No matter how picture perfect a family or neighborhood might look, most of them are harboring their fair share of mysteries and secrets. Some could be harmless, while others are dark as night. But nothing stays hidden forever. Here are the darkest, strangest, and most scandalous secrets you’ll ever hear.
Double Lives and Secrets
1. The Other Family
I had a cousin who died a few years ago. I went to his funeral and was walking around hugging his wife and kids and giving them my condolences when a lady and two teenage boys walked in. Nobody knew who these people were, so of course, my great aunt asked. She claimed to be his wife and the two boys were his sons. Turns out all those week-long work trips he’d been taking weren’t actually work trips.
They were trips to see his OTHER family.
2. Truth About Their Parents
My kids are adopted. They all remember their birth mom and dad very fondly, and I hope to keep it that way. I just can’t bear the thought of them discovering the dark truth about where they came from. The truth is that their parents were couple of drug addicts. They were horrible and they put the kids’ lives in danger. I’m not sure if I can ever tell them that.
3. Family Strife
Somebody said that he was supposed to cheat with his fiancé’s best friend the night before their wedding, but she died in a car accident on the way to the hotel.
4. Fly Me to the Moon
Just got on a flight in London headed to Vegas. Sitting next to my GF, and she wants to show me something she has planned for the trip, so gets out her phone. It opens to the Messages and shows a chat with a guy (I know him) saying how much she is going to miss him and how she doesn’t want to go away with me anyway. The doors close on the plane and that was a really fun 10-11hrs…
5. Famous Last Words
When my father died after a long and painful battle with cancer, a pastor at my mom’s church spoke at the funeral. The entire time that she was talking, I wanted to walk up there and punch her in the face. She had the audacity to stand in front of us and speak about how devastating cancer is. If she realized that I knew the chilling secret of her past life, she would never have had the guts to show her face.
hat pastor used to attend a different church, but had to leave after she was caught for having faked cancer for two years. Her husband left her and her daughter disowned her after they found out.
My mom was the secretary at that church. So she knew, and had already told me. My dad’s funeral was only like two years after that whole thing went down. I would have walked up to the podium and punched her right in the face were it not disrespectful to my parents.
6. The Mistress
It was the day of my husband’s funeral. I answered a call from an unknown number—that’s when everything fell apart. There was a woman on the other end claiming to be his girlfriend. She’d been calling his cell for weeks but I’d had it turned off when he was in the hospital. I had no idea that he’d been unfaithful, but that wasn’t the worst part. She told me that he’d been paying her rent for a year—while the bank had been about to foreclose on our house.
7. Job Security
My young daughter doesn’t know that we weren’t actually visiting daddy at “his work.” It was a secure psychiatric ward where he has been living since she was 3 months old.
8. Post-Secondary Disappearance
A little over 10 years ago, a HS senior in my town went missing, they’ve never found him. Apparently, he was at a party just before graduation, got into a fight with his girlfriend, and left to walk home. They’ve extensively checked all the nearby woods, dredged the rivers and lakes, it even caught the attention of some TV “psychic.” They found his car, abandoned, but no other sign of him.
The creepiest part is how everyone in my hometown still talks about it; My psych teacher in high school used his disappearance as an example when we discussed dissociative fugue states; the town is still plastered in MISSING signs; every year they go out and search again. I always wonder if it was suicide, an accident, foul play, or if he just took off across the country.
9. Be Prepared
My son doesn’t know that the reason we don’t see his older half sister anymore is because she molested him when he was an infant. We are waiting until we can find a good psychiatrist for support before we break the news to him.
10. She Has to Find out Sooner or Later
A colleague of mine has a friend who hid from her 8-year-old daughter that she would die within a few years because of a terminal illness.
11. Like the Brother Never Even Existed
My family never talks about my brother who died. Growing up, I knew I had a brother and I knew he was killed by a car, but I didn’t know anything about him aside from that—until my mom and I visited his grave. She broke down into an inaudible mess, and it really hit me for the first time ever that he was a real person, as crazy as that sounds. I don’t understand that pain of losing a child, but it hurt to see my mom mourn like that, almost as if it had just happened.
12. Full Circle
My parents are divorced, and they have a big secret that they don’t realize I know. They are both cheating on their current spouses. With each other.
13. Kicking Her When She’s Down
I was in a horrible place after losing my unborn child. That’s the exact moment my ex-husband chose to sue me for full custody of the other child. My sister consoled me and supported me through it all. I thought she was on my side. Until I realize just how deeply she had been betraying me this entire time. I don’t know if I can ever forgive her.
My sister talked my ex-husband into suing me for full custody at the exact moment I was unable to contest it properly. She also foddered his case with lies to make me look like a terrible mother, while simultaneously patting me on the back and consoling me that he was a terrible man.
He didn’t win, but the case made things contentious for us for years and made it impossible to grieve with my now husband, because I was in survival mode to make sure I didn’t lose my daughter.
14. Abuse in Every Way
I’m the child. My mom has kept this fact a secret from me, but I found out anyway. My grandma was so mad at my mom for dating young and getting pregnant that she got her brothers to beat her until she miscarried and lost her pregnancies. This happened twice before I was finally conceived. It hurts my heart and I can’t look at my family the same.
15. No Fun in Funeral
After my best friend in the world died in a terrible drowning accident, his parents absolutely refused to let me go to the funeral. I’m not allowed to be there to say goodbye to one of my closest friends ever because his parents think that because I was there the day he was killed in a freak accident, I’m somehow to blame for their son’s death. They treat me like I’m the bad guy, but what could I have done? It makes me feel so much worse and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.
16. Protecting Her Innocence
My sister’s oldest child doesn’t know that her younger sister, whom she loved with all her heart, was kidnapped, assaulted, and then killed. She believes that her sister died in a car accident.
