Since everybody has secrets, it makes sense that pretty much every family would have a secret or two as well. For most of us it's probably something relatively tame. Then there are the jucier things - like how some people have that one auntie who has had 3 husbands die on her... all in bed. ("Some people" may or may not be me.)

One reddit user opened up a serious can of worms when they asked:

What's a dark family secret you uncovered?

Fam, Reddit does not disappoint when they're asked to get dark. Some of the answers were so bad we didn't feel comfortable sharing them here. What we did share is full of things that some readers might find disturbing. There are stories of rape, murder, suicide, child abandonment, and more.

Proceed with caution.



I was the family secret. My biological parents started having kids as teenagers. For context, when my biological mom found out she was pregnant with me, she was 21 and I was their 4th child. They quickly realized they needed to get their act together. They were already struggling financially, had countless drug issues, etc. They decided that they were going to put me up for adoption. I was a baby.

I was adopted by a loving family quite quickly, only about an hour drive from the city I was born in. Coincidentally, I ended up returning to that same city for college. My sophomore year, I decided to seek out my biological family. Turns out, my biological parents separated right after I was born. My biological mom is still in and out of jail to this day, but my biological dad was able to start a new chapter. He got clean & sober, remarried, started going to church, and built a legitimate career for himself. He told his new wife about me when they first met, but didn't tell any of his children. My other siblings didn't know I existed.

Thanks to the internet, I ended up tracking down his work number and gave him a call. Later on, he said as soon as I said, "Hi, this might be really weird, but..." he knew it was me. Apparently, ever since I turned 18, him and his wife were waiting anxiously for me to resurface. They knew the day would come eventually. That evening, they sat my siblings down and told them about me. It was difficult at first, but now I'm 25 and me and him have a pretty solid relationship.

- LilTreeHugger21

Grandpa Doesn't Know

My grandpa doesn't know that his dad was hit and killed by a drunk driver. He was like 2 when his dad died and can't remember any of it. The only thing he said was that he thought it involved a truck.

I found the article of my great-grandfather's death when I started digging into my grandpa's family tree. I also found that great-grandpa was the result of a teen pregnancy and was raised by his grandparents.

I'd tell him but I'm not really sure there's too much point in bringing it up now.

- KlaudiaPotter

Grandma's "Hotel"

Great grandma ran a "hotel" in the late 1800s near a train Depot and army fort in the Oklahoma territory. Turns out it was a brothel. Great grandma was a madam! She must have been good at it cause she left a stack to my grandma.

- Traitorius

Boys Club

When I was a kid I knew my grandfather was odd. He'd call me his grandson even when i was wearing a dress and clearly female, but my parents would tell me to ignore it.

Then I found out that when my dad was a kid, grandpa sold my dad's sister Barbara to someone and kept my dad and his brother because he didn't want a girl in the family. My dad found his sister Barbara around the time I was in middle school via calling around to get records, they were reunited, she's my favorite aunt now.

No one liked grandpa.

- Halleaon

The Heirloom Dishes

We have a set of plates our family uses ONLY on Easter. My mom always fusses about that they are great grandmother, pre WWI family heirlooms. As someone who is interested in this kind of stuff, I looked up the makers mark. 1940s kitch, at best.

I haven't told anyone because I have my eyes on another set of china, and I want to seem magnanimous when I "compromise" with my sister to have these.

- dockerbot_notbot

Not Her Fault

My cousin didn't stop talking the family for ten years because of her parents' divorce, like my parents said. She stopped because she and her dad got into an argument, and he physically shoved her into a basement, locked her inside, and refused to let her out.

He held her hostage down there for hours. Authorities got involved. He eventually got charged with domestic violence. A lot of the family blamed her for "getting her dad arrested" instead of holding him responsible for hurting her. So she stopped talking to them for about a decade.

She's married to a really nice guy and has two kids who she adores. This all happened about 20 years ago and she's doing really good now.

- Blueeyesredlipstick

Totally Fair


The "disabled" kid: My dad was pretty open about it but I know they kept it hush hush within their community. Idk how it when my dad found out but he discovered he had an older brother, his parents' oldest child. We'll call him Ron.

When Ron was preschool aged they were told he was "mentally retarded." Horrified, they turned him over to the state and never spoke of him again. Years later word got back to them that the kid was not in fact mentally disabled, he had "auditory dyslexia"(now called auditory processing disorder). He grew up to be a fully functioning independent adult.

He refused to have any contact with the family when my dad reached out to his brother. Totally fair, in my opinion.

- John__Batman

Born Too Soon

My great aunt and uncle, had a baby when they were still in the dating phase. They were in love and getting married was a sure thing down the line. However, coming from a very conservative society in the Middle East back in the 50's, they had to give the child away to an orphanage. Once that was done, they got married and eventually had 4 children.

That child grew up knowing his origins and only allowed minimal contact with his family. He still isn't invited to family events and has a family of his own. When my great uncle passed away I was told he was amongst the randoms that came to the cemetery to pay respects, none of my cousins including myself know what he looks like but my dad and his siblings and cousins all do.

Its sad how he's punished for something that isn't his fault.

- SpaceWhale89

Grandpa's Suicide

My grand-father tried to kill my dad with an axe. Literally showed up to his place of work and went looking to cut him down... and somehow, my unprepared dad fought him off bare handed.

So grandpa escaped and came back the next day to finish the job with a gun, but my dad didn't show up to work, so dude offed himself in the parking lot leaving the craziest suicide note ever.

There's a long backstory. To try not to go crazy here...

