To The Grave: People Reveal Their Families’ Darkest Secrets

February 5, 2021 | Miles Brucker

To The Grave: People Reveal Their Families’ Darkest Secrets

Everyone has a secret of some kind—but not all secrets are created equal. Some secrets aren’t as innocent as simply having an embarrassing hobby. Some involve things that, to say the least, would cause a serious stir if they ever got out into the public’s knowledge. From intense shame to harsh official consequences, these families have a lot to lose if they fail to protect their loved ones’ secrets. Here are 50 stories about some of the darkest family secrets out there.

1. History Maker

In the film Driving Miss Daisy, when the chauffeur played by Morgan Freeman is driving Miss Daisy to a worship service, they get stuck in a traffic jam. He gets out to see what the holdup is. When he gets back in, he says “You won’t be going to service today, somebody done bombed the temple.” She says “What? Who would do such a thing?”

My uncle, that’s who. And that is my family’s deepest and darkest secret. The temple in question was called the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple, of Atlanta. This incident happened in 1958, if you want to look it up. My uncle was one of the five men taken in and accused, but he was not the one that got tried and acquitted twice.

I don’t know if he ever confessed, but he was definitely the black sheep of the otherwise normal family. My dad, his sisters, and my other uncle rarely mentioned him, at least not while my cousins and I were around. But when I was little, I remember one of my older cousins saying something about my uncle and a church attack.

I thought better than to ever directly ask my dad about it, and over time I basically forgot about it. But then, a few years ago, l was listening to the Missed in History podcast, and they did an episode on the incident. When they listed the names of the men that were involved, a giant light bulb went off in my head and it all suddenly made sense.

Dark family secretsShutterstock

2. It’s All In The Game

My great-grandfather shot and took a man’s life in his grocery store back in the 1930s over a poker game. He ran a speakeasy out of the back of his store and lost almost $2k during the game. So, as the guy was walking out the front after the store closed, he shot him in the back. He got away with it too by telling the officer that the man had robbed him.

It wasn’t until he was on his deathbed that he finally told my grandfather the truth about what had happened.

Dark family secretsPexels

3. The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Our family secret is that my grandpa was kidnapped and forced to work for the Viet Cong. When he lost his life in combat, no one on either side would claim him. So he was buried over there in an unmarked grave. My grandma was left caring for three kids back home—my mother, my aunt, and my uncle. It was a very sad story.

Grandma eventually went over to Vietnam to try and find his grave. She left her kids alone back home. Eventually, she stayed in Vietnam and began working in the fields, until someone got her a job as a "bar girl" in Saigon. On that job, she met my now step-grandfather. He was an American GI. After some time, they got married and she agreed to move back to Ohio with him. That’s not even the craziest part.

She never told him that she had any kids, because she didn't think he would marry her if he knew. When they finally came back to America about two decades later, my grandma made my mom and her siblings pretend to be her nieces and nephews. And they have kept the lie going ever since. I still call him “Uncle” to this day.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

4. One In A Million

My family’s big secret is that my father recently won the lottery and hasn’t told any of our relatives. We've been pretending to be poor so that our family doesn't try to ask for money. It’s quite an elaborate facade, but it’s one that he intends to keep going for the entire foreseeable future. I guess it’s not the worst secret in the world to have!

Dark family secretsUnsplash

5. Leg Man

My brother shot himself in the leg to get out of Iraq and tried to blame it on an enemy attack. I learned about this the day I arrived in Afghanistan for my year-long tour. All I heard prior to that was that he had been shot. I found out later that it was a self-inflicted wound and that he was being monitored out of fear he would take his own life.

He was eventually kicked out with a less than honorable discharge. He’s never actually told anyone this, I just heard it through the National Guard, which is sometimes like a gossipy small town. I actually don’t hold it against him. The situation over there sucked. He’s absolutely ruined his life since then by becoming a heavy drinker and basically sitting the world out. Just sad all around.

