Times Dark Web Users Felt Like They Were Genuinely In Danger
The internet has proven a hugely advantageous advancement in technology.
Creating not only a world where we can buy just about anything with a single click, but also communicate with others all across the globe with considerable ease.
Something we were all beyond grateful for in March of 2020.
However, the internet can sadly be a dangerous endeavor, particularly the part of the internet known as "the dark web", where one's identity and locations remain anonymous.
Whether people find themselves on the dark web, primarily used for illegal, under the table operations, they often tend to find themselves in dangerous situations.
Some being far more terrifying than others.
Redditor BusinessOnion was curious to hear cases when people found themselves in truly dangerous situations after visiting the dark web, leading them to ask:
Dark Web users of Reddit, was there ever a point in your use that you felt you were genuinely in danger? What happened?
It's Not As Dark As You Might Think...
"I've used the dark web once or twice."
"Scariest thing was when my screen went black for a few moments and turned back on."
"Wasn't anything big, just my display cable f*cking up, but it did give me the creeps."
"As for dark or disturbing sh*t, I've only found a list of random addresses."
"The dark web really has a lot of stigma associated with it."
"For the most part it's just people curious about the dark web or people trying to scam you or sell you drugs."
"You have to do a lot of looking to find the really f*cked up stuff."
"You're more likely to find dark web type crap on Reddit or YouTube than the actual dark web."- SkippyDingleCha1k
A Case For Legalizing It?
"I once bought a bit of weed and I received a blackmail letter threatening me with awful things, like sending CP and calling the police, if I didn't send 1 btc, $1000 at the time."
"I was scared sh*tless but nothing ever happened."
"Always check the reviews before buying anything!"- noddintestudine
"A friend of mine used to use Silkroad on the Darknet when Bitcoin was $10 a pop."
"He placed at least 100 orders through it and never had any issues."
"It's a shame he didn't keep all the Bitcoin he bought because he would have been a millionaire now."- darktone2
Because Of The Billing Address?
"I was trying to buy those super cool laser pointers and I got a random message saying I know where you live."
"I noped out of that site straight away."- ThickCactus85
Being Caught May Have Been Less Dangerous?
"In college some friends and I ordered a 100 sheet of acid, using bitcoin, to our college P.O. Boxes."
"We got pretty terrified when it didn’t arrive when it should’ve."
"We thought it was found by USPS, our own mail service, or the DEA; we were paranoid."
"Turns out they just shipped it later than they said."
"We got our 100 tabs but that was a VERY stressful week and a half for all of us."- dasHeftinn
Important Things To Consider
"Remember that the person you just bought drugs from knows, your address, that you have drugs in your house. There's probably evidence of dark web use in your finances/computer/trash."
"They can rat you out with impunity just because they're feeling malevolent."
"They also could just get caught and be careless with destroying ex customer information, so it hangs over my head to this day."- 8v1hJPaTnVkD7Yf
"Came across a chan style site."
"Every post was about trains."
"Wouldn't say I felt in danger, but i felt so out of the loop that i was missing something that I just got off."- CreekKraken
There's Always A Chance...
"Had a buddy who used to order weed."
"The distributer got busted and the postal service let him know there was a suspicious package for him."
"He could either pick it up or it would be destroyed."- tha_t0dd
You Can't Trust Anyone...
"My friends and i were once ordering some green off the dark web."
"On the way, we saw a dude selling cyanide."
"Don't ask me how I got it."
"Don't tell me what you'll use it for."
"Violation of either condition will void the sale."- bluejaywhey
I own a fairly rare car that had a rare error code. I looked it up on Google and there was only one other person on the car maker's forum that had the same error. And this guy took months and months going back and forth between car shops and the forum thread to try to get the issue fixed. Everyone on the forum was pitching in to try to help him. So I kept going through this long forum thread to try to figure out if he ever fixed it. And suddenly there's no more replies from the guy.
Everyone was scratching their heads for a while. We thought he had maybe gotten the issue fixed and didn't bother to update us on it. Then one day, a news article popped up about a really rich guy who died in a Thai jail cell. And then we connected the two stories and they matched up. The same make and model of the car in the news article matched up with his car. And they were both claiming to be in Thailand at the time.