17. Way to Leave Us Hanging
When I was young, my mom’s best friend died. She wouldn’t tell me how, only that it was sudden. When I asked why we weren’t going to the funeral, she told me that there wasn’t one. But just months ago, I was scrolling through her phone to find the number for a pizza place, and as I’m looking I come across the phone number of the long-dead best friend. I was floored, and very suspicious. The next day I called the number from a pay phone—and that’s when the situation went from suspicious to disturbing.
As I’m scrolling through her contacts I come across the phone number of the dead best friend. Biggest WTF moment of my life. The next day I called it from a pay phone at Waffle House and she picked up. I instantly recognized the voice and accent. She’s not dead. Second biggest WTF moment of my life.
18. Darned If You Do, Darned If You Don’t
My parental secret is that my adopted daughter was conceived as the result of an assault. Experts say that you are supposed to give your adopted children all of their history when they are old enough to understand it, but honestly, if it were me, I would rather just not know. We are considering not ever telling her. It weighs heavy on our hearts.
19. One Bump Can Wreck Your Love Life
I used to work the desk in an ER. One day, we had a fellow brought in via EMS after a horrible car wreck. After a while, a lady came to the desk and said, “My husband is here, he’s just been in a car accident.” I checked with the unit, they said he could have visitors, so I let her go back. I went on with my day.
About 20 minutes later, a different woman came to the desk and said, “My husband is here, he’s been in a car accident.” I knew that we only had one MVA back there, but I asked her for the patient’s name, figuring maybe she’d come to the wrong hospital. But she had not.
This man was not polyamorous. Instead, he was leading a double life of Bruce Wayne proportions. He wasn’t just sleeping with two different women. He had two sets of children. He had convinced both that he was legally married to them. And neither had any idea the other existed.
There was, how you say, a mild kerfuffle.
In the end, the women joined forces against him and walked out planning their respective divorces.
It was just amazing to me that this guy’s whole life was blown up by a minor fender bender that wasn’t even his fault. Dude looked just haunted when he walked out.
20. Hunting for Problems
Brother of mine caught his wife cheating. Her phone would always be going off and she would hide it. He got curious, looked into it, and found some guy had been texting her for a few months. She said she was going to stay home because she had to catch up on homework over the weekend. My brother and I went on our hunting trip and he told me about it.
We never left the city, we went to my house and stayed there till it got dark, then drove back to his neighborhood in my neighbor’s car. She sent him a picture of her at home saying she was going to go to bed early that night. Well, we snuck close to the house after a car parked down the street and a guy walked to the house and let himself in.
My brother was fuming at this point and wanted to beat the crap out of the guy. I settled him down and told him to think about the long run. We snuck up to the house and using the night vision camera got video of them bumping uglies in the living room. My brother wanted to confront this guy at this point so… I did something messed up and called the cops. I said I heard a lot of yelling from the house and asked if they could go check. It kept my brother from messing with the dude (a coworker of hers).
Cops show up, take statements. We leave and the next day he pulls her iMessages off the email account and talks to a lawyer. We give the lawyer the messages and when we show up five days later from our “hunting trip,” he calls her and says he got something wild and wants her to come out and see it.
When she comes out he gives her divorce papers and kicks her out of the house. She had the police do a civil stand by while she got her stuff a few days later. House was his before they got married so all she got to keep was some stuff they bought together and her car. No kids and the prenup nullified the alimony she could have gotten as he made way more money than her.
The guy she was sleeping with had a record. We saw her a few months later, she tried talking to my wife and said she missed my brother and she was sorry, the guy and her broke up shortly after the divorce.
21. Which Family Comes First?
My daughter doesn’t know that the reason she can never have a relationship with her grandfather is because he’s a pedophile, and I will never trust him. The rest of my family maintains a relationship with him, and they lean on me hard to open up communication because “family comes first.” They are absolutely right, my family does come first, which is why my daughter won’t ever be having a relationship with him.
22. Till Death Do Us Part
My dad had a deep, dark secret for a long time, but I managed to find out about it on my own. The woman who he is now married to is the woman with whom he was having an affair…when my mom was dying of cancer.
23. A Contract With Questionable Mens Rea
My evil grandfather manipulated my grandma into cutting my mom out of her will. When he did it, my grandma was in the throes of full blown dementia.
24. Ignorance is Bliss
I had the best grandpa growing up. Like the typical movie grandpa. He was perfect. He spoiled us like crazy; great corny jokes and he always had crazy silly stories. He always saved the day. Just the best man I knew. After he passed, one of my aunts told me and my little sister he had cheated on my grandma with her own sister multiple times. We never knew.
I wish she never told us.
25. Hold on, You Can’t Be Serious…
One of my younger brothers is currently dating our oldest brother’s wife. They were having sex in secret for three years before anyone figured it out.
26. Dad’s Tragedy
Here is one that my dad never told me but my uncle shared after my dad has passed.
He was madly in love with a girl when he was 17 years old. They were soul mates, lovers meant to be, engaged to be married and grow old together… all that sweet jazz.
They went to the county fair one year and decided to ride the Ferris Wheel. About the time they got to the top and started heading back down the safety bar came unhooked and swung open. My dad grabbed her and held onto the seat. He tried to hold her but he couldn’t. She fell to her death.
My dad never mentioned it, never said a word to anyone, even to my mom. My uncle said her death broke his heart and he was never the same again, until after I was born.
He would never let me go to fairs, amusement parks, or any place with rides when I was growing up and we used to get into big fights about it when all my friends were going.
He always told me it was just because they were dangerous and didn’t want me to get hurt.
My grandfather had 4 different families at the same time. Eventually, they found about each other and they left him. Except for my grandmother, she stayed. He has a total of 22 children.
28. Graduating Without Honors
About seven years ago, my brother was struggling with addiction, using almost any and everything though alcohol was the DOC. We have a really long family history of alcohol use disorders. He dropped out of school and spent a few years bouncing around treatment centers and sober living houses.