Also, my mom and her sister both married the same man, so all my siblings are also cousins with each other.

Dark family secretsShutterstock

6. Throwing Out The Baby With The Bathwater

My family’s dark secret is that my older sister willingly let her baby drown in the bathtub because she knew he wasn't mentally "all there" as she called it and couldn't handle it. She swore up and down to the authorities that it was an accident and that she only left the room for a second. She was never charged with anything and it was ruled a tragic accident.

I still have never forgiven her for it, and I never will. My nephew was around 18 months when this happened. My older sister has always kind of been a bit of a dirtbag. She has always been a horrible person in the past to everyone around her, and she pushed a lot of family away by being so terrible. So, when she had my nephew, we all hoped this would make her grow up in a way.

We hoped she would finally become a responsible adult. Her husband at the time worked nearly 60 hours or more a week on a farm, so my sister was the one at home with my nephew. She kept trying to get a job, but kept getting fired or would simply quit. According to one of her stories during the time, she was giving my nephew a bath and she got a phone call about a job.

That’s her excuse for why she stepped out of the room to take it. Several other slight variations of the story were told too at different points. She has never shown any real sadness and has had two more kids since then. One, she just had about six months ago. Her husband left her after the incident and, as far as I know, he still visits his son's grave about once a month.

My sister has gone to the grave only once, because my uncle offered to take her on the anniversary of his passing. I know raising a child who may have special needs is hard, but she knew she had every option for help from the rest of our family. There was absolutely no excuse for what she did. And I will never forgive her. Ever.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

7. The Uncle? Or The Godfather?

I had an uncle who moved far away. He worked in a boiler room at a huge casino, decades ago. He was always sketchy, and he had way more money than a simple boiler room employee ought to have had. The rumors are that the boiler room was actually a really useful thing for the mob, due to it doubling as an incinerator for whatever purposes they needed. Hence the money.

Many unanswered questions there.

Dark family secretsPexels

8. Third Time’s The Charm

My family secret is that my grandmother had been married three times, not twice like I was always told growing up. Apparently, her first marriage had been to a gay man and it quickly dissolved. She didn’t want people to know about it. This information was presented to me as a big family secret, but I was like "Cool, I'm 12." But I did end up digging up their marriage certificate on in college!

Dark family secretsUnsplash

9. All About Me

I am actually the dark family secret. All of my brothers and sister know, but they don't know that I know. They've kept the secret from everyone except one person, and that person told me. The secret is that my mother had an affair that resulted in pregnancy, and my father raised me like I was his own. And none of them know that I found out.

I sometimes contemplate whether or not I should tell my sons the truth about their grandmother, but I think I probably won't. I actually recalled having met my real father when I was really young, but not again since. And I am not interested in meeting him now. Both of my parents have passed, so I'm not going to make any issues out of it.

Dark family secretsPexels

10. No Sweet Tooth

My family’s dark secret is that one of our family members took the life of another one by leaving a bag of poisoned donuts out on their front steps as a “gift.” We are now “hesitant” about accepting donuts or any other food gifts, even though the odds of someone trying this again are obviously pretty low. Nevertheless, some fears are hard to get over.

Dark family secretsPexels

11. The Truth Comes Out

My family's secret is that my dad passed on after an overdose when he was only 25 years old. I was six months old at the time. Both our family and his hid the true reason from everyone. They told everyone it was a heart attack. This is even what I grew up thinking. Only my mom, my aunt, my two uncles, and my four grandparents knew the real cause.

I found out the real cause of his demise when I had to provide his official certificate for college financial aid. And now I am burdened with continuing the lie to the greater community who knew him.

Dark family secretsShutterstock

12. Getting The Job Done

My dad once gave a job to a cousin. I remember as a kid that this cousin I’d never heard of just suddenly popped up out of nowhere without explanation, but I was a kid so didn’t really think much of it. Nevertheless, I remember finding it weird how everyone made a big deal out of how great it was for my dad to give him a job.

