20 + People Describe Their Scariest Family Secrets


If you thought you and your family had skeletons in your closet, wait until you read these 25 sordid and salacious tales compiled from a Reddit thread. Some of these stories are harrowing, some unbelievable, and some downright insane.

Upholding the Family Name

“We have a pedophile in the family, one who also is a misogynist, so he molests girls with the sole purpose of ruining their lives. He had abused all of my aunts, and raped a seven-year-old girl who lived next door, and probably a lot of others that I don’t know about. Everyone kept it pretty quiet until his wife filed for divorce because he was cheating on her, and used the molestation cases for her benefit.

“He has three sons who still don’t know what their father is.

“He isn’t in jail because THAT would be bad for the family name, because you know, ‘we’re all so proper and law abiding.’ I keep trying to get my parents or other relatives to take action, but his wife refuses any suggestions of the sort. She also thinks that the other girls were ‘asking for it’. It gets me really pissed that these people are related to me.”

A Need for Milk Turns Deadly

“My great grandfather hit his wife with a fire poker, and slit her throat. He then proceeded to blow his head apart with a shotgun. He sat in a rocking chair and used his cane to push the trigger. All over an argumentwhether it was too cold for me to walk to a grocery store to get some milk.”

Who’s Who?

“My older sister is actually my mother, my father was my mother’s (actually grandmother) husband.

“They don’t think I know.”

Wicked Mother

“My mother abused me my whole life, and one day I finally couldnt take any more and told a teacher. CPS was called, and as soon as my mom realized what was going on, she raced to the police station and told them that an hour previously I had gone crazy and tried to kill my baby sister so that I looked like the crazy one, and nothing I said would be taken seriously. I was removed from the school in handcuffs and immediately taken to the county courthouse, where I had to face my mother in a trial. I chose not to testify because I knew it wouldn’t help, but in the end the judge realized that she was crazy and I wasn’t. I had the choice between being put in a psychiatric hospital for teens or going home, so I chose the loony bin. Five days later my aunt came from another state and adopted me. My family doesn’t talk about it, and to this day my mother maintains that I was a horrible child and I was ‘sent away’ for my ‘own good,’ and that she is so happy I am better now.”

Cult Mother

“I am pretty sure my mother was in some sort of cult or something as a child (parents forced her and raped her, I think). She would tell me these pretty creepy stories of bodies being chopped up and thrown down a well. It’s incredibly disturbing and I really don’t want to know what really happened.”

Foul Play?

“I just found out that my grandparents wanted more kids, but were having trouble getting pregnant for a second time. They adopted a toddler-aged brother and sister when my mother was was seven. Soon after, my grandmother got pregnant, and the girl died from a very mysterious fall down the stairs. The boy was quietly given to another family. They never, ever spoke of either child from that day forward. I thought my mom was pulling my leg, but a quick search turned up the girl’s death record.  
“I was never close to that grandmother and can’t help but think back to every weird aspect of that women, and all the strange relationships she had with her family.”

The Heroic Serial Killer

“My distant ancestor (great x8 uncle) was a sociopath and a serial killer. His name was Tom Quick and he was an ‘Indian Slayer’ who stalked the Delaware tribe.

“He claimed to have killed ninety-nine members of the tribe by the time he died, including an entire unarmed family with two young boys and an infant, which he beat to death with a rock.

“It’s weird. These days his monument in Pennsylvania had to be removed due to vandals, but when it was erected in 1889, he was considered a hero and a defender of the civilized settlers.”

Crippling Mental Illness

“My schizophrenic aunt has burned down her house and crucified her cats.”

The Dream Friend

“I had an aunt who committed suicide when I was three and my older sister was four. Her daughter had ran off and no one had any idea what happened to her mom. It was my older sister who told my mom that ‘Aunt Pam is playing in the garage.’ Sure enough they found her dead in her car. No one knew why my older sister knew this, and when asked about it, she said that her dream friend told her. My sister and I found about this recently. My sister also used to talk to this ‘dream friend,’ who came to her first in a dream about a graveyard.”

Killer Uncle, Blackmailer Father

“An uncle I’ve never met (mom’s brother) killed my mom’s parents when he was sixteen in a fit of rage, and burnt down their home in an attempt to cover it up. I’ve never met him, as he has been in jail on a life sentence since before I was born. I was only informed of his existence because my dad was blackmailing my mom with this.”

The KKK Took My Uncle Away

“A great Uncle of mine passed away when I was a little boy. The family met at his house after the funeral to start packing things up and all, as he had no children and his wife died many years before him.

“My great uncle was a highly respected member of his small town. He was a banker of some sorts, deacon in the church, all of those things that made him a good person.

“Well, tucked away in the attic, not covered by any dust mind you, was a large wooden trunk. Inside this trunk were the purple robes of a KKK Grand Dragon, various member listings, meeting notes, and all other sorts of things related to the KKK. Turns out that my great uncle was a very active, although very much secretive, member of the regional chapter of the KKK.”

Mistress Murder

“My great-grandfather had a 17-year-old mistress he put up in an apartment. Great-grandmother found out, confronted them at said apartment, shoots and kills 17-year-old mistress.