Three years ago, he decided to move back (about 2 hours away from my parents’ house) and get back into school. He would tell us all about his classes, professors, their teaching styles, and we helped him out, like my parents would take care of his dog during finals so he could study without distraction.
My entire family came from all across the country for his graduation ceremony on Friday. We were all bursting with pride and excitement. But then, everything changed. Pre-ceremony none of us could find his name in the book. Then we couldn’t find him walking among the students. About 30 minutes into the ceremony I got a call from him. He was drunk.
Turns out he never enrolled back into school. He just moved back, conned my parents into paying rent and utilities for three years and spent four days a week boozing, gaming, and sleeping. No one knew this was going on. He invested so much into this double life that he had his whole family and all his friends fooled.
We’re not sure what the next steps are, my husband and I are going to help my parents pack up his place tomorrow. It’s hard to find hope with the level of deceit that went into his latest stint. He’s hurt so many people on this path but he’s my brother and I love him nonetheless. Here’s to a brighter tomorrow, thanks for letting me word vomit and process this a bit more.
29. Keeping Her Good Name Alive
My mom kept it a secret that the woman I was named after (her mom, my grandma) was stabbed to death by my uncle when my mom was just 18 years old. I always suspected that my grandma had a tragic death because of how my mom would always avoid talking about it, but I had no idea that it was that tragic. It was really difficult to find out.
30. He Lived to Not Tell the Tale
My father is hiding the fact that someone tried to kill him when he was in his teens from me. He has scars on his head from where he was beat with a hammer. He doesn’t know that I know this, and I only know because I once overheard a conversation between my grandmother and her brothers about the incident. It’s really chilling.
31. Stronger Than Any Lullaby
I‘m the child in this case. My dad waited till I was grown up to tell me that my mom had routinely given me a ton of sleeping pills when I was a little child so that she could leave me at home alone to maintain an affair with her lover while my dad was off working in another country. That cleared up many, many things up for me…
32. The Second Life
My grandfather was Polish. He fought in WWII in the Allied forces after escaping to occupied Italy. Later, he came to the UK and met my grandmother, with whom he had an unbelievably troubled relationship, and five kids. He died when my dad was 14. My dad and his brothers found some old projector films in the attic. One of them changed everything.
It was a slideshow that appeared to depict my grandfather in a suit, next to a woman in a wedding dress, standing at an altar. The guy had been married already, in Poland. We don’t know what happened to his first wife, but now we know why he was estranged from his Polish family.
33. The Hidden Kin
Found out through an angry vent given by my mother, that most of my cousins aren’t legitimate, and most of my aunts had lied to their husbands about the true father of their children. Also found out that there was a very large niche of the family I had never met and that no one really admits to—because they’re all inbred.
34. Justice with a Side of Fries
I worked at a Jimmy John’s in Cincinnati. The manager was quiet, kept to himself, was always on time and did a good job. I was in school, so I wasn’t there all the time but when we worked together we’d chat about how he was taking online courses at UC.
One day, he didn’t show up for work. No one could get a hold of him, he didn’t answer his door or his phone. While we were worried, we figured he just bailed and went on with our lives. Well, one night when the shop was closed, a man knocked on the door, wanting in. My coworkers weren’t having it and tried ignoring and mouthing “we’re closed.”
She figured it was a drunk student and figured he’d lose interest and leave. Until he held up his badge for Homeland Security. Apparently, our “missing” manager was a cyber criminal who was using our job and his online courses as a cover to steal money from old folks. Who knew.
35. All in the Family
My great grandparents were brother and sister. I don’t want to believe it, but it’s unfortunately true.
36. Who Has the Power?
I might have killed someone around ten years ago, without any questions asked.
I was an intern at a hospital. One day, me and one of the technicians were performing maintenance on some ventilators. You know, as in ventilators that keeps people alive when they can’t breathe on their own. It was a normal day and I was in charge of replacing batteries.
The next day, I heard a patient had died because the power supply had gone out during the night. The staff had not been able to hand-ventilate the patient sufficiently. I had my fingers in the power supply the day before. I have only ever repeated this here.
37. So Tell Us How You Met!
A guy I know confessed that he stalked a lady for a year by hacking her love interest’s computer, planted a load of proof that love interest had been stalking her and was into a load of weird and creepy stuff, revealed it to the lady, helped girl to get a preventing order on love interest, used that as his own way in with the girl, and finally married her. What the actual f***.
38. A Sweet Treat Before It Ends
When I was in kindergarten my dad would routinely show up, sign me out of class, and take me for ice cream. Later I discovered the tragic reason why. In retrospect, my dad knew he was dying, and passed when I was 6. He routinely did stuff like this and gave me the best memories. I feel as if I missed nothing, I’m now 35.
39. Moving Away But Not Moving on
My sister died last night. She was my last relative. She was my whole world. She had a difficult life. I guess I’m glad she’s not suffering anymore. But I feel like all the light has gone out of my life.
She suffered a serious mental breakdown almost ten years ago. I took care of her for years. She eventually ended up in an assisted living situation. She was my life. She went through hell… But I tried to be there for her.
She had these bright eyes that would light up a room. I’ll miss her forever. I regret putting her in an assisted living home and moving away. I was slipping to a bad place and I wasn’t able to help anymore. It kills me. She wouldn’t have wanted to die where she was. I wish she’d moved with me. And I myself haven’t been well. I spent the yesterday in the hospital because of a seizure. I came home and slept to find a voicemail that said she never woke up. Life’s a cruel mistress. Rest well, sister. 12/30/85- 2/20/17.
40. High Time He Explained Himself
Ages ago I arranged a meeting with the local dope dealer through an acquaintance and surprise surprise, it was my dad. Needless to say, major questions were asked on both sides. My god, the look on our faces must’ve been priceless.