I found out 20 years later that the cousin had been behind bars.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

13. Bad Habits

I found out six months before my dad passed that he had been a heavy substance user earlier in his life. He was dying of liver disease and tried to overdose one night. I didn’t live with him at the time, but I knew that something was wrong. And that was when my mom and I went and found him on the floor of his bathroom.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

14. He Shoots, He Scores

I had an uncle who was a sharpshooter in the US Navy, and there’s a famous movie about a mission he was on. He’s portrayed as a great hero in the movie and he has adoring fans all over the world. Our family’s secret is that he is also a crazy raving lunatic and used to beat his kids. He also had a serious hoarding problem for many years.

Dark family secretsPexels

15. Me, Myself, And I

The big secret in my family…is me. My dad never told his family that I existed. I was considered something shameful in his eyes. Maybe he felt ashamed of the circumstances that led to my birth. After he passed, they found out about me and kindly asked me not to come to his funeral. Now I get why he never told them…

Dark family secretsUnsplash

16. An Unwanted Visitor

My uncle physically harmed me when I was four years old. My subconscious buried the memory for a long time. During that time, my mom had him over to our house every Sunday for family dinner until he passed more than 10 years later. Once I remembered the secret, and it wasn’t the only thing I remembered about her family, it opened a floodgate for my mom.

She started desperately trying to convince me that she wasn’t a bad person for trying to ignore the problem. She told me that that same uncle and three of her other brothers did the same thing to her starting at the age of five, and she still forgave them. I couldn’t even process it all. The situation is beyond messed up and it really messes with your mind.

Dark family secretsPexels

17. Open Secret

My family’s big secret from the world is that grandma has been having an affair with a family friend’s husband for more than 28 years. And we all know about it.

Dark family secretsPexels

18. Ahead Of Their Time

My family’s ethnic history is a secret because of the era in which it all developed. My great-great-grandmother had an African-American father, which was considered really taboo in the 1860s. My great-grandmother is 98 years old and was telling us about a guy who was black and absolutely adored her back in the 1920s and early 30s.

He would come over to play with her often, but the family had to keep it a secret as he was black and she was white. The story goes that when her mother married her grandfather, my great-grandmother’s mom had to pretend that he worked as the “help” on the farm in South Dakota, when in reality he was the head of the household.

They couldn’t have the neighbors knowing that they were a mixed-race family in that community during those years. And none of my family members ever heard anything about this until my grandfather did a DNA test a little while back, and it came back saying that he was part black and had black family members. So we only found out last year.

Dark family secretsPexels

19. An Issue That Hit Close To Home

My father's cousin was a prominent Catholic priest in his community, who was very well-known for his staunchly anti-LGBT views. Well, we were in for quite the surprise. One day, he was thrown behind bars one day for trying to solicit from an undercover male officer at a gay bookstore in New Orleans. Let’s just say he wanted to keep it on the down-low...

Dark family secretsPexels

20. Origin Story

My biological father was born in Japan. He's half Japanese and, according to 23andme, half-Irish or something close to it. My grandmother Toyoko adopted him and brought him with her to the United States when she moved here with her husband. Grandmother was very close-mouthed around me about her experience living in Japan during WWII and afterward in US-occupied Japan.

It was only after she passed that I started to hear stories that she'd told others about hiding in cellars and bank vaults from air raids, as well as abuses by US servicemen. Possibly due to the trauma she suffered during that time, she was unable to have children of her own. Which was how she came to adopt my biological father.

Everyone that I spoke to had a different story as to how she had "adopted" her son. As a kid, I had been told that she'd adopted him legally from an orphanage. Later, I was told that he may have been her sister's illegitimate child. Another story I heard was that she had been told that someone had a kid to give up and to be at a certain building at a certain time.

