People Divulge Their Darkest Family Secrets
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.


Redditor 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

Doing The Math Solves Everything

"My grandmother was conceived during a period when her father was away for 6 months. He was a nasty and abusive man. We think her real father was the gas meter man- we only worked this out after she passed away and I don’t think she ever worked it out." -- Clippyvonnostrum

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

Oh, Spies....Wait, Spies?

"So my maternal-grandfather was a Chinese professor in India and he went to China to complete his PhD at the Taiwan university in 1969 ( Taiwan was still a part of China at that time). He, along with 5 other scholars were selected in India to reconstruct diplomatic relations with the Chinese government as China and India were at war with each other from 1962. Each of the 6 scholars (including my grandfather) were assigned 6 Chinese individuals as spies so the Chinese government could have an eye on them."

"Even my grandfather took a picture of himself with the University and clearly in the picture there was a gentleman behind him sitting quietly on a bench reading newspaper. My grandfather never minded the spies as he went on to make great and life-long friends at the university." -- greenhornet_22

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

The Truth Hurts A Lot More

"Everyone thinks my grandmother's mom was murdered because that's what she was told as a child. I just found her mother's (my great grandmother) death certificate. She died by suicide. I'm not going to tell my family/grandmother what I discovered because I fear it will hurt my grandmother." -- dimmudagone

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

If She Found Out, It Would Kill Her All Over Again

"My second cousin killed a completely innocent man in a drunken attack when he was 16. He served a ridiculously short sentence in Youth Offenders and has been living the ski-bunny life on his rich father's money ever since..."

"This was my mother's sister's grandson. My mum's sister never told any of us. Her long-term-partner told my mum in a nasty attempt to drive a wedge between the sisters - he wanted my mum to ask her sister about it and cause a row, because he is one of those awful people who only get joy from the misery of others."

"My aunt passed a couple of years back, without ever knowing that we know about it." -- The-Sassy-Pickle

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

A Repeat Offender

"My dad’s...cousin? I think? Was a repeat murderer. When he was 20 he took his 16 year old gf to the local lumber yard and beat her to death with a piece of timber."

"He turned himself in, then when he was released years later he married, had kids, then stabbed his wife 10 times cos he was jealous she was talking to a co-worker. That was in the 80s I think and I guess he got life." -- armosnacht

You Try To Find The Silver Lining Of A Traumatic History

"Some of my relatives from the old country were in the IRA and (allegedly) helped carry out the Bloody Friday Bombing."

"My family is extremely irish, with the majority of my dads side still living in ireland. In the last few months, my dad and my grandma sat me down and told me about the "Black Family". Most irish families have Black family members. My last name actually means "outlaw" in irish, so i'm no exception to that. My great grandfather was a sniper for the IRA after the Black and Tans killed his parents. One of my relatives, Antonio, (allegedly) assisted in the Bishopsgate bombings. We also had a relative who was in the UVF, and he was lynched by his brother."

"In conclusion, terrorism sucks but being british is worse." -- TimsterGaming

When You Can't Even Decide The Worse Family Tragedy

"There’s two, and I don’t know which is worse."

"I have an older cousin. She’s probably in her 30s or 40s, not sure since it’s been a while since I’ve seen her. When I was little, I noticed she acted strange around men. I didn’t understand why at the time."

"Found out later that she was kidnapped when she was a kid (around 8-10 years old) and locked in a room by a guy. She escaped after a few days, but nobody knows how. She doesn’t talk about it, and none of us blame her. That shit sounds traumatizing."

"The second one is that when my aunt was little, her mother dated this guy for a while. Things started out ok but got worse when they began fighting. One night, my aunt heard a gunshot. Her mom was shot and killed by the guy." -- the-cynical-human

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.

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