Grandpa beat my dad, dad's brothers and his mom. Grandpa was an alcoholic, for sure, but probably had mental problems too as they are run family. (yay)

Anyways, my dad had enough of it and worked a ton of jobs to save money. He was able to afford to escape and moved everyone out of the house in the middle of the night. They fled. New life kinda relocation thing.

So Grandpa was pretty pissed my dad "ruined his life" by, I guess, standing up for himself. Eventually the dude tracked down where my dad worked and went to end him.

I'm pretty sure his brothers and mom knew about the attempt, I don't know how many other family did. I only found out from my mom when I was moving away to university; and I have no idea why she told me. I thought it was bull, but eventually Dad confirmed it. It sort of filled in a lot of gaps in his character.

I have a vague idea of what was in the suicide note from what my mom said. I know it was a letter addressed to my dad laying the ultimate guilt trip. I think it was something about how much my dad had ruined his life by being born, then taking his wife away from him.

There was some passage about the church in it and how my dad had "let down all of religion" or God or something, and that Grandpa would see him in Hell. I'm kind of exaggerating, but whatever was in that note turned my dad into a staunch anti-religious person pretty much.

- billbapapa

One Punch Grandpa

I asked my Mom why Grandpa didn't stay in his home town and take over the farm.

Turns out, Grandpa killed a man.

They had a bunch of local kids over to hang out. Grandpa couldn't find his sister and went looking for her. He came around the corner of the barn to find a guy was actually raping her.

Grandpa, grabbed the guy - gave him one punch in the head and killed him. He served 10 months in jail. After that, he decided to move a whole 10 miles away to another town.

The kicker is my Grandfather's name is Pleasant! He's referred to as one punch Grandpa now.

- sunrein

Mike The Mobster

When my Dad's uncle died, at his funeral there were a couple people there that dad recognized but only one he knew well. He and my dad had originally bonded because they were both named Mike. They became friends even though my dad was younger than him by about twenty years.

Mike was an acquaintance of dad's father, my grandfather. Mike was also involved in some shady, shady stuff. At the funeral Mike sat next to my dad and asked if he was doing good. My dad asked if he could be blunt, and admitted he was "glad the bastard was dead."

Mike got real quiet, and asked if he'd ever been hurt by his uncle. My dad admitted he had.

Mike told him that if anyone ever touched him like that again, to let him know and he and his boys would take care of them. My dad was about seventeen, so he would've known Mike about seven years at this point.

He trusted Mike. Always hung out with him when he came into town, which wasn't very often.

My dad took him up on his promise only once. He'd been having issues with some wannabe gang members in price hill and told Mike about this one kid who'd stabbed him in the thigh last time he crossed their turf. The kid had mugged him, stabbed him, and told him he was lucky it wasn't his throat. My dad ended up in the hospital with a few dozen stitches and a very large tetanus shot.

He told Mike, and Mike said he'd take care of it. My dad never saw the kid again, he'd just disappeared. Mike left town shortly after.

Few years later, my grandfather was in the early stages of the disease that would later take his life; and drunk as f**k so he was feeling talkative. He said to my dad:

"Ya know I outta thank you. You got that good for nothing mobster to skip town after killing that 'banger, and now I don't have to worry about paying my debts. You might not be a disappointment after all"

My dad never forgot that. Not just because of the back handed compliment, that was normal. But because of the bomb his dad had dropped about Mike being a part of the mob? Never knew that Mike had killed the kid, never knew that his dad was in trouble with him, never found out how his dad had gotten in with a man claiming to be a mobster.

Was Mike actually part of the mob? In Cincinnati in the '60s it was possible, but not probable. More likely he was part of a gang and used the threat of the mafia to keep my grandfather scared enough to be manipulated.

I do think he genuinely liked my dad, though. I don't think their relationship was more than platonic, but also I've never killed a man for my "friends."

- TwistelMouse


My great uncle shot my great aunt. Apparently she had Alzheimer's and he decided it was best to just kill her, then he turned the gun on himself. From what I heard though he didn't die instantly but rather held on for around a week before finally dying.

- CascadingFirefight

Nazi Roots

I found out my grandma's grandfather was a Nazi scientist that fled Germany in 1945, changed his name and moved to South America. We still don't know what his real last name was.

- peepeepoopooman1202


I may or may not be a product of an affair between my mum and my (now) step-dad.

I found an old letter between them, talking about how he wanted to mess around and then hide in the cupboard when her husband got home. I also know that he bought her gifts before I was born...

Too scared to confirm though. I still see bio-dad, and have a half sister and family on that side. I hate to think of how everything would be turned upside down if it turned out to be true.

- Kiki_the_geek

Casanova Cousin

My grandmother actually told me before she passed that her cousin was Paul John Knowles, the Casanova Killer. As far as I know, my mother's side completely believes this to be true while my dad's side didn't know at all.

My dad believes this explains a lot about my mom. (Their divorce wasn't the nicest)

- ValkRhi

Family Toke Sesh


My uncle found pot in his living room in between two couch cushions, so he brought it to my aunt's boyfriend who was dealing while being a chef in the early days of his restaurant.

Aunt's boyfriend looked at it an said "oh that's not mine, that's your mother's,"

Turns out my Grammy bought pot to feel better cause of retirement, and she and like 5 of my aunt's and uncles had a big toke sesh like that 70's show in my Grammy's basement.

Not dark but still, I wanted to share it

- PennerFan2222

It's Not Official

My parents aren't 'officially' married. They are married in traditional Hindu ways but since my Mom had the same surname, they never bothered to have the marriage registered so technically, they have been in a very long live in relationship (about 25 years)

- nexistcsgo

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

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