When she went there, she knocked on a door. It was opened and a baby was put into her arms, and then the door shut again. Various others had various other versions of the story, and we realized that every time someone had asked Grandmama about her son, she gave them a different story. No one knows for sure where my Bio Dad actually came from, who his real parents were, and what the circumstances were surrounding his adoption.

And alas, both the story of my grandmother’s experiences during that time in history and the truth about where my father came from were secrets that she took to the grave.

Dark family secretsPexels

21. All In The Family

My family’s big secret is that my great-great-grandparents were first cousins. I don't have wiggly bones or any other birth defects, so I guess I’m alright! It’s an especially dark secret in our circles because they had to run away from Sicily because of it. The family was very much against their marriage, from what I was told.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

22. A Blast From The Past

In the process of opening a home daycare, my mom checked the local perv’s registry and was met with a disturbing surprise. She found a stranger with our family's very unusual last name. Mom called Grandpa. He confirmed that he is related to us, that he hadn't seen him in decades, that he didn't know he had been convicted, but that he thought it sounded about right. We're not supposed to ask about him again.

Dark family secretsPexels

23. Drastic Measures

My great aunt had a thing for this guy. The problem was that this guy happened to be married. That little detail didn't stop my great aunt. So what did she do? Well, she “got rid of” the man's wife. Apparently, when he went off to work early one morning, she broke into the house and literally sawed off this poor woman’s head.

Then, she cleaned up the mess, buried the body in the backyard, tidied the house up, cooked dinner, and waited for the man to come home. When he got home, he noticed that the house was a bit different. Out comes my great aunt to greet him. But oh, there’s an even more chilling twist. This was the first time the man had ever met my great aunt. And what did this man do? Well, he thought it was a great gesture of love.

They called the authorities together and covered up for my great aunt's actions. The man claims that he did it. He gets thrown behind bars for a couple of years and eventually bribes his way out. He moves into his old home with my great aunt and they have a happy marriage for over 40 years until he passes on from natural causes.

The truth about their relationship is by far the biggest secret in my family.

Dark family secretsPexels

24. An Evil Past

My grandfather was an English and Russian speaking citizen of Germany during WWII. He said he “fixed planes.” Later, I found out the gruesome truth. He was doing something much worse than that. While I don’t know the specifics of what he did, it now seems almost certain that he was a scientist working for the Third Reich who had been brought over to Canada in a secret government operation to get nuclear secrets from ex-German scientists.

We've only been able to find a few people with our last name in historical documents or currently living. In some historical documents, we found out that a man with my last name was executed for war crimes, and that there are other people with my very German last name living in Argentina. For those who don’t know, Argentina is the place a whole bunch of Germans escaped to in order to hide from prosecution.

So while I can't piece a lot together of what actually happened, it seems pretty obvious. Needless to say, this is not something that we’re proud of or that we like others to know about. I know lots of people out there have similar stories of grandparents that were active in awful historical events, and I know it can be a really difficult thing to try and grapple with.

My suggestion is to always try and learn from the mistakes that they made. Look at what's happening in the world today and choose to be part of the good. It's interesting that my grandfather chose the life of a simple farmer once he was here, and that he never spoke about his past. We were slightly worried about finding old uniforms and flags after he passed, or seeing all his money go to long lost relatives in Argentina. But nothing like that happened.

Dark family secretsShutterstock

25. A Lot To Keep Track Of

The family secret on one side of my family is that the surname passed down for five or maybe six generations was just selected one day totally at random by this ancestor who moved countries and needed a surname for paperwork and to meet with cultural norms. He literally just chose a random one that he'd heard and liked the sound of.

Then he had seven kids, and one of his sons had fourteen kids, and most of those kids had a fair few kids themselves. So now there is a whole pile of folks running around with this ancestral name which reaches an abrupt end six generations back if they ever try to trace it. It’s as if that guy just sprung up fully-formed out of the earth.