41. I’m the Unwanted Surprise
When I was 22, my dad died. I was absolutely destroyed by it. Recently my mother told me he wasn’t my real dad; some other guy was. He’s still living, married to the same woman he was with when he stepped out with my mother. He and I have connected, hit it off, I care about him, etc. I have two siblings who didn’t know I existed, his wife didn’t know either. They all just found out and everything hit the fan.
Now his wife has forced him to dial back his relationship with me, and my siblings have not reached out to me at all. I was a dirty secret for a bit, and now I’m a burden to his family simply by my having been born.
I have a wonderful family, and had a great daddy who died too early. I feel guilty for my interest in my biological father and I’m drowning in shame and guilt over what his family is going through.
I know none of this is even remotely my fault, but I feel bad just the same. I miss my daddy, I want this other new dad, I have my amazing siblings, and I want these new siblings too. I’ve lost so much of my identity in such a jarring way and now I’m grasping at what is left of me and I’m so lost!
I’m hurt. I’m so hurt by it all.
42. Nothing Positive About This
One of my family members is HIV positive. He doesn’t want the rest of the family to know. When he broke down and told my mom, I overheard. She has since passed away, and he has no idea that I know.
43. Double Date
Fellow grad student has two young kids; one that is struggling to walk and communicate and is in the process of being diagnosed. She is pulling 10 to 16-hour days (between interning and classes) plus being a mom and wife.
She gets a call from a friend that expresses how excited she is to see her at the husband’s work party. What?! She didn’t RSVP, and her husband said he would pop over for less than an hour than come home to be with her for a quiet dinner.
Turns out he was bringing a date that wasn’t her. They had been seeing each other for about six months and even had taken a trip together under the pretence of a business trip. Anytime he had been late or gone we assume he was with her. Friend did her a solid and took a couple pics for the divorce lawyer.
44. Blaming the Victim
My dad died by suicide almost 20 years ago. At the time, my mum told me that it was because he had been having gay affairs with people and he couldn’t handle that “sinful” lifestyle anymore. It turns out she cheated on him, and that was what had actually sent him over the edge. I only know this because I was finally able to read a copy of his note last year.
46. Running from Demons
My friend was wealthy and successful; he had it all, and then one day, he told us the awful truth: He had stage 4 cancer. Passed shortly after that. I went to his funeral to find that he had actually taken his family’s entire inheritance, ran away, went AWOL and started a life in our country. That’s when I had met him. I didn’t know about his past.
His elderly parents and sister were distraught upon knowing this dude had married a foreigner and their money was stuck in a lawsuit with no sight of a resolution. It’s tainted my memory of him, I used to think he was a generous dude and kept a low profile because of wealth; now we all know he was running from his own demons.
47. A Little Too Close To Home
We had a family Christmas dinner a few years ago where my aunt and uncles from both sides were staying over at our house. There were probably 10 or 11 of us at the dinner table, and everyone is getting along well like we always do. My cousin, around 14 or 15 at the time, brings up something about how he laid a massive poop earlier that day. The kids laugh and the adults were like “That’s not table conversation.” Then I jump in and say “Haha, yeah, there are things we don’t talk at the dinner table, like politics and illegitimate children.” Every adult at the table drops their eyes to their plate and goes silent. I’m sitting there like “uhhhh,” what in is so awkward about all this?
What I didn’t know is that my uncle had an illegitimate child many years ago and that’s always been a point of contention between my aunt and him. They also had been arguing about that earlier in the day, and all the adults knew it. Haha man, it was a joke. But seriously though, never make jokes about illegitimate children unless you are absolutely sure no one has one.
48. It’s a Not-So Beautiful Day in This Neighborhood
I know that my mother slept with several of the men in our neighborhood while my dad was very ill and literally dying.
49. The Frat Paths Not Taken
In college, I had a friend named “S.” We weren’t best friends, but we played on a team together starting freshman year. In junior year, another one of our teammates, who was in the same frat as S, called me up to hang out with the two of them because S’s girlfriend had just broken up with him and he was torn up about it.
We made plans for the whole weekend, you know, “We’re gonna get you drunk, find you a new girl, blah blah blah.” Friday night they threw a party at the frat. Me and S raged, found him a hot girl, and she took care of him for the night.
On Saturday, I got a call from this insanely hot girl I’d been trying to talk to, she’s like the spitting image of Tyra Banks. I figured I’d hang out with her then go chill with S after, took her out to dinner then for a walk. Around 11, we walked past S’s frat and I go in to see if they’ve started drinking.
A couple of his brothers are sitting around playing a drinking game and they said he decided to go to sleep early, I normally would’ve gone to his room and told him to man up and come out and hang, but I had the girl with me and really wanted to see where I could get with her. I got a call the next morning that he hung himself that night.
I play the three minutes of me walking into the frat and talking to his brothers in my head everyday. What if I had just dragged him out of his room like I normally would have. What if I had walked into his room, and he was still breathing?
50. Too Little and Too Late
When I was a kid I heard a gunshot while walking down a street. I ran back home, fast as I could. Went to my room and watched TV to calm myself down. Didn’t tell anybody. Two hours passed, and the phone rang. Mom told me my uncle died of a gunshot wound, trying to stop a fight nearby. At the funeral we were told my uncle could’ve lived if paramedics arrived earlier.
For 20 years, I’ve always thought I could’ve saved him.
51. Chickened Out
There was one dad in our mother’s group that lost his high-flying big city financial job due to a market crash. To pay the bills, and because there were no jobs in finance at the time, he took the first job he could get—in a chicken abattoir. Bit of a change from a desk job to slaughtering chickens, but when you have a newborn baby and bills to pay, you step up.