So what happened was that that same guy who was still talking on the forums got raided by the Thai police around the same time he stopped replying to the forum. Turns out that he was running one of the biggest dark web marketplaces where drugs were being sold and exchanged. It had something like $1 million in revenue per day and he was hiding out in Thailand while living in luxury. They found him dead in his jail cell a few days later.
I was a casual orderer of the dark web for awhile and got pretty big into it and started buying slightly bulky packages. If you knew the markets for awhile then you would know one called Alphabay was the best of the best “the amazon of drugs and fraud” would be its best description.
However it went down mysteriously one day and everyone assumed the owners just scammed everyone for their bitcoin(partially true) but in the background it was actually seized the DEA. Everyone flocked to a new site called Hansa which had some sketchy design features but it was the next best alternative.
Turns out the Dutch police took over the site and with cooperation of multiple governments ran a drug distribution onion site with over a million dollars of transactions for around a month. They were gathering information from unsuspecting users(including me) who bought with faulty security practices.
Now this is where I started freaking out imagine trafficking drugs through the mail and the attorney general at the time Jeff Sessions makes a speech live on television that he was going to crack down and explicitly explains how f**ked everyone on Hansa was because they have been gathering data for over a month. And in a big move closes the site and puts up a banner in its place saying everyone who has purchased will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law during his live speech.
I was sh*tting myself for a month as many arrests did occur but luckily I guess I wasn’t important enough and nothing happened to me.
Illusion of Privacy
Yeah the hitmen stuff tends to be 99% fake. I leave the 1% of wiggle room since theres always new sites popping up. Largely it's a scam to continually extort money from you. I've also not heard of a 100% real Red Room. Everything else is pretty real tho.
To me, the scariest stuff is the stolen logins being sold. Someone could straight up buy your PayPal if it was ever compromised. That an access to home security cameras and stuff. Privacy online is an illusion.
don’t frequent it a lot but once i accidentally left my browser in full screen and a stranger in a chat room asked me if my curved monitor was nice, freaked me out a bit
Webcam turned itself on once. That was scary.
I immediately unplugged it and my network cable, ran 3 complete scans of my system for malware and viruses. Found nothing.
Hasn't happened since.
This happened to one of my friends, he said the camera turned on and he was redirected to another website where he saw his own face and some kind of official seal with and eagle on the side, he didn't read what any of that said because he shut down his PC as fast as he could.
He was really quiet and anxious for the next days I saw him at school, the first day he looked very scared and even looked pale, this was what prompted me to ask what happened.
I actually learned how to access the dark web by listening to NPR. They had a segment where an author who was writing a book about it basically gave step by step instructions on how to do it. I did everything he said and, by golly, it worked.
Truthfully, it was pretty underwhelming. Mostly just drugs and counterfeit items (passports, money, etc.). I did find some weapons with the serial numbers scratched off (pistols and shotguns), but nothing that would start World War 3. I also saw a couple ads for hitmen, but they seemed pretty hokey and were most likely, undercover cops.
I never felt in danger, but I have never gone back because there's nothing I really want from there. No government agents have kicked down my door, either.
You might want to stop and think when you go on the internet to illegally buy something with hopes of not getting caught if what you're doing is a good idea.
After all, Black Mirror uses our current reality as its biggest source of inspiration.
Reddit user Extreme-Minute-4746 asked: 'What double standards make you angry?'
Double standards are an unfortunate part of society.
A double standard is when two or more individuals or sets of people are treated differently when they should be treated the same.
A good example is the difference in the way my brother and I are treated when we cook. I'm big on baking and have a natural talent for it. Whenever I bake anything, even something complicated, like cheesecake, I'm given minimal praise, if any at all. This is because I'm a woman, and in my family culture, women are expected to be able to bake.
My brother isn't as good a baker as me and rarely does it, but when he does, he is praised for subpar brownies because he's a man and it's amazing he can even cook as well as he does.
I'm not the only one who has experience with this.
