, so I felt completely betrayed when I found the poetry he’d written for his ex.

Secret PossessionsPexels

90. Toe-tally Nasty

This might be the most disgusting confession I’ve ever made. My ex-boyfriend had a tin full of his toenail clippings that he for some reason saved. There. I said it. I might hurl again.

Secret PossessionsWikimedia Commons

91. Stock Markets And Ramblers

My grandfather was a millionaire. He played the stock market for fun in his spare time and we only found out when we saw the paperwork from all the stock he owned in a battered suitcase in his loft. My father is one of three kids and we had to pay masses of inheritance tax, but it was enough money to buy a house outright!

He also loved rambling, but I only knew when 30 ramblers turned up at his funeral. At 89 he was out in shorts, in all weathers, leading the ramblers group. It was a shame he didn’t share more of his life with us before he passed.

Family SecretsFlickr, Glenn Nelson

92. Local Newspaper

My mother passed in a car accident when I was 15. Her whole life, she had looked out for others, and never expected anything back. Before the end of her life, she had lost her job, and had a major surgery, so money was tight. She passed at the beginning of November. A few weeks after her accident, my family was contacted by our local newspaper.

Each year they picked families to receive assistance during the holidays (it’s been a bit, I don’t remember specifically what kind), and my mother had written in before her accident. They had picked us and wanted to speak with my mother. Needless to say, when they found out what had happened, they were more excited to help. They came out and wrote a very nice article about her in the paper.

It’s really stuck with me that despite all the things she was going through, her primary thought was about her family. Miss her every day.

Family SecretsPexels

93. A Chilling Letter

I am currently cleaning out the attic and getting the house ready to sell due to divorce after 40 years of marriage (my husband cheated…twice). I found a box of his things from before we met: school report cards, boy scout memorabilia, Archie comics…and something so horrifying I’ll never forget it. I picked up a handwritten letter from his older sister. I wish I’d never read it.

The letter detailed her intimate relationship with my husband and his best friend throughout his high school years. She wrote that she wanted him to think of her every time he was with another woman. And now her lack of warmth towards me throughout our marriage makes more sense.

Secret PossessionsPexels

94. Private Investigator

A couple of years back, I had a boyfriend who hired a private investigator to follow me around and take photos of me going in and out of buildings. He snapped a picture of me talking to family, visiting a Starbucks, and working out at the gym. I found all of these photos in his suitcase when I went inside to borrow a legal pad.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt that brand of violation ever in my life. It was like everything I knew about him just got twisted. I waited a day, then I confronted him. Then the rest of it came up, more secrets. 

An ex-wife I didn’t know about, a daughter, plans to ask me to transfer colleges abroad to some college I didn’t know. We’d only been dating for four months but it still made me feel like I’d fallen into a nest of spiders thinking it was an open field.

I left him very shortly after, mostly because I just felt like nothing about him was real anymore. I didn’t want to know more. I felt at the time that the less I knew about him, the safer I’d be.

Secret PossessionsPexels

95. Musical Instruments

Going through my grandfather’s stuff back in 2010, we discovered that he was really interested in trying to learn to play different types of musical instruments. He had a couple of really nice guitars, an electric piano that must have cost him a fortune back in the 80s, and a trumpet. He also had a bunch of how-to books on each instrument.

We asked Grandma about it and she told us he tried, but would always get frustrated and put them away for long periods of time.

Family SecretsPexels

96. Making His Last Days Count

After my great-granddad passed, we found credit card statements. And we couldn’t work out what on earth he’d spent the money on—he lived in a little bungalow with a cat and an old TV. We kept joking we should look for some 80-year-old fancy woman with diamonds and furs. Then we found a letter.

Turned out, when he got his terminal diagnosis, he took out cards at every bank that would have him and started living it up, for creaky-old-man standards of living it up.

Took the whole OAP club to the seaside and paid for everything, staying in the nicer hotel instead of the B&B they usually scrimped and saved for. Bought various bits and pieces for family members, most of which didn’t like to talk about money, so no one knew he’d bought three washing machines in a week. Started drinking the good stuff.