Every time I ran into him I was always impressed with how much he was up to speed on current events and world news. We would talk about the latest political, financial and scientific news; there was not much discussion about chicken butchering. Turns out he was fired on his first day. Every day after that—for months—he would leave home in the morning, go to the pub, read newspapers all day, and then go home in the evening.
She eventually found out. They are divorced now.
52. The Mistress
My father had this secret mistress and when he passed, she had the nerve to show up at his funeral. It was really terrible, but not as terrible as all the stuff we found out later. It turns out that my dad paid all of his mistress’ bills, including her college bills for when she went back to school in her early 30s.
The college thing really hurt my mom as she always wanted to get an education for herself but there was never money, or so my dad said…
53. Grandma’s Ganja Operation
My grandma runs a marijuana ring in her small town. She’s about 75 and lives in the rural US. She doesn’t need to deal with cartels or anything because she grows it all on her own on her property. As far as I know, there aren’t any rival organizations in town.
54. The Garden
There was a woman in my town, and after she died, people were clearing her garden and found what they thought was a model skeleton. Yeah, it wasn’t. It was her husband, who went mysteriously missing in the mid-90s. Apparently, she was fairly well-liked in the town and she told everyone her husband ran away with another woman.
She had a really well-kept garden with hard-to-grow orchids, etc. and put a lot of care into it, but was very secretive about it and wouldn’t let visitors in there because they might “trample the flowers”.
55. Well That Escalated Quickly
I found out my “uncle” is actually my cousin. My aunt got pregnant at 15 so my grandma raised him as her own.
56. Machiavellian Grandma
My step great-grandmother killed my biological great-grandmother and great-grandfather. She killed my biological great-grandmother by pushing her off a building—everyone thought she was drunk because it was some rooftop party back in the ‘20s. She wanted my great-grandfather because he was wealthy at the time.
He lost almost everything in the stock market crash, and when they realized they wouldn’t recover, she left him for a man who was still wealthy (my step-great grandfather). Poisoned my real great-grandfather. She admitted all this to my mother on her deathbed. Grandma Velma was a psycho.
57. The Prince in Plainclothes
In one of my previous jobs a few years ago, we hired this guy who turned out to be a really good partner, worked hard, never complained. After about a year and a half of working with him, I get called into the office, he’s there with the manager, assistant manager and two beefy guys in normal clothes with the exception of ear pieces.
He wanted to say goodbye to the bosses and I, and explain why he had to leave the company. Turned out he was the son of some leader in his country and they had to relocate him, an opposing faction found out he was in our state and would have kidnapped him for leverage.
58. Double Whammy
My mom long-term replaced my dad’s cancer pain pills with Tylenol, to fuel her own drug problem. I didn’t discover this until long after he died—and just two months later, she died from an overdose.
59. Brother’s Keeper
I have an uncle who got a girl pregnant and then ended up in jail. While he was in jail, his brother (my other uncle) ended up marrying the girl and raising the child as his own. Now my first uncle is out of jail, and has to deal with the fact that his child is being raised by his brother. It’s awwwk-ward.
60. Survivor’s Guilt
In my hometown, this one guy as a joke, while driving with 4 friends, reached over and jerked the steering wheel to mess with his buddy. The car crashed, killing the other 3 people, but left him alive. He never told anyone he caused it and has to live with it every day.
61. Too Much Information
I know that my ex-girlfriend once did something inappropriate with her brother when they were both young. I hate her with a passion, but I have still never told anyone and probably never will. That would just be stooping to a level that I never want to reach.
62. Can’t Blame You
My ex-stepfather was a well-off pilot for a local med-flight helicopter. He had three daughters who adored him and was always very nice to me and my sister. He was one of the nicest and most soft-spoken men I’ve ever met. He worshipped the ground my mom walked on.
He also had blackout rage issues. After a year of marriage, he gave my mother a concussion and broke her leg in three spots. I was told she slipped and fell. It wasn’t until a couple years after they split that I was told the whole story. My mom was smart enough to get out while she could and even smarter for not telling me. I was and still am significantly larger than he is and have a lot less to lose.
I’ve seen him once since then. He tried to be nice. I told him I knew everything and if we weren’t at the hospital that my girlfriend worked at, I would most likely have tried to end him.
We don’t talk anymore.
63. The Lazy Step-Dad
My stepfather was getting more and more tired, falling asleep during the middle of the day, sneaking off for a nap… really ticked off my mother and I. We were helping him renovate a house at the time and we didn’t appreciate him always dozing off. A while later, he got diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer, which had already spread too far to be treatable. We only really realized after his death last spring that he was tired all the time because his cancer was already slowly killing him.
I didn’t always get along with him, and I regret a lot of things I said to him. I just thought he was being lazy, I never thought he’d be dead within three years.
64. Candid Camera
My boss at the place where I used to work would go on road trips with a crew of product installers. They’d spend the night sharing a couple of hotel rooms. The boss would secretly take pictures of his all-male employees at night while they slept. He is unhappily married with three grown children, and there is plenty of evidence that he is gay but deep in the closet. We all wish that he would just come out and make everyone’s life easier.
A neighbor was a somewhat off guy who nobody really liked, but he was not hated either. He died well into his 70s of natural causes. A young couple bought his house and every item in it, because his relatives did not want to clean it up. They discovered surveillance cameras everywhere, watching the whole street—which is highly illegal in Germany. And that was just the beginning.
Finally, they found a room which was hidden behind a concealed door. This room contained lots of surveillance documents and loads of Reichsbürger propaganda, basically a far-right conspiracy. He was one of them; prepared to retake Germany from the usurpers of the German Reich.
66. An Unauthorized Raise?
My dad secretly told me that my mom once embezzled a whole bunch of money from the places where she used to work.
67. Bad Nana
My nana always gave me a kind of uneasy feeling when I was around her—and I didn’t adore her or anything, but I definitely thought of her as just a regular old lady up until her death. Then, after she died, my mom confessed to me. My nana used to be a religious zealot, so much so that she would scream at her for hours for having her fly down, or wearing slightly-tight jeans, because she was “inviting the devil” or something.