Redditors have identified many double standards in society and are eager to share.
It all started when Redditor Extreme-Minute-4746 asked:
"What double standards make you angry?"
"As a federal government employee, why do I have to follow all kinds of ethics rules, but politicians and judges don’t?"
"F**k, right? I have to spend six weeks reviewing documentation and hearing out dozens of random companies to award a £100k contract but the minister who runs my department can give his mate's company a multi-million£ contract to run ferries without even getting quotes - DESPITE THAT COMPANY NOT HAVING AND FERRIES AND THE PORT IN QUESTION NOT HAVING CAPACITY FOR THEM."
"I left the civil service after that one."
"This. Yeah I could get in trouble for accepting a gift over $50 (like I have that much influence anyway) but politicians and judges get lobbied millions..it's infuriating."
"Yes. And they get to keep their jobs for being completely dysfunctional, but if I pulled a fraction that garbage, I’d be fired."
"That some people expect you to respect their no, whilst they will most definitely not respect yours."
"On that note, respecting someone as an authority is often equated to respecting someone as an individual."
"Eg. Teachers who say if you don't respect me (as a superior), I won't respect you (as a person), when they're really not the same thing."
"The kid getting picked on has essentially no power. Go to a teacher? Get labeled a snitch and tattle tale. Don't do anything? You're just made an easier target. The moment they fight back, they're the ones who end up dealing with detention, suspension, expulsion, etc. You have more power as a bully in the schools than the victim."
"It's because bullied people are usually rule followers, and the school wants the problem dealt with as quickly as possible. Best way to do that is to expect the rule follower to follow rules, rather than the rule breaker to suddenly change their ways."
"Fairness ends up on the chopping block."
"I'm 41 years old and have Cerebral Palsy. If I try to find anything related to the disease - how to deal with it, any kind of ongoing care - it is virtually impossible because all the care is just for children with CP. It's like once you turn 18 the world just doesn't care anymore."
"I’m autistic and in the same boat. “How to deal with a child who…” I'M ASKING FOR ME."
A Two-Way Street
"People who are obsessed with the idea of kids being respectful towards adults, but don't treat kids with respect in turn."
"Edit for example: I went to a very old-fashioned school where the rule was that when an adult entered the room, even in the library and break/lunch, every student in the room had to immediately fall silent - mid sentence, mid word, didn't matter - and stand up until we were given permission to sit back down again. If we didn't, we were chewed out and sometimes even given detentions. The argument was that it trained us into respect, but I was also brought up to believe it's rude to interrupt, and it felt like the teachers were constantly interrupting us."
"My father in law is like that. He’s “kids should be seen and not heard” type of old school."
"But then he wonders why the children in the family all steer clear of him and why they disregard most things he says."
"This might be a bit controversial, but I’ve come across a couple of doctors who demand special treatment away from work but preach and practice treating all their patients equally."
"They charge you a fee or cancel if you’re 5 minutes late but have no problem leaving you waiting for hours. I’ve waited an hour in the lobby and another in the actual examination room."
"Same! i can understand if it’s out of their control but i could hear her, clear as day, giggling with her coworkers about her weekend. i waited 20 in the lobby and 20 in the exam room. i love a good gab but, for f**k’s sake, do it later! if i yapped outside for 20 minutes, it would be a $50 fee and another 4 month long wait to be seen again."
"I suddenly had a $50 i-can-hear-you-nattering-through-the-wall fee. she laughed but it’s been collecting interest ever since…"
Alcohol Is Alcohol
"Beer drinkers act like they aren’t alcoholics because they don’t drink hard liquor. Ok sir you just drank 25 beers and then looked at me sideways for drinking a g&t at the family reunion."
"Same goes for the “sophisticated” wine drinkers..."
"Stop judging me for enjoying a drink on the terrace a few times a year, when you empty 1-2 bottles each evening..."
"That’s definitely the way it is. I’ve got a snotty alcoholic family member, that THINKS she’s sophisticated, because she drinks high dollar wine, out of very expensive glasses."
"Yeah, pissing yourself and passing out, in front of the mailbox, are definitely the traits of a sophisticated person."