“Great-grandfather serves the time in prison for the murder. Weeeee”

Our Legal System at Work

“My grandmother must have preferred first-person shooters just like her grandson, since it only took one head shot to kill my grandfather. During trial, her lawyer guaranteed that she would get off scot-free as long as she did one thing. Apparently, it was a known fact to a handful of lawyers that the judge connected with my grandmother’s trial had a affinity for hookers. The lawyer claimed that the judge was known to make decisions in the defendants favor whenever he was gifted a blonde one in particular. My grandmother followed her counsel’s advise and after the judge was ‘satisfied,’ she walked out of the court a free woman.

“I am one of a select few in our family who has any knowledge of the entire event that took place. I only found out about the whole thing because, during one of my great grandmothers rants, she complained about all the money that went to my grandmother, including ‘buying that judge the sleaziest blonde hooker’ she could afford. I was able to pry the rest of the information out of her at that point.”

An Axe-Murdering Uncle

“My uncle is currently serving a lifetime prison sentence for murdering a prostitute with an axe.”

The Mummified Lover

“In 1976 my father was in the military and traveled to Guatemala after an earthquake. During the clean up, he was at the Mayan site of Mixco Viejo. There were several burial sites overturned. For some reason, unknown to me, he brought back the remains of a female Maya Indian. He claimed to have loved her in a past life. These remains are still in the box in our attic. They are mostly dust now with a part of the skull left. My father died in 1986, so I cannot ask him about it. My mother and sisters claimed her ghost followed them where ever they moved until my dad died. I am skeptical of that claim. I also have a half brother in Puerto Rico who is in his 30’s I will never meet. I only know his name is Ricky and my dad had a fling with a Puerto Rican woman while stationed there in the army sometime in the 70’s.”

Bad Cure for Depression

“My grandmother jumped off a cliff and killed herself after receiving shock therapy to cure her depression. She was staying with us during winter when she went missing. They found her footprints in the snow that led up to the cliff. I found this out when I was 20 years old, from my cousin who was 18 at the time.”

A Rather Spotted History

“My uncle was kidnapped for two years when he was 15. He’s never spoken of it to this day.

“Also, my super uptight, neo-con, evangelical Christian uncle who lives in Nebraska was actually a hippie stoner in the 60s. Oh and his wife is a mail-order bride.

“Oh, and my aunt’s college fiancée was murdered by a hitchhiker.”

Mysterious Disappearance

“My grandmother on my mom’s side just kind of disappeared and no one heard from her again. The story was that she fled back to her home country (Japan), leaving behind two daughters. Of course, alternate speculation exists.

“The only person with answers would have been my Grandpa but he didn’t ever want to talk about it, and took whatever he knew to the grave.”

Past Crimes

“My uncle murdered two guys when he lived in Juarez, Mexico. He’s an ex-drug dealer and he was drunk when he slipped this out to my dad (I was eavesdropping).”

Holy Family Is Wholly Delusional

“My family thinks my dad is a priest of the Melchizedekan order and will change the way the world does church.

“My dad weighs 600 pounds, is in chronic pain, is lucky to leave the couch more then once a month, is diabetic, and isn’t even 50 years-old and has already had a major pulmonary embolism.

“They don’t tell anyone outside the family because ‘they won’t understand.'”

Suspicious Stepmother

“We are pretty convinced my dad’s wife had a hand in his death in order to take all his money. We can’t prove it though.”

Love in the Time of Mental Instability

“My grandparents met in a mental hospital. My grandmother worked there and grandfather was a patient. He was also married at the time, and since he never got a divorce my grandparents weren’t legally married.”

A Sad Turn of Events

“Some family from my dad’s side was asking if he would take in one of my distant cousins, because the cousin was turning out to be a problem child. Apparently, it’s pretty common for that side of the family to send problem kids to other members of the family in an attempt to get them to shape up. My dad said no because he didn’t have that much money and was dealing with some serious health issues, like epilepsy and his heart. A few months later, the kid ended up robbing a store and murdering the owner of that store with a butcher knife. My dad felt guilty about it, and I don’t think anyone in the family knows that the kid’s mom had asked for my dad to watch him. I personally don’t think sending the kid a state away would have changed him, but my dad always used to wonder out loud to me in private if he could have done something to help.”

Small Town Secret

“I suppose this is a secret, we don’t really talk about it.

“My moms boyfriend’s dad murdered his wife by running her over with a car. It was a big deal at the time since we are from a small area.”

Secret, Strange Wealth

“I have no idea how my family gets its money. While growing up, I would ask my parents (usually my dad) how it worked, since my parents did not work, to which they would respond that we get money from my grandmother. Whenever we would get low on cash (my mom would always be reluctant to ask for more money from my grandma) and we kids complained about being low on money (thus not having much good food at home), my dad would tell us stuff like, ‘We’re never actually short on money. We actually have a lot, just not right now,’ or something in that direction. He had also mentioned stuff about how when we kids are older, we’ll all get money that my mom was supposed to inherit.

“Last year, when my mom, my sister and I were overseas staying with my grandparents over summer, I was able to find out that my mom had some stocks. I asked her how much they were worth, and she simply said she did not know, and that my grandmother handles those things. Grandparents are currently paying for my brother’s college tuition (I think around $4000 per semester, but I don’t know), and will soon be paying for my sister’s ($12,000). I asked my brother about it, and he said it was through stocks and that he didn’t understand it himself either and to just leave it.

So yeah, that’s probably the biggest secret and sadly I don’t even know it.

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