We all have secrets, bottom line. They are something that belongs to our identity–the way we perceive and comprehend ourselves in this complex world.
While many secrets will never come to the surface, some do, and if they do, they may end up in this illuminating and somewhat spine-chilling thread. “What’s your family’s dark secret?” someone asked on Ask Reddit, marking a point of no return for many secret holders.
In no time, many people used the opportunity to bring something they have been carrying as a burden to themselves into broad daylight, and some secrets turned out to be worthy of a Netflix show.
My great uncle, who was deputy sheriff, single-handedly ran the entire Klan out of my town. That’s not the secret though. It was common knowledge. So my great uncle had to wear a gun on his hip for the rest of his life.
The secret part is that my mother, who was a child at the time would watch the Klan members parade down the street, recognize their shoes and give names to my great uncle. I never told anybody that until long after she passed away.
My mom was allegedly adopted in the 70s but we found out about 5 years ago that my grandparents (who are both dead now) actually just straight up kidnapped her, like baby snatched her at a park, and her bio parents had been looking for her since (although her bio mom died as well before she found out, which is very sad. She died never being reunited with her stolen child.)
This is about my adoptive grandfather and it took place in the 1960s. He owned a big farm in the country and was a truck driver. At the neighboring farm, the father in the family traveled for work and had 3 young daughters at home. One day the wife talked to my grandfather and said that the girls were seeing a man looking and potentially trying to get into their windows at night. My grandfather took the law into his own hands to rid the neighborhood of the s*xual predator.
He made a grid of wire outside the windows and energized it with an electric fence charger. He then sat patiently inside the house with his shotgun that night Sure enough, around the time the girls reported seeing the man he heard cries as the man became tangled in the wire and was getting shocked. By the time he got outside, the man, now a bloody mess, had freed himself and was running towards the corn field. My grandfather peppered his ass with some birdshot and he ran through the rows of corn. The man never returned.
He also single handingly confronted and took on a mob family that was running an illegal waste disposal service in the country and p*osoning the land. Law enforcement were scared of this mob family, but my grandfather won and got them legally removed.
He was tough as nails and a proud WWII vet, I miss him dearly.
My grandparents swapped spouses.
My grandmother on my mothers side had an affair with my grandfather on my fathers side. Everyone got divorced and then my grandfather on my mothers side fell in love and married my grandmother on my fathers side.
Family reunions were fun.
My father was the most caring man. He loved his family. One day, when i was 6 years old, i came home with bleeding cuts on my legs from the babysitter’s beating. With no warning, he jumps in his car headed to the babysitter’s house. My mom had no car so me and her catch a bus to the babysitter’s house. By the time we got there, the police were there, the husband was in an ambulance, and some of the living room furniture was thrown out the window. My father had kicked in the front door and beat up the husband. He couldn’t get to the wife because she locked herself in a room, so he started throwing furniture out the window. If he would have got to her, he would have killed her. Never knew my father could get so angry. He only spent two nights in jail because all the police understood. The mother was charged with child abuse. I still have the scars.
When my great-uncle died in the ’90s, my family went through his stuff before selling the house. They found a very decomposed dead body of a woman in the basement freezer. It turned out to be a woman who went ‘missing’ in the ’60s. The woman also happened to be his girlfriend at the time. Newspaper clippings showed that her family thought she ran away to Europe and my great-uncle had ‘confirmed’ that she did. My family still refuses to talk about it.
Grandparents on my step-mothers side paid a hitman to take out my father.
Luckily the guy had morals, he met my father and after talking to him a bit ended up telling him what he was originally there for and that he was going to return the money.
My uncle was investigated for the Green River killings. Years later he was investigated for the Spokane Prostitute m*rders. He was good friends with Yates (who was found gulty) and his saliva was found on a beer can near a dumping site. When I was a little girl, my mom told me to never get in his car if he tried to pick me up. Funny enough, he sells life insurance!
My great aunt had a second child and gave it up for adoption because she was a newly single woman and didn’t think she could provide for both kids. This apparently caused a lot of drama in our family back in the 70’s and people stopped talking to each other over it.
My generation never heard a single word of any of this. Then, one day, my mom calls me to tell me about my new cousin. I was baffled and figured someone had a kid. Nope.