"Fathers taking care of their kids."
"I take my kids to doctor appointments, dentist appointments, take them to school, and pick them up. I do all that stuff."
"Every single f**king time, it's, “Dad’s babysitting today?” Or some stupid comment like that. No, I’m not babysitting. I’m being a f**king parent!"
"I hate the double standard that dads can’t do stuff like that with their kids."
"I can’t take my daughter to the park without being questioned or looked at funny either."
"People need to give dads more respect. A lot of us bust our a**es too. I work hard. I take care of my kids, I play with my kids. I clean the house. I do laundry. I don’t stop. I don’t rest, I don’t relax."
"Give us changing tables in the men's room!"
"Nothing bugs me more than when a place only has changing tables in the women's bathroom."
"It's 2023, I take my son to the aquarium by myself sometimes... Looking at you London SeaLife centre 🤨"
"The laundry is always a wierd one. My wife is a much better cook than me. And she hates me cooking when she's in the house. So to compensate I do all the laundry, including ironing before someone mentions it, and all the washing of dishes."
"But even at work, this doesn't seem to be understood as possible. I complained my washing machine had broken and the comment was 'Oh no, what's wife's name going to do?'"
"To which the answer was 'Wonder why I haven't done the washing this week.'"
"But it's infuriating."
Justice Is Bought
"The American justice system. You can afford the best and many more lawyers when you have money."
"Justice is blind, but the b*tch sure can smell money."
"I am supposed to respect people's religion, but people aren't supposed to respect my non-religion."
"Particularly when their religion instructs them to not respect my non-religion."
"It kinda makes my head spin that there are people who I get along well with who, per their religion, think I deserve to be tortured in agony for all eternity."
Yup, me and my non-religious self have personal experience with that last one!
Money is tight for many people.
But sometimes paying more is better than pinching pennies.
Reddit user sir_nams asked:
"What is an item you spent way too much money on but have no regrets buying?"
"I pay a lot as my mortgage, but every time I come into the house the immense peace I feel is just under the roof."
"My friends are worried why I stay in the house too much and I keep on telling them I’m fine, I’m just enjoying my house."
"Investing in more expensive clothing that doesn’t fall apart in a year."
"Not an item, but a trip to Alaska this summer."
"I never sat down and added everything up, but I probably spent about $3,000 on a 10-day trip (solo)."
"But it was an incredible trip, worth every dollar."
"My kid’s therapist."
"She’s the head of the practice, and came highly, highly recommended. And she costs a goddamn arm and a leg."
"However, my kid is thriving."
"Do I wish she was less expensive? Of course!"
"Would I dream of switching her out for someone new? Not on your life."
"My new TemperPedic king bed."
"By God was it expensive but I’ve never slept better!"
"She's almost 7 and since I got her she's either wearing my money, chewing my money, or eating my money."
"Don't regret it one bit."
"A quality desk chair."
"Working from home, I spend more time in the chair than in bed."
"Paid about the cost of a mattress for my chair and have zero regret."
"At a certain point I just said, 'it’s only money, I can make more. But I can’t get back those days I lost being with him, and I miss those days and chances to be happy more than I miss the money'.”
"My recent trip to Japan. I've been wanting to go since I was at school (I'm 40 now), and after saving most of my adult life, I finally managed to go."
"I've never spent that much money on anything. Even though I've been dreaming about it and building it up in my head my whole life, it still far exceeded my expectations."
"Absolutely no regrets."
"Toto toilet with Toto washlet (electric bidet)."
"Having straight teeth for the first time in my life in my 40s? Priceless."
"The cats I had when I was younger, I got for free. Got spayed/neutered at low income clinics, then it was food and litter."
I got kittens several years back from a shelter. Expensive city, so even shelter kittens are a couple hundred dollars each."
"And they were absolutely worth every penny. Every vet appointment, every emergency appointment, toys, high quality food."
"I would give them even more if I could."
"I bought a pair of New Balance shoes for $240."
"They are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn and owned. My wife is getting sick of the weird noises and constant 'Man these shoes are comfortable!' whenever I wear them."