Dark family secretsPexels

26. I Hate This One

When I was little, I found out that my mother was secretly hated by her entire family. This was due to her having a different mother than all her siblings. I only know this because I was hated too, due to me having a different father than all of my siblings. So my grandmother felt bad and confided in me about the truth. It feels strange having so much family, but have nobody even wanting to associate with you.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

27. Horrible On So Many Levels

I recently learned that my disabled great aunt had been taken advantage of multiple times while she was in high school, including by a teacher. The attacks resulted in at least three pregnancies that she was forced to carry and give up for adoption. She was subsequently shamed for each of them. I found out because I did an ancestry test and found cousins that my dad couldn't explain.

So there was a very awful phone call the next day to try and understand why.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

28. Proud Of Your Heritage

My dad's side of the family has some secrets. We live in Singapore, where Chinese is the majority ethnicity. My family has always been listed as Chinese in our ID documents. Photos of my grandparents show that my grandfather was significantly darker-skinned though, and we have two photos of my great-grandmother in Burmese wear.

Turns out that my great-grandmother knew that things would be better for us if people thought we were Chinese, so she got a Chinese man to adopt my grandfather in name. In my country, our ethnicity as stated in documents follows our paternal lineage. I'm a quarter Burmese and my dad is half. But he gets upset when we mention that he's not fully Chinese.

Our family’s true origin is considered a huge secret.

Dark family secretsShutterstock

29. Gone Too Soon

A year or two after her adoptive mother passed, my mom went looking for information about her birth parents. Eventually, she found out that her birth mother and her mother’s husband had been gruesomely murdered by a dealer. There was even an article about what had happened to them in Rolling Stone magazine at the time. It showed a bunch of gory pictures of their bodies.

Dark family secretsPexels

30. A Whole Biography

My great-grandfather had more secrets than anyone I’ve ever known. First of all, he was the illegitimate child of an Italian doctor and was born somewhere in southern Italy. Supposedly, the doctor had an affair and had to cover it up. So he sent my great-grandfather to northern Italy as an infant, where he became an orphan and had to hide his past from everyone he met.

As if that isn’t enough already, my great grandfather supposedly got involved with the Italian mafia at some point. He helped them pull off a major bank heist along with two other family members. My young grandmother was supposedly the getaway driver. Eventually, he got caught and they all got put behind bars with the exception of my grandmother. All were eventually released, never spoke of the incident again, and eventually passed of natural causes.

I just found all of this out about two years ago. I'm 33 years old. I cringe.

Dark family secretsPexels

31. The Gang’s All Here

A not too distant cousin screwed over this notoriously dangerous biker gang in our area. And he did so a big way. The incident included him forcing himself on someone's wife and swiping one of the leaders’ motorbikes. He has been on the run for the last 20 years as a result of this. When people ask us whatever happened to him, we just pretend that he moved away.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

32. Night Of The Hunter

My family’s secret is that my grandma once tried to take my grandpa’s life. My dad tells me that my grandpa was a controlling and emotionally insensitive person. He never let my grandma go out, not even to church. But my dad also doesn't reveal much about the past. So all I know is that there is a lot of deep resentment—and it had devastating consequences.

Towards the end of his life, my grandpa had a stroke and was completely bedridden. He couldn't even speak. He was conscious though, and understood when we spoke to him. We had a full-time aid worker for him who would bathe him and feed him because my grandma didn't want to. As it turns out, she was not giving him or the carer any food.

Later, we also found out that she wasn't giving him his medicines and would ignore him for hours when he had fits. She would not give him the adult diapers and let him lay in his filth for days. Eventually, my uncle took him in and they took over his care, even though my aunt was recovering from breast cancer at the same time.

He was doing well and recovered somewhat. My grandma sometimes visited him and asked to be left alone. Once, the carer caught her trying to choke him, and she threatened to call the authorities. She just stayed quiet while my uncle kicked her out. This worsened my grandpa’s condition, and he was in the ICU for a while.