She would take my mom and her brother into the backyard and force them to brutally beat each other with sticks. And when my mom’s brother was killed in a car accident, my nana openly mocked him at the funeral, stating he deserved to die (because he drank underage, I think? Not while driving, he didn’t drive drunk. Just… in general).
She was a monster. My mother had to run away at 18 years old. My nana only “calmed down” when my mom had kids, because she’d wanted “grandbabies” and being the forgiving person my mom was, she let her back into her life, on the promise she never did to us what she’d done to her. My mom may have forgiven her, but I haven’t.
She didn’t really change, on the inside… and looking back I can see just how much my nana’s abuse shaped my mother’s life/mental health for the worse, how she never ended up recovering in the end. Awful. I wish I could tell my mom what I know now about trauma and all that. I wish we could really talk about it now that I’m an adult, but it’s too late for that now.
68. Grandma Spills The Beans
My father had an affair with his brother’s wife so my cousin is also my brother.
My cousin doesn’t know though, grandma let this slip whilst wasted.
69. The Work Incident
I’ve never actually told anyone this. My dad passed away about 20 years ago when I was 15 years old. He worked putting in skylight glass for big buildings like malls and stuff. Anyway, according to the details, one of the crates on the forklift was tipping and he tried to stop it; no one came to help and it crushed him. That’s what we kids were told…
It wasn’t until three years ago I found out through a guy Dad worked with that no one was even there on the job but said guy and my dad. They were closing up shop. My dad had been discussing things like suicide with this guy. When the guy turned his back… my dad shot himself in the head. There was no forklift accident. He wasn’t crushed.
The guy made it look that way so we kids would end up with an inheritance and a lump sum payment. I freaking cried for days. Thank you Clark, for setting all that up. You didn’t have to change our lives for the better. But you did.
70. The OG Hot Priest
My grandfather had an entirely different last name than we thought, and he was actually a bad boy Catholic priest! After he shacked up with my grandmother and had a bunch of children with her, he just never told the rest of his family. They thought he was living the chaste life. Um, nope.
71. The Victim
All the lies unraveled after my grandfather died. My mom finally admitted that when she was a kid, he’d touch her. I was pretty shocked, especially since my mom didn’t seem to carry any kind of baggage from it, though of course I don’t know what went and still goes on in her head. Something that made sense though was how she always made sure my brother and I always slept in her room whenever we stayed at Grandpa’s place, which wasn’t too often.
We were never alone with my grandfather, and we never had a warm or loving relationship with him. He was cold to us and we never really got attached to him, and we visited him maybe once a year. I think my mom felt obligated to have a relationship with him for some reason, but she was always very protective of us and my brother and I were never victims of his.
72. Paranoid Delusions
I had a brother who had some paranoid delusions (FBI, CIA following him, spying on his apartment, etc.). My brothers and I tried to get him help and he would just have no part of it. After a few years, it seemed like it had gotten better. He stopped bringing it up and we felt like it must have just passed. After he died, we found his journal and it was just horrifying.
Right up until the night he died, he detailed all of the torture that they were inflicting on him. I can’t go into much detail—it’s hard for me to write about. Briefly, he believed that they were using some type of focused energy beam. They focused on different parts of his body at different times. Every noise that an appliance made was proof of electronic surveillance. Every bump on the wall or person walking in an adjacent apartment was a message from either the “bad” FBI agents or the “good” FBI agents.
It was just incredibly disturbing to read what an awful life he was living inside his mind while acting relatively normal outside.
73. Psycho Granny, Qu’est-ce-que c’est?
When I was about 31 years old, I found out my maternal grandmother, who practically raised me, killed my grandfather. I was doing research trying to build out a family tree and wanted to find out about my grandfather who died about four years before I was born. We never really talked about him or how he died. I found an article about his death in 1978 and had found a corresponding police report number for an arrest of my grandmother in the same year.
I didn’t immediately put the two together, but once I did, I put in a FOIA request for the case file. Apparently, my grandfather was in ill health, had a few strokes and needed A LOT of assistance; assistance my grandmother grew tired of. One day, he was sitting in his chair and she just snapped and stabbed him numerous times, killing him.
She was arrested, tried, and eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity. She spent some time in an institution, only to be let out in 1981, the year before I was born, to move in with my family. As she lived in our home, she basically raised me from a child. She was the sweetest lady in the world and this SHOOK me.
When I asked my dad if it was true and how he could let her alone in our home with me as a child, his response was, “Oh, you didn’t know that? Well, you turned out alright.”
74. Ignoring the Truth
My parents died from AIDS in the early 90s when I was 2, but no one in my family ever talks about. Growing up, I never knew how my mother died, and I was told my father just “disappeared.” I remember throwing a tantrum in middle school for wanting to know what really happened to my parents. My aunt finally told me the truth. I remember crying alone in my room for hours. I’m pretty sure their deaths were the starting point for how strange my family is.
Anyhow, my family hasn’t mentioned it since then, and I’m now 27. As far as I know, we’ve never said the words HIV or AIDS aloud in my family. If it must be talked about, it’s “that disease” or something similar.
My friends constantly wonder why I never mention my parents, and I still have hang ups telling people why/how they passed away. It makes me feel so conflicted inside because I know I should have nothing to feel ashamed of, but my family and society makes me feel my parents’ deaths should be swept under the rug.
75. Learning the Truth About Dad
I was always told by my family that my biological grandfather on mom’s side died in a rock climbing accident right before Mom was born. I found out last year that what actually happened was, while he was still attending a military college in the South in the 60s, my grandmother discovered that he liked to wear women’s clothing after finding a box of dresses in his size in his closet. The next day, she came back to find him hanging from the ceiling, and she and two of her brothers had to smuggle his body out of the room and convince a coroner to rule it an accident. I’m honestly not even sure of who all in the family knows the truth, but anyone who does sure as heck doesn’t talk about it.