Because he was never going to have any “estate” to leave—the house was rented, the furniture was plywood. All that there was to inherit were sentimental things rather than anything that could be sold for money. And so, after very carefully checking that his daughters wouldn’t have to pay any of it back, he decided to have a good time.

It could have backfired if he’d lived longer than his diagnosis, and it’s a bit naughty, but...he had a great last six months, and left this world with a smile.

Family SecretsPexels

97. Panty Party

My wife was packing up a bunch of my old music equipment during our last move about fifteen years ago. When she came to me with this shocked look on her face, I knew I was in for it. She found a cluster of about twenty pairs of women's underwear in the back of a burned-out, old Peavey guitar amp. I definitely had some explaining to do.

They were, technically, mine. Not because I wear women's underwear, but because I used to live in a party house and things got crazy a couple of weekends in a row where the girls at the party disrobed and left their underpants behind during some drinking game. I remember picking them up and putting them in the back of the amp. Mostly because I was an inebriated, lazy 20-year-old.

I hadn’t really intended to keep them, but I guess I never got around to tossing them out. And there they stayed until my wife found them years later. It made for a pretty absurd Saturday morning when she found them.

Secret PossessionsWikimedia Commons

98. I Know I’m Not The Only One

I’d been dating this girl for six months. I could tell she was preoccupied and wanted to end our relationship, so I decided to do some snooping. While she’s in the shower, I creep into the closet—and my jaw DROPS. I find a whole collection of dangerous munitions—everything you could think of. Then I find a “USMC” wooden plaque and framed wedding photos.

This broad was married to a Marine Corp reservist who was deployed.

Secret PossessionsPexels

99. The Weirdest Apartment

This is my time to shine. Let me list a few crazy things I’ve found in my mother’s house so far. Firstly, dried blood-soaked sheets neatly folded in the bathrooms. We had to clean out the closets with bleach afterward.

Then we found her former boyfriend’s teeth, not in a typical teeth plastic container, but in a jewelry box. We also discovered the papers she sent her lawyer during the custody dispute with my father almost 20 years ago.

The second paper was a list of reasons I was supposed to remain with her. The first reason listed was, “Daughters need to only live with their mothers”. Eight thousand photos so far. Nothing really good. My mom liked disposable cameras and would keep all of the photos from each one.

Family SecretsPexels

100. Holding A Grudge

When my aunt left us, we found notes scribbled on scratch paper hidden all over the house. It was lists of what people had done to wrong her, things like “didn’t clean the yard correctly” and “didn’t buy the right beverage at the store”, all the way to “jealous of my life” and “can’t stand that my family is better than theirs”.

My mother’s was especially brutal, which was heartbreaking. They were friends for the majority of their lives, until my aunt’s unhealthy habits changed her. She passed a bitter, hateful woman surrounded by people who loved what she used to be, but couldn’t stand what she had become.

Family SecretsPexels

101. Blood Isn’t Always Thicker Than Water

My friend was in her final year of university. She had strong grades, and a really great internship lined up with a place she dreamed about working at. It almost certainly would have led to a great job. Well, that is, until her parents faked her younger brother's passing on the day when she had three finals back to back to back. The reason behind it all was seriously deranged.

They wanted to test whether she cared more about her family or her career, supposedly. She raced home in panic and grief, getting plane tickets and flying across the country, trying to get deferred exams on short notice. One of her profs, who helmed two of those classes, required a certificate. Well, she couldn't get it, since her brother was alive and well.

She didn't get to graduate because of that, at least not in that semester, and she lost her dream internship. Thankfully, she got a good job after graduating half a year later, though not nearly as good as the one she lost out on. Since then, she's largely cut her parents out of her life.

Scorched earthShutterstock

102. The Old Switcharoo

I secretly bought my son from a human trafficker after my wife had lost our biological child during the birth process. This is quite easy to do in my country, considering that there are a lot of very poor parents willing to give their children away. My wife regained consciousness after four days. Neither she nor my son know about this.

