Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay

Look back far enough in your ancestry, and you're liable to find something dark.


But for some Redditors who posted in a recent thread, the dark secrets didn't require much digging to find. In fact, the perpetrators--or victims, as some of the stories showed--are still alive today, complete with sealed lips and awkward family gatherings.

Bloodshed, adultery, and societal shunning were common themes ringing through many of the secrets shared under the cover of internet anonymity.

A look at some of the best posts may leave you feeling like sensational movies and novels aren't actually so far off from how this stuff really goes down.

Al-Anka asked, "What is your darkest family secret?"

A Key Detail Comes to Light 

"My grandfather was killed in a bar when my father was still a toddler. The official story was that he was murdered over a pinball game (back then pinball was pretty serious, I guess)."

"It wasn't until recently my grandmother confessed, on her death bed, that my grandfather actually killed someone and buried the body, days before his own demise. So he was actually killed in retaliation for a murder that he committed."

"My grandmother kept this secret for almost 65 years."

-- itsovermyhead

For One Person, An Impossible Secret to Keep

"It's me. My dad never told his family I existed. I was shameful, maybe he was more ashamed."

"After he died they found out about me and kindly asked me not to come to the funeral. I get why he never told them."

-- ninetiesluddite

Nepotism With an Extra Red Flag 

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

"I found out 20 years later that the cousin had been in prison for having a relationship with a student."

-- dj_baberahamlincoln

Some Stones Are Better Left Un-Turned

"A year or two after her adoptive mother died, my mom went looking for information about her birth parents, and found that her birth mom and her husband had been gruesomely murdered by a drug cartel."

"There was an article about their murder in Rolling Stone magazine that had gory pictures of their bodies."

-- hemulaformis

She Lived to Tell

"My cousin, once removed (my parent's cousin) was kidnapped and tortured by a serial killer. She was (after many days) dropped off near a running path with her neck slit."

"She lived (unlike the other 3) and she could lead the police to his home. He is still in prison."

"As a child I heard whispering of it and didn't find out the whole truth until I was older."

-- instrangestofplaces

Capitalizing On Your Resources

"I had an uncle who moved far away, worked in a boiler room at a huge casino, decades ago. He was always sketchy, and he had way more money than a simple boiler room employee ought to have had."

"Rumours that the boiler room was a really useful thing for the mob, due to boilers doubling as incinerators for certain purposes. Hence the money. Many unanswered questions there."

-- UtopiaForest

Sounds Like Classic 1930s Stuff

"My great grandfather shot and killed a man in his grocery store back in the 30s over a poker game."

"He ran a speak easy out of the back of his store and lost almost $2k so as the guy was walking out the front after the store closed he shot him and got away with it by telling the police the man robbed him."

"It wasn't until he was on his death bed he told my grandfather what had happened."

-- CowMajorAU

Based On True Events 

"In the film Driving Miss Daisy, when the chauffeur (played by Morgan Freeman) is driving Miss Daisy to worship service, they get stuck in a traffic jam. He gets out to see what the hold-up is."

"When he gets back in, he says 'you won't be going to service today, somebody done bombed the temple.' (Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple, Atlanta, 1958)."

"She says 'What - who would do such a thing?'"

"My uncle, that's who."

-- Igotthesilver

Cool as Cucumbers

"Father won the lottery and we've been pretending to be poor so our family doesn't try to ask for money." -- holyydiver32

"Safest bet. Family turn at even the chance of running someone else into the ground for money. Your father is a clever man" -- Pudgeysaurus

"That's a solid strategy especially with family who believe that NO is a suggestion and not a statement." -- Goinghame

An Unfortunate Thing To Fear 

"One family member killed another by leaving a bag of poisoned donuts on the front steps. We are now 'hesitant' about accepting donuts." -- grouchycyborg

"Where do you live with such frivolous donut dispersion?" -- Sigg3net

"I'm just imaging your whole family being sceptical about ever being offered a donut and it has made me chuckle. Sorry for your loss tho." -- MonsterMunch86

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They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!