76. Double Life
My pawpaw had a secret girlfriend for several decades. We suspect some of her children might be his as well. He had 7 children with my mawmaw, and I guess to escape he’d leave and live with the girlfriend for a couple of weeks at a time. The woman lived a couple houses down from them, so my dad and his siblings never suspected anything, because he was still around the house a lot during those times.
My mawmaw didn’t like it, but she was a very prim and proper woman, and this was during a time when people didn’t air their dirty laundry and they certainly didn’t divorce. I was told that when the woman died in the early 2000s, my mawmaw sent flowers to the funeral; not sure if it was out of spite or just because that’s the kind of woman she was.
No one talked about it for years and years until my mawmaw started showing signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia in her 70s. She would revert back to that time a lot. It was hard watching her relive it every day.
77. In Cold Blood
Husband of an older couple disappears from the community. The wife made excuses for his absence like “He’s away for work, He’s found another woman,” etc., then took off overseas. The son, suspicious about the lack of communication from his mother overseas, went to his parent’s house to investigate. He found his father’s body in the wall of the garage. His hands and feet had been bound, and a plastic bag covered his head
Wife returned home for some unfathomable reason and was arrested. While on bail she climbed into the refrigerator and suffocated herself.
My father was in the same year in high school as the son…
78. Hidden Truths
My mom was raised by her mom and her stepfather, who touched her inappropriately. Where was dad? He died when she was 11, or at least that’s what my grandmother said. This would have been around 1961. Flash forward to 2015 and my sister is doing genealogy work on the family. She finds out my biological grandfather not die in 1961, he died in 2005. But it gets worse.
He had five more daughters, one of which he gave the same name as my mom. So, my mom got cheated out of a potential relationship with her dad by her liar of a mom (who moved and remained hidden from her ex, my mom’s real dad). My grandmother moved down to Texas from Virginia to stay in a nursing home and to basically make my mom and dad’s life terrible.
We went to visit one weekend and she came over for dinner. I dropped the facts on her that we’d figured out she’d been lying for 50 years. She then had the nerve to act offended. My dad told her to shut up.
79. Not So Anonymous Anymore
I was on Reddit where I saw a guy casually talking about being unfaithful to his wife. Curious, I glanced at his comment history. And I recognized him. I know both him and his wife.
80. Hidden In Plain Sight
My great-grandfather had two families that lived about 200 yards from each other for about 20 years. Neither had any idea the other existed until the funeral. When the priest asked the spouse to step forward, two women did. I’ve been told it was quite a scene in the aftermath. I remember going to see my grandma when I was younger and being told these people were my half cousins but had no idea what that meant until I was lot older and my dad told me what had happened.
81. The Siblings
I have nine siblings. We all share the same father. I only knew about seven of them until my dad died. I found out that two of my “cousins” were actually my brother and sister. My father had cheated on his then-wife with her sister. So those kids were born out of wedlock. When my mother passed, I figured out that my sister (whom I thought we shared the same parents with) was fathered way before they met.
My only full-blood sibling is my twin. I’m only close to him and my sister. The other half-siblings get along well with us but we are not close.
82. Unwanted Visitor
There was a guy in my neighborhood who sold his house to a new family. But he didn’t tell them everything about the property. There was a secret underground bunker attached to the land, and after a few years, the homeowners figured out that the seller had kept living on their property. He’d come and go only at night, sneaking around to live without a mortgage. It was incredibly creepy. He was always kind of weird, but I had no idea how deep it went…
83. Opened After the Fact
My uncle runs a business hooking up internet in hotels. He travels all over the West Coast for it. Recently, he asked my aunt to have an open relationship. Turns out most of his “business trips” were actually trips to go meet with his business partner, with whom he has been having an affair for the last year or two. This business partner has even had two pregnancies with my uncle. Both were miscarriages, but both were also INTENTIONAL.
My aunt and uncle have been married for 12 years and have a five-year-old son. My aunt also has terminal cancer. He’s been introducing their son to his mistress as their son’s new Mommy without my aunt’s knowledge.
Needless to say, that open relationship isn’t happening. They’re getting divorced.
84. A Mother’s Greed
My friend’s mom killed her husband. She had taken a $200k life insurance policy out on him six months before he died, and he died from not taking his medication that he’d taken no problem all of his life. My buddy was away for the weekend so he wasn’t home when it happened. After his mom died, we found out even more: She’d taken a life insurance policy out on my buddy at some point too, and she’d also forged his signature to sign over $100k my buddy’s dad had left to him.
She robbed my buddy blind and he had no clue. She took his inheritance from his grandma too that he’d had no clue about and gave a big chunk of it to her friends/his godparents who used it to buy a beach house… She also faked illnesses to get prescription drugs and had little books filled with info on what she’d sold and how much she’d made from selling them.
85. Playdates of Years Past
My old next-door neighbor had a psychotic break and drowned both her kids to death. I used to play with them a lot.
86. Just Impound the Whole Father
The “car accident” was my dad getting stopped by the police outside the city with his “friend” and a girl. She was underage. Everyone thinks the car was totaled, but it is in evidence for a trial that might happen sometime in a few months. I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion my dad was up to some slimy stuff, but never knew exactly how far it went.
Once, he had me clean out an apartment when I was 16. Got rid of everything, paid a guy at the dump to take it all for $200. I knew the whole thing was shady. I should’ve said something. But I told myself my dad was helping someone move in, which he was, just at a different apartment on the other side of the city. I used to think he just got call girls, but now I’m thinking there’s more to it.
I hate him for his lies, they destroyed my life and they are going to destroy the rest of my family when it all comes to light. But I have no choice but to act like everything is alright.