At some point, when she visited him, my grandma had also broken his arm. We didn't know, though, because he couldn't verbalize it. Needless to say, this whole chapter in my family’s history is a very deeply kept secret.

Dark family secretsPexels

33. A Horrible Development

Back in the early 1990s, my uncle's stepson took the lives of my uncle's wife and his two daughters. My uncle himself only barely survived the attack. This is obviously something that my family does not tend to enjoy talking about or bringing up around others. The whole situation was just tragic beyond words. I hope no one else ever has to experience anything like it.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

34. Modern Art

This is not the darkest secret, but definitely the most well-kept. I grew up with my family in a small town in Texas. It was the Fourth of July. I had just been granted my Learner’s Permit to learn to drive, so I begged my aunt to ride with my sister and me to go and get fireworks so that I could try driving somewhere. She said she would, but only if she could show us something first.

She directed me to drive to one of the bridges in town in the middle of a very nice-looking rich people neighborhood. On the bridge were spray-painted two very obscene images of male junk. The pictures covered up the entire bridge. I don’t know what possessed my aunt to draw them, but it was massively funny to us.

We all laughed at it for a bit, and then we went and got the fireworks and returned home. That next morning, my mom made everyone go to church. After the service was over, my mom went over to the other group of middle-aged women. All of the women that lived in this particular neighborhood were all going “Can you believe what someone has done to our neighborhood!”

My sister and I could only side-eye each other. We didn’t tell anyone we knew who it was, and my aunt was never caught. That image showed up in some engagement photos before they were able to remove it.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

35. The Gift Of Taking

My grandad made hundreds of millions through his business and investments by the time he passed. Most of it only happened a few years before he passed, though. He never got along well with the rest of the family apart from my parents. As a result, he left everything to charity in his will. Of course, the other family members weren't happy about this.

They wanted to get rich off his hard work, so they lawyered up and fought for years to get the money. Unfortunately, they eventually won the case. They were awarded not all, but most of the money in question—taking millions from needy charities and instead spending it on houses, cars, holidays, and gambling. Lots and lots of gambling.

Needless to say, we don't talk to or about that part of the family.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

36. Young Love

My great-grandfather forced my grandmother to take my aunt to have an abortion when she was only 16 years old. This caused my aunt to become severely emotionally unstable. She cut her own face up so terribly bad that she now wears a large amount of makeup at all times just to cover it. And it still hasn’t really gone away in almost 45 years—and there’s an even more heartbreaking twist.

She ended up marrying her high school sweetheart afterward anyway, and they had two children together. From what I know, she never forgave either of her parents for it. I only very recently learned about this. I guess she found it hypocritical because my grandparents were married at 16 with a child. My grandmother was even excommunicated from the Catholic Church because of it.

And it still gets worse. Part of the reason my grandmother was excommunicated was that she had already been married once before, even though she was only 16. This part I was really confused about when I first heard it. She was married at 15 to another man, and traveled to California to get a divorce. She then eloped with my grandfather, who then immediately joined the Navy to fight in WWII in the Pacific Theater.

Needless to say, every single part of this has been kept a secret.

Dark family secretsPexels

37. Lone Survivor

As a child, I heard whisperings of this story—but it was only when I was much older that I discovered the disturbing truth. My second cousin once removed was kidnapped, attacked, and tormented by a serial killer. After many days of captivity, she was dropped off near a running path with her neck slit. Unlike the guy’s other three victims, she survived and was able to lead the authorities to his home. He is still behind bars to this day.

Dark family secretsShutterstock

38. Oh Brothers, Where Art Thou?

No one in my family can give me an honest answer on how many siblings I have. This makes me suspect that there is some kind of deep, dark secret that they are trying to hide. I have already learned of the existence of more siblings than they had wanted me to know about. I’m not sure what they’re trying to hide, but I have a feeling it’s pretty messed up based on the lengths they go to to keep it quiet…

Dark family secretsPexels

39. By George!

I found out last year that I am a direct descendant of Thomas Rood. For those who haven’t heard of him, he was the first person to ever be executed for sleeping with family members in the United States. He took advantage of his daughter Sarah against her will, and it came to light when she gave birth to a son named George. My family line is descended directly from George.