That little girl that was given up for adoption was now in her 40’s and hired a private investigator to find her biological family. She’s since been assimilated into the family and I see her regularly at family events!
A super distant uncle in my family used to get in a lot of trouble with cops, my nan and great aunt used to hide him (once hiding him in a freezer while cops searched the house).
One day he ended up kidnapping an ambassador, successfully ransomed him off, tried escaping the country via boat but the captain realised he was a crook and tried to take him to the cops. Distant uncle instead holds captain at gunpoint, and dives off the boat several kilometres off land. Police never found him and assumed he dr*wned.
Decades later my nan got a letter from him, confirming to all of us he was alive and well.
My mother randomly flew to me from the other side of the world right before I was scheduled to give birth. There’s a lot of history between us, and I didn’t find out until much later that she was actually planning on taking my newborn back with her to raise as her own child.
One of my aunties was a very very ill woman like oxygen to get out of the chair, going upstairs is a one a week thing if lucky…her son is a prick. When she refused to pay his drug debt off for the nth time because she had no more money he poured petrol all over the house and threatened to burn her to d*ath. The fumes were enough for her to pass out. He panicked took a handful of pills then panicked at that decision and called HIMSELF an ambulance…didnt even mention his mum. Police turned up with the paramedics, arrested him and took her in the ambulance. I disowned him instantly.
My father had an affair with his brother’s wife, and she got pregnant. So I guess my cousin is also my brother. My grandma let that slip whilst wasted. My cousin doesn’t know.
(I remember this) My grandfather tried to kill me because I accidentally triggered his PTSD when I was a kid. It’s been VERY hush hush and the only people who know are y’all randos, my brother, bio mom and me
I don’t really think that this is a “dark” secret but it’s something that I didn’t find out until I was an adult, which was mostly because my grandma doesn’t like talking about it, so I think it counts.
When I was going through some old stuff of my grandma’s after the d*ath of my mother, I found some old photographs of a baby (not my mom because my mom had dark, almost black, hair at birth and this baby was blond) and a birth certificate for someone named “Francesco (mom’s maiden name)”. I asked my grandma about it and at first she didn’t really want to tell me, but I gave her some space and she must have decided that I deserved to know, or maybe she was just tired of having the secret, because she eventually told me.
Francesco, who they called Frank, was my grandma’s son. He was my mom’s younger brother by a couple of years. Apparently, when Frank was three, my grandma’s ex-husband kidnapped him and my grandma never saw him again. My grandma’s ex-husband (my grandfather, although I don’t consider him such, the least reason for which is because I never met him) was involved with the mob and it’s suspected that he took Frank with him back to Sicily, but nobody is really sure.
My grandma is pretty sure that he would have taken my mom too, if my mom hadn’t been sick and in the hospital due to tonsillitis at the time.
It’s kind of given me an idea of why that side of my family can be kind of withholding about things (I didn’t know my mom had been married before my dad until I was a teenager) but it also makes me feel really, really sorry for my grandma.
My mom’s parents were uncle and niece. Her dad married his brother’s daughter. Their family was on the East Coast and they ran away together to California. They had two kids, my mom and her older brother. All of us are a product of incest.
My great grandmother was married to her first husband, an Italian mobster in New York, in the early 1920’s. They had four kids. In 1928, 6 years after they were married, she disappeared and no one in the family knew what happened to her. They all quietly assumed her husband had her killed, as it was known he was very abusive to her. Nope. She ran off with *my* great grandfather. They moved to Philadelphia and had changed their last names.
They were always very secretive about their past. No one knew the original family names or where they had come from. Until I took a DNA test and matched with a 3rd cousin that was descended from her first set of children. Her original four children were sent to orphanages because the first husband couldn’t take care of them. It was a big surprise for both families and some very hurt feelings for the children she had abandoned. They are in their 90’s but it affected them their entire lives.
My great uncle was a hitman, and during his time in jail he sent his immediate family a bunch of letters. My grandma still has them, but as far as I know she’s the only person alive who’s read them. Someday we’ll find out what he wrote, but my grandma says she wants to burn them – I don’t know if she ever will.