"One time I decided not to go to a party because after 9 PM there was a $10 cover and I wasn’t gonna be able to make it before then."
"While walking back to my apartment I noticed an art opening. I went in and fell in love with the artist’s work."
"I bought a $500 painting on the spot. This was a huge amount of money for me at the time, the most I had ever spent on one single thing."
"Not sure what came over me, but I still love the painting."
"Many years ago I decided to do a family photo shoot. I BEGGED my sister to do it with us, said I'd pay for her family's separate ones also."
"She refused, it wasn't convenient for her husband. It included my dogs, my mom, and my husband."
"My thoughts were we've never done them and mom wouldn't be around much longer. We did some shots of my mom with my dogs (who she loved) and us as a whole."
"About two months later my husband died unexpectedly. About a year later my mom was diagnosed with cancer and my sister's husband died unexpectedly. My dogs gave my mom happiness in her last days."
"My lesson was, it is 100000% worth doing it because you never know if tomorrow will come or not."
What expensive purchase have you made that you’ll never regret?
People tend to have a lot of opinions about other people's workplaces, whether or not they've ever worked in that industry themselves.
There are some professions, like teaching and retail, where people will assume they know all there is to know, even if they've never set foot in that position, and there are others, like the CIA, where people view these positions as elusive and awe-inspiring.
But there are beliefs that people share that frustrates those who are actually in the industry.
Redditor Madalyn_Robert asked:
"What's a myth about your profession that you want to debunk?"
"Veterinary medicine is not a happy-go-lucky career choice where you get to deal with cute animals rather than people. Most of your patients are sick or scared, and every case involves a fraught negotiation with their stressed-out human."
The Truth Behind Anesthesia
"Anesthesiologist: you're not asleep you are anesthetized. When you're asleep and someone stabs you, you wake up."
"Even more terrifying, anesthesia doesn’t exactly prevent you from feeling what’s happening, it (in effect) disrupts the timing clock that allows different parts of the brain to talk to each other. You won’t be able to remember it or be conscious to experience it, but somewhere some part of your brain is receiving those pain signals and is trying desperately to tell the rest of your brain what’s happening."
Preventative > Reactive
"Maintenance is worth doing and is definitely worth paying for."
"People say, 'I don't know why we pay those maintenance guys, nothing ever breaks around here!'"
"The reason Germany and Japan (and South Korea) became and remain such manufacturing powerhouses is because they know the value of maintenence. If you keep everything in clean good working order, you end up with minimum down time. Working maintenance into manufacturing schedules keeps output level, because you have no unexpected downtime."
"It's the same for your car or your home. Setting aside time and resources for maintenance means you won't lose unexpected time and resources when things break. Good maintenance will spot things before they break and switch them out. That's worth paying for."
The Power of a Reboot
"IT. Rebooting is NOT a waste of time and solves a remarkable number of problems."
"Instead of using shutdown, use restart."
"Modern versions of windows have something called fast startup, which basically hibernates when you shut down. You don't get the benefit of a reboot."
Giant, Flying Puzzles
"Commercial aircraft are built almost entirely by hand. Like 96%. There's very little automation in the process."
"Authentic, handcrafted commercial airliners."
"Free range, GRASS FED, Authentic, handcrafted commercial airliners!"
Doing Library Things
"I am a public librarian. While curating books is still a portion of the job, much of it these days is taken up by database assistance and training, program development and teaching, and public education. It’s much closer to school teaching, but for adults and without grading homework, than it was in the past."
Rate the Emergency
"If you go to the ER via ambulance, it does NOT mean you will be seen quicker."
"ERs take the sickest people first, definitely not the ones who come in by ambulance first."
Not in Charge
"Teachers have very little say in anything. We advocate the best we can but most of the time, it’s out of our hands, including holding children back who desperately need help."
"Print industry. Your paper isn’t as recycled as you think it is."
"That all lawyers make absurd amounts of money. The ones that won't sell their entire life for big bucks tend to make pretty average money."