Dark family secretsShutterstock

40. The Great Escape

My family’s secret is that my dad tried to run out on my mum while she was pregnant with me, because he’d been embezzling money from a photography club at his workplace. His workplace then was a government institution, where he’d been treasurer. It was all about to come out because the club needed the money, so my dad decided to cut and run.

My mother’s brother and father caught him by pure accident as he was leaving the house, and my grandad, a burly Scottish coal miner, got him by the throat and told him if he ever pulled a stunt like that again, then his life would come to an end. My dad, according to the story, wet his pants right then and there on the spot.

My grandad paid the money back to the club so that no one found out, as not only would my dad have lost his job but he’d most likely have ended up behind bars, too. My mum, however, could never trust him with money again. So, although they had a joint bank account, she had them limit his access and she also made a separate account to control the bills.

She also went back to work so she could always support herself, which in those days in rural Scotland was really uncommon. In that area, most women were stay-at-home moms, so there was no such thing as childcare for children under the age of four. Mum went back to her job as a primary school teacher, and I spent the first few years of my life sleeping in a basket in the stationery cupboard in her classroom.

At my mum’s funeral, some of her former colleagues were still coming up to me and saying, “Oh, it’s the baby in the cupboard!”

Dark family secretsUnsplash

41. The Night Before

My family’s secret is that my mom walked in on my uncle "servicing" his best man the night before he married my aunt. This was back in the mid-1960s, so being bi or gay wasn't something that too many people openly admitted to. She said nothing to anyone and only told my dad about it many years later. The marriage actually turned out really happy, and they are still together to this day.

They just celebrated their 57th anniversary, actually. They're both retired teachers. They travel a lot and just enjoy life. I adore both of them. They're lovely people.

Dark family secretsPexels

42. Pinball Is A Full Contact Sport

My grandfather lost his life in a bar when my father was still a toddler. The official story was that he was attacked over a pinball game. Back then, pinball was taken pretty seriously, I guess. It wasn't until recently that my grandmother made a shocking deathbed confession. She told us that my grandfather had actually taken someone else’s life and buried the body, days before his own demise.

So he was actually targeted in retaliation for a terrible thing that he had committed. Pinball was just the excuse. My grandmother kept this secret for almost 65 years.

Dark family secretsUnsplash

43. Too Close For Comfort

My dad's cousin took a dude’s life in a substance-induced rage back in 1990. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he then did the same to the victim’s son, who was only nine years old at the time. He was living in my parents' basement at the time. Investigators first questioned my dad, and then they found my cousin's shoes in the house.

The dude used to babysit me and my siblings when we were growing up. I didn't know about any of this until I was almost an adult. He used to call me from behind bars on our shared birthday, and it always gave me the creeps. I stopped answering when I discovered the truth. My dad and grandma swear he is innocent, but I read into the case. He's definitely not.

dark family secretsUnsplash

44. Bye Bye Baby

My mother was sent to an unwed mother’s home to have her first child. In Australia, this was very commonplace, even as late as the 70s. This is now referred to as “Forced Adoption,” as the mother never had a chance to even try to keep her child. It was common practice for families to send their pregnant unwed daughters to these places.

The idea was for them to complete their pregnancy and then immediately give the child away without “the neighbors knowing.” And that’s not the only bombshell. On top of that, she has since found out through ancestry DNA that her father wasn’t really her biological father, and that her mother had gotten pregnant with her from another man before her parents were married. Talk about hypocrisy!

Dark family secretsPexels

Sources: Reddit,

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

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.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

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.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

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.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.