87. Dial 1 for Hatred
I’m 99% sure I got my neighbor disowned from his family. His homophobic mother one day pretended to be him during our usual Skype conversation and told me, “I got a new phone, here’s the number,” and for me to call it. Call it and turns out it’s her, and she starts interrogating me, asking me about the things I’ve done with her son. And little me is scared, so I answer truthfully.
Cut to a month later, he moves out of my neighborhood, hasn’t spoken to me on anything (played a lot of games together before), and when I finally get in contact with him, he says his life is ruined and it’s my fault. And that his family can’t stand being around him. This was four years ago, and I still think about it daily.
88. The Old Switcharoo
My wife and I absolutely adore our son. It’s been amazing to watch him grow up—but neither of them know the painful secret that I’ve had to keep from them ever since the day my wife went into labor. She nearly died while giving birth, and the labor was so difficult that she fell into a coma afterward for days. When she woke up cradling our son in her arms, she had no idea about the sin I’d committed.
Our baby never made it through the birthing process, and I secretly bought our son from a human trafficker. 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 has no idea and I have no intentional of telling her or our son the truth.
89. You Are Feeling Very Sleepy… in Lecture
Our psychology teacher in high school turned out to have stolen a psychology teacher’s identity in the UK and was actually really a circus hypnotist. So all those psychology tricks he did to us were really just hypnotist tricks.
90. Too Little Too Late, But He Doesn’t Need to Know That
When my mother-in-law was in hospice and dying, we had gotten the call that her last rights were being read to her and we should come because it was very close. The family gathered in her room, my father-in-law (her husband of 42 years) had been by her side and hadn’t left for days. We were there for hours. My sisters-in-laws had to take their kids home at some point, so they had left and it was just my husband, me, and my FIL left.
The nurses were saying that they might have spoken too soon because she was still hanging on, it was awful to watch. My FIL looked ragged and tired and he said he was just going to go to the other floor for a cup of coffee, my husband went with him. I said I would call if something changed but he was only going to be gone for 15 minutes maybe.
About five minutes after they left, my MIL really started to have very labored breathing, I called the nurse to see what was happening and by the time she came to the room (maybe two minutes) my MIL had passed. I asked the nurse to wait for me to get my FIL and husband back to the room to pronounce her dead. They rushed back and my FIL held her and after a minute the nurse and doctor pronounced.
My FIL believes he made it back to the room and was holding her while she left this life, I have never told him or my husband. And I’ll never take that away from him.
91. Mother Dearest and Potentially Deadly
That my mother was abusive to me as a kid. I kept it for 22 years. I told my dad a few months back. I told him in anger because I blamed him for letting it happen. He truly didn’t know the extent, she kept it well hidden. He then explained to me that he tried to protect me from her, and he did when he was around. He told me he’d been in an abusive relationship with her.
She separated him from every friend and family member he had. She took his entire paycheck and wouldn’t let him have a card. She told him he couldn’t leave her because she’d never allow him to see me again. My dad’s not perfect and he left me in dangerous situations, but he tried at least. And now both of our 20+ year secrets are out to each other.
92. A Little Shoulder to Cry On
When I was five, my mum left my dad. I don’t remember much other than shortly afterward, my Dad would get in my bed late at night, hold me, and sob. I would pretend to be asleep. I’ve never told anyone that. I’m 35 and I’ve never seen or heard my father cry since. He’s never said a negative thing about my mother.
They’ve remained friends. I can tell he still loves her.
93. Burned Bridges
Me and my sister (10 and 8 at the time I think) lived right down the street from a couple of our really good friends, who were sisters (4 or 5 and 9?). One morning our mom comes and tells us not to go to school, and she has to talk to us about something serious.
Well, it turns out that our friends’ mother burnt the house down the night before, killing both of the sisters because she was fighting with her husband and didn’t want to lose them in a custody battle. My sister named her daughter after the older girl.
94. If These Walls Could Talk
When I was in middle school one of my brothers’ friends that lived down the street went missing. She had an older boyfriend who also lived on the same street. He was allegedly the last person to see her and the story was that she had left his house late at night to walk home, and he never got the usual phone call that she got home safe. After 24 hours of not hearing from her, he and her family filed a missing person. Eventually, the search parties stopped, the missing posters were taken down, and she was deemed as lost.
Fast forward to a couple years later. The boyfriend had been moved out of the house for a while now, a new family moves in. The kids are playing in the woods behind the house, and they find her bones.
The skull was totally bashed in and a disturbing amount of her bones were broken. She was beaten to death. The worst part was the remains were no more than 6 feet from the house. I have no idea why the cops hadn’t found them, but it really sparked a debate in our town about how serious our police force is.
95. Family Friends With Benefits
I have a regular breakfast place that I had been frequenting on the weekends for about a good five or six years. One day I went into work later because of a doctor’s appointment, so I decided to pick up some breakfast at my regular place. I walk in and I take a look around to find a spot to sit at and I see my dad.
He’s sitting in a corner spot with some woman I don’t recognize. He looked shocked and I decided to walk over. He stands up and gives me a kiss/hug and introduces her as a coworker. It was the most awkward introduction of my life. My dad was an AC Repairman and was strictly on the road. No women in his office.
I pretended like I believed him, said hello and sat down on my own. Definitely one of the most awkward moments of my life that will stand out for a long time. More background: My mom and dad haven’t been together since before I was born however, he was married to another woman when this took place.
The waitresses were all my friends and a couple of days later when I went for breakfast, they proceeded to tell me how he met that lady there every week. I never brought it up to him and pretended it never happened. That was about 14 years ago…I still go to that breakfast place and the girls told me after that day he never came back to that restaurant.
In a couple of weeks, it will be one year since he passed. I’m glad I got this opportunity to think and talk about him.