Dean Martin factsPixabay

103. Polite Dinner Conversation

This happened about a year ago. I was 18 years old at the time and I was dating a boy named Jacob, who was also my age. His father was a mechanic, and his mom was a homemaker. They were a pretty typical white suburban family in the south and had asked Jacob if they could meet me even though we had only been dating for a month.

At the dinner, I met his mom, dad, older brother, older sister, and her newborn daughter. The dinner went well and I was chatting about my volunteer work at my college's blood drive, to which his father explains that his doctor told him he was O negative and a universal blood donor. My boyfriend mentions he is also O, but his siblings casually mention they are both AB.

I don’t think anything of it because my boyfriend had mentioned that his mom was married once before and was widowed. The following conversation went like this: Me: “Oh that's really cool. You're a really rare blood type. If you don't mind me asking, is your mom's blood type A and your dad's B, or your dad's A and mom's B?”

Older sister: “What do you mean? He's O". She gestures to my boyfriend’s father here. Me: “Oh I know. I was just asking about your biological father, but of course, you don't have to answer if you don't want to". I notice his mom get really pale, and it was in that moment I realized I screwed up. Older brother: “What do you mean biological father?”

Me: “I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by it". At this point, Jacob's dad got real quiet and was looking at his wife's face. He knew instantly. I look over to Jacob who I think was starting to put the full picture of what was happening together. Dad: “Are you saying they're not my biological kids? Because my wife swore up and down in marriage counseling (by "marriage counseling" he means with a pastor) that they were my kids and she would never cheat on me".

At this point, I’m putting together that she never had any kids from her previous marriage. Mom: “I would never cheat on you. They are your kids". The dad turns to me and says, “So why do you think they're not my kids?” I tried to excuse myself because it was very clear the cat was out of the bag, and with a quick Google search from my boyfriend, he starts cussing out his mom.

She starts to sob and apologizes over and over again, and I am forced to explain 9th-grade biology to his father about the fact that the only kids he could have produced were with the blood type: O, A or, B, but absolutely not AB. Jacob was the only one with the possibility of being his son. They all start screaming at one another, and the older sister eventually leaves because her newborn is screaming too.

His mom goes and locks herself in the bedroom. His older brother follows her, screaming and asking who his real father is. My boyfriend is trying to figure out if his dad still wants to be their father. I eventually have a friend come pick me up. Yeah...we broke up shortly after, but not before figuring out through paternity tests that none of the kids produced from the marriage were the dad’s. They divorced soon after.

People Screwed UP facts Shutterstock

104. The Lion Of God

For context, my dad is the second youngest of 15 children. My oldest aunt has a son who is around the same age as my dad, we'll call him Vince. Vince and my dad knew each other growing up, and always got along. Vince was even one of my dad's groomsmen. A few years after that, Vince became very openly religious, and would try to get family members to go to church with him.

Except then my family started to notice that Vince would change which church he would go to after about a month. Fast forward to when I was a kid. There was a family get-together, and Vince and his girlfriend show up. It takes a dark turn. They start making people uncomfortable with their religious talk. Not the normal day-to-day stuff, but actually telling people they are going to heck for drinking.

They were also telling people that Vince is becoming a preacher and they need to attend his services, or else damnation, etc. According to my mom, I was really sick at this time and she took me to another room to give me some peace and quiet and hopefully I would stop fussing. She overheard Vince and the girlfriend in the next room talking about who they can single out and who would go along with them.

My mom freaked when she heard my dad's name, and Vince saying that he would be easy to convince, and his job should be able to fund things. My mom immediately went and got my dad and told him what she heard. Dad confronts Vince, and a huge argument ensues. Vince ends up leaving and saying everyone is damned, they are Satan, etc.

The rest of the family then talked about what happened, and it all came clear. He was not a good guy. His sister had kicked him out because he was mooching off her, refused to get a job, and she found him taking money from her purse. My aunt had to do the same for the same reasons. The same story over and over. Basically, they realized Vince was just a con artist trying to live off others.

Fast forward to the late 1980s, and not many people have heard from Vince recently. There is a huge family get-together again, and two aunts and a few cousins refused to attend because Vince was not welcome at the party. They were saying that Vince was the "Lion of God" and we were wrong to reject him. Another fight ensues, and the two aunts and handful of cousins don't end up attending.