"Yes! Some months I barely make enough for all my expenses. Some months I make a lot of money. Some months I make absolutely nothing. Having a private practice in my country means financial instability. The Estate does pay me to represent people who can't afford a lawyer but it pays very bad and takes forever to get that money."
"Also, we're not all like in the movies. Most of us actually care about the people we represent and we try our best to help them."
Not Everything Is Memorized
"I can write code. I cannot debug most of your Windows problems without googling them."
Underpaid and Overworked
"School Custodian here and we are NOT overpaid cleaners. What would you pay someone that can paint, Sheetrock, tape/mud, patch concrete/asphalt, operate/repair commercial landscaping/snow removal equipment, operate/repair commercial custodial equipment, restore various types of floors including vct/hardwood/carpet/tile, replace toilets/faucets, air filters, belts, trim/fell trees, shovel roofs, etc?"
"Not all of us are cleaners/janitors, which are vital and underpaid as well. Some of us are Jack/Jill of all trades and you want to pay us peanuts?"
"All employees of a school are important and administrators shouldn't try to balance their budgets on the backs of workers when I've seen an exponential amount of administrative salary and stupid purchasing decisions, not to mention unfunded mandates from the state."
"There is sooooo much more to the speech-language pathologist scope of practice than working with kids who stutter or can't say their 'r's."
"An entire half of the field is in the adult medical setting working with people who have dementia, swallowing disorders, oral cancer, strokes, Parkinson's disease, and voice disorders, plus some other niche areas like transgender voice or accent modification."
"The pediatric half of the field also works with AAC devices, social skills, literacy development, syntax, executive functioning, writing, feeding, and more."
"Therapist here, specifically a couples therapist."
"Therapy is not just about venting or having someone agree with you all the time to make you feel better. Yes, we validate and listen and venting happens at times. But we also challenge you, encourage you to set goals and make change, and sometimes give 'homework.'"
"Therapy is an active process and if you want to see change you have to be willing to make change. I think the media has really warped people's ideas and they expect miracles to happen by showing up without any effort. I wish I could do that for you! But I need you to partner with me to make things happen."
"Also, very few therapists actually have you lay on a couch."
"Scientist (more specifically, molecular biologist in biotech)."
"I am not hiding the cure for cancer, and I don't know s**t about actual medicine."
It's surprising how much we often think we know about other people's professions, and it's probably annoying to them to hear misconceptions day in and day out from the general public.
This is a great reminder of how much we can learn from each other, even just in the workplace.
How well did you really know the people who are no longer with us?
Many of us present our best selves to our friends and relatives but do you share with them your deepest, darkest insecurities and secrets?
Maybe you do. But there are plenty of others who take their secrets to the grave.
But those closely guarded secrets or the truest identities can come to light posthumously in many forms, giving a glimpse of who they were to the people they've left behind.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor WhoAllIll asked:
"What secret was revealed when cleaning out the home of a deceased family member?"
Not everyone had pure morals or ethics.
"Elderly aunt had a hidden room with staircase to basement area no one knew about. She and her son had a meth lab. This was in the 90’s in Philly. Blew us all away."
Here's The Story
"We all knew this one uncle had a second family. We expected drama at the funeral."
"No one was expecting his third family to show up. Wife. Three kids. This new family knew the rest of the family by name from pictures. How we are all related, names, hobbies. That was a wildly bizarre experience."
"My dad passed away in 1994 (I was 28). While going through his safe I found some adoption papers. While reading through them I got excited at the prospect I might have a brother out there somewhere (I was raised as an only child) but couldn't understand why my parents never told me that they'd adopted a child but never told me. After rereading them, I realized that they papers were about me. After confronting my family about this turns out everyone - family, close friends, I mean everyone, knew I was adopted. Except me. That was a fun day."
You never know about a person.
Once Upon A Cash-tress
"Many years ago I went with my dad and aunt to clean out my great uncle’s apartment after he passed away. He was never married, no kids, and lived (we thought) very poor. Tiny apartment with a twin bed, table and chair, a couple of pots and pans, a couple pants& shirts, and that’s basically it."