My aunt mysteriously disappeared before I was born. Her car was found running and her purse was still inside, parked off the side of the road. No one knows what happened to her. They didn’t even fill out a missing person’s report. It’s as if she ‘ran away.’ We’ve not seen or heard from her ever since. There’s a possibility it was m*rder, but my family is very hush-hush about the whole situation.
-1rst grandfather made a lot of children (12 for sure) in the same neighborhood mom grew up
-2nd grandfather made a lot of children (14 for sure) with underage girls in the same neighborhood dad grew up
-1rst grandmother had multiple lovers at the school she worked (many of my aunts and uncles are suspected half-brothers and half-sisters)
-2nd grandmother had a twenty years affair with her husband brother (many of my aunts and uncles are suspected half-brothers and half-sisters in addition of being cousins)
-Almost all of my aunts and uncles divorced because of cheating and the ones still married are cheaters
-Dad had a thirty years affair with his first love until his d*ath, I have a half-sister and a half-brother
-Mom cheated a lot on my father during the 90s, I made a DNA test to make sure he was my father (he is) after I read her last will and testament (accidentally) and knows she believes my little brother and I are the children of one of her lovers (I never told my brother, prays he is not my half-brother and hopes my mother lives a long life before he has to doubt)
We are not especially handsome or seductive in the family so this was a shock when I learned about the cheating tendencies in the family. I don’t want to end up cheating like them…
Fun Fact: A very nice girl I meet when I was in high school turned out to be one of my aunt (nothing happened but before I knew I wished)
My ex husband’s grandmother disappeared in the 70’s. Her head was found several years later. It remains unsolved. My ex husband, a few others and I believe it was his grandpa who was a struggling alcoholic and just an awful person. NO ONE in his family speaks of it. I only found out due to a friend of a friend knowing his grandma. He found out when he was 16 after a newspaper published a short article on the case. His parents flipped and made the newspaper retract it. Small towns can hold a lot of secrets
My dad faked his own d*ath in an attempt to get back at my mom for cheating on him. He had a note posted outside the bedroom door that said, ‘Don’t let Karsten (me) in.’ My mom walked in and immediately began screaming. I ran to her and saw nothing but blood (which turned out to be fake), my dad, and a shotgun. We ran and called the cops. My dad didn’t even disappear or anything. He only did it to give my mom the feeling he felt when he found out she was cheating on him.
When my mom was 50, she went to Denmark with my grandma and discovered that she had two older sisters and an older brother. Apparently my grandpa had been secretly married TWICE before he met my grandma. The first time, he left his wife and kids because he was a spy for the Danish government during WWII (he feared they’d be tortured or killed in order to get information about him). He remarried, and his second wife cheated on him, so he left her. When he decided to move to Canada in the ’50s, he left his kids behind again and never mentioned them. It’s so bizarre.
My grand father went away to fight in vietnam and when he came back my grand ma was pregnant with my mom…. We never knew who her real dad was
My dads family is messed up. His cousin told her husband that if he didn’t stop smoking she’d divorce him. So instead of quitting he lied about having c*ncer. When he went to the hospital he told her he was getting treatment but instead smoked at the hospital. This all happened before I was born but yeah her husband lied about having c*ncer for almost a decade.
My dad is the only normal one in the family
I’m pretty sure my uncle was in the Hell’s Angels or at least affiliated with them. His funeral was interesting, the procession to the cemetery was loud and proud!
My great-grandfather’s second wife had an affair… with her step-son
Before the days of [ancestry.com]( and what not, my cousin and his wife went to Ireland with idyllic intentions of tracing our family heritage. They never spoke of it again, until years later when they admitted it repeatedly dead ended at mental hospitals and jails and they got so discouraged they quit.
My great grandmother supposedly summoned the devil to have my great grandfather m*rdered. It’s an old urban legend, but if you met her, it might not seem far off considering she’s quite the strange old woman and has a voice like that of that little midget lady from Poltergeist but in Spanish.
My grandma hadn’t seen my grandpa for over 12 months when ‘their’ first child was born.
When we were teenagers, my brother and I found out that we might not be our dad’s biological kids because my mom had an affair… with our dad’s brother.
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