Fast forward to the mid-90s when my grandma passed. One of the two aunts comes to the funeral (the other had passed a few years earlier), with Vince in tow. Vince was warned that he could come pay his respects, but to behave himself. My aunt was timid and repressed near him, and was open and nice when he wasn't around. It was really weird.

My parents didn't want to talk about it. Later that night, I did some internet searches and found out the chilling truth. Apparently, Vince was now the leader of a religious cult. He sucked in my two aunts, about seven of my cousins, and about 30-40 various people through the years. All the same M.O.: They must give up their money and belongings to join and "serve God".

He especially preyed on immigrants who came over by themselves. Basically, he bought some farmland, his disciples work the land, he sells what they grow/make, and he keeps the money. He is still active to this day, and many people who have left him have their own websites against him. It’s honestly head-spinning thinking about this guy.

Dark Family Secrets FactsShutterstock

105. The Widowed

So, my mom remarried about two years ago. My dad died when I was twelve so she had been widowed for over ten years. This new relationship was very whirlwind with her meeting the guy, dating him, and getting married within three months. I didn't know much about the guy, but my mom was happy, so I just tried to be supportive. She moved into his house in upstate Virginia and invited me and my fiancé to spend a weekend in her new home getting to know her new husband.

My mom's new home was pretty isolated. It sat on a few hundred acres of lovely rolling hills, and was very picturesque. I was nervous about getting to know this guy, but really trying to make the most of it. Over the course of our first day there though, I started to feel more and more uneasy. We were being made to feel very at home, yet I still couldn't shake this oppressive feeling. I finally chalked it up to me being more upset about my mom getting remarried than I was willing to admit to myself.

That night, my fiancé and I showered together. When I turned my back to him he stopped talking mid-sentence and asked, "What did you do to your back?" Well, nothing. Why? "You have a large bruise". I hopped out to try and see it in the mirror. He was right. It was so strange; I had no idea how it got there, and the whole thing made me feel even more creeped out.

The next morning I had a complete meltdown. I woke up and just couldn't stop crying. I told my fiancé we had to leave. He tried to calm me down by telling me all the things I had been telling myself. My feelings of anxiety were just a result of seeing my mom with someone. The longer I spent with them the easier it would become. But I just had to leave, I felt completely hysterical. I knew I was on the verge of a panic attack, so in the end, my fiancé drove me away.

As soon as we were on the road I felt like a weight had been lifted. I was even feeling embarrassed for my behavior, hoping I hadn't insulted my mom's husband by leaving early. Then my fiancé broke the silence, "That bruise on your back....did you get a good look at it?" I had. It looked like some had touched the middle of my back, with fingers spread wide, with their hand at a tilt. I want to make completely clear, no one had touched my back the previous day, especially hard enough to bruise me.

Cut to three weeks later. My mom comes to visit me. The entire time she's hounding me to come stay with her again. After finally trying to change the subject for the fifth time, I level with her. Before I've even finished telling the story her face is white as a sheet. She tells me she has been feeling the same way in the house. She hates it. She wants them to move as soon as possible. And the real kicker...her new husband's previous wife shot and killed herself in the house.

Creepy momentsPexels

106. She Gambled And Won

There was this girl “Kelly” who was very tiny, quiet, and seemingly well-mannered. Very unassuming girl, I don’t think anyone knew who she was. Then, one insane day, we learned the dark truth about her. Out of the blue, she was ESCORTED OFF CAMPUS BY THE AUTHORITIES for stealing the credit card information of 14 students and going on a shopping spree. She disappeared for a year before somehow being allowed back in for her senior year.

Instead of being a pariah, this girl somehow became a legend. “Free Kelly” posters would pop up with her mugshot on them, her name was incorporated into chants used at football games like she was a curse that could be used against the opposing team, and she was at the top of everyone’s party invite list.

High School Legends FactsShutterstock

107. 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.

Lawyers should have mentionedShutterstock

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,

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