"As we stripped the bed and moved the mattress, we were shocked. He had hundreds of stacks of 10 dollar bills, wrapped in rubber bands, under his mattress. They were all 10 dollar bills. He lived during the Depression and didn’t trust banks, apparently, but we had no idea he had so much cash. He never spent it on anything. Just bundled it and saved it under his mattress. Some of the bills were so old and yellowed. It equaled thousands of dollars. We had no idea."
The Neat Hoarder
"My grandfather, who spoke English as a third language, was a bit of a hoarder. Lots of old sh*t stockpiled in his basement, but well organized. Imagine a generic episode of Hoarders, but with a prepper OCD vibe."
"Everything was sanitized, stacked/nested, and grouped logically. It was like the stock room for a store that wasn't yet sure what products it was selling and wanted to be ready."
"So we find a cylindrical container that was kinda heavy for its size, and it had the label 'OLD PENIS'. It was one of those black plastic film containers."
"Hesitant, but curious, we removed the lid."
"It contained a collection of one-cent pieces which had been minted in the first half of the 20th century."
"Part of me was disappointed, part of me was relieved."
"Edit: I'm glad so many people got a chuckle from the mystery of my grandfather's old penis. It was an innocent typo, but he was a jovial man and would have enjoyed knowing it made so many people laugh."
"We knew my originally British, naturalized Canadian great-grandmother had been an enthusiastic amateur historian, who had been fascinated by Britain’s war with Napoleon - not for the least reason because she was herself tangentially related to the Duke of Wellington’s family, via a cousin’s marriage to his son’s nephew, or some connection equally obscure and tenuous."
"What we didn’t know is that, likely in preparation for a book she never wrote, as a young woman she had actually interviewed several dozen elderly English, French and Spanish veterans about their experiences during that war - including three actual survivors of Waterloo (two English, one French), and an aide-de-camp to Spanish General Francisco Javier Castaños, at the time he handed the Napoleonic army its very first defeat in the field, and captured nearly 20,000 French troops at the Battle of Bailen (1808)."
"But there it was, stored in a wooden egg crate under her iron-framed bed, among old calendars, untested recipe clippings and copies of Family Circle magazine: a manuscript with nearly three hundred pages of transcribed military memoirs - all laid out in three languages (in which she was fluent) in her elegant, Spencerian hand."
"My parents donated her manuscript to the Imperial War Museum, where no doubt it will never have human eyes laid on it again."
These Redditors share heartwarming discoveries.
Preparing For The Onward Journey
"My dad was in hospice at home for a couple months before he died of lung cancer, and when I went to clean out his house I found that he had already sorted and packed away most of his personal treasures in couple storage bins. It was heartbreaking all over again thinking of him sitting there packing up his own life knowing it was coming to an end."
Messages From Beyond
"When my husband died a few years ago i found several notes/letters he had scattered in various places around our home, written to me in advance (he had terminal cancer & knew he was dying). some were marked 'open when you can't stop crying' 'open when the holidays are too rough' 'open when you have to put one of the cats to sleep'."
"They didn't contain any secrets, but they are heartbreakingly beautiful."
"My dad kept a handwritten note in his wallet containing my mom’s old address, phone number, and directions to her house from when they first started dating in the 70s. He had moved it from wallet to wallet over the years. ❤️ He just died this past March and that was one of the first things we found."
"That my dad hid money all over the house, not huge amounts mind you, but $60 here, $120 there. Felt like a bit of a scavenger hunt when we were cleaning out his stuff. He was always a bit of a sneakily generous guy, always gave me and my brothers a secret handshake with money tucked in his palm when we’d go back to school after a weekend home, etc, so wouldn’t be surprised if he’d done it intentionally. Made us smile every time we found some, iirc I think the final total was somewhere around $800."
Photographs are treasures.
When my family cleaned out the house of my father's aunt who lived in America, we found stacks of vintage photographs well before the advent of digital photography.
There were photos of my great aunt in Japan from when she was a teenager to photos of her and her husband at a Japanese internment camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.
There were no secrets uncovered but it was so profound poring through images capturing decades of her life captured on film.