Every family has secrets. If you think yours doesn’t, you might just not be digging deep enough into your family history.
An AskReddit thread gave people to share their own darkest family secrets, and it did not disappoint.
We found a picture of two great aunts arm-in-arm with Hitler.
We also have a signed photograph of Mussolini. – Conte_vincero
My great-great-great-grandpa left England for America and was supposed to send money for his family to come over, but he never did. He just started a new family in America. – jakash
I found out my father had a secret family and that we were it — his wife and kids don’t know about us to this day. Also found out a while later that an uncle had an ex-wife and kids he kept quiet about too. – hadasamatter
My great-great-grandfather owed gambling debt to his former best friend. Apparently, after a night of gambling in which my ancestor somehow screwed over his best friend, a firefight erupted at my grandfathers house. His best friend pulled a shotgun on him, but missed and hit his own wife who was at my grandfather’s house visiting with my grandfather’s wife.
My grandfather was hit in the neck by a single buckshot pellet that forever stayed lodged in the side of the neck. Several months later, my great-great-grandfather disappeared. After a manhunt, a body was found cut in three on the railroad tracks. The head was missing, but whoever found the body brought back the six gun and whiskey flask off of the body, and my great-great-grandmother confirmed them to be her husband’s.
Now for the big twist. Apparently, it was rumored that my grandfather had another family in a different state that he would disappear to often for long periods of time. The head of the body on the tracks was never found. Family legend has it that my ancestor killed a man and planted his own personal items on the body, and did away with the head of the body. Now his debts and blood-feud were covered and he could forever live with his other family. – Cheodude
My uncle got his wife pregnant at 17.
He was 30 and that’s why her family got so angry. – Deleted User
I have a second cousin who murdered his siblings and parents for insurance money.
He didn’t get away with it but only spent around 20 years in prison. He’s out now, but no one talks about him or will speak to him. The only reason I even know is my parents warned me if he ever reaches out to me that I shouldn’t talk to him. I managed to find out about him and what happened by Googling him. – Cotmweasel
My mother told me a story about being at a small funeral in the late 1950s, east Texas. The “deceased” was mentally challenged, and the family was relieved to have the child at peace. During the service, the coffin began to rock, and crying was heard, then she was taken outside and watched as the coffin was carried to the cemetery next to the church and hurriedly buried.
I was telling my kids this years later, and my mother walked in the room, listened for a moment, and asked, “Are you telling them about Uncle Chucky?” What? You seemed to have forgotten to mention the connection before, mom. – beastiejay
When my mother died, I found out my uncle is really my dad. My father’s brother.
Apparently she got drunk and slept with my uncle one night before they were married, but she told my dad that I belonged to some other man so he wouldn’t be upset at the brother aspect. My uncle didn’t know until she was dying. He went to visit her in the hospital and she told him that I was his and that she never told his brother. Then after she passed, he decided to sit me down and tell me. I told him it changes nothing, my daddy is my daddy. He still doesn’t know and if he does find out, it won’t be me who tells him. He’s my dad. – overlord-ror
I have been looking into my ancestry a bit recently and got quite confused when I stumbled across one of my grandmother’s birth certificates since it listed a female in the ‘father’ section.
Turns out my great-grandmother who was living in a big port city in her youth got knocked up by a foreign sailor who was never heard of again. However, at the time a mother could not register a newborn with the authorities, it had to be her husband or another patron. So her aunt whom she lived with at the time had to go to the authorities to do the paperwork, putting her name in the ‘father’ box. – passwordadventures
Family members told us the story that my uncle’s wife died in a car accident they were both involved in (they lived out of state). After he was arrested, we found out that the “accident” was him running his convertible under a semi truck and decapitating her on purpose. – OhRyann
My dad was involved with some criminals in California. They organized and did some pretty awful things. My dad doesn’t tell me much, but I do remember that we moved to Ohio with no real prompting.
Years later, I’m talking to him about my family history and ask him why we moved so far from the family. My father was quiet for a few minutes and just breathing heavily.
Me: Dad, something wrong?
D: Son, we moved because I saw a man kill a baby and I had to get out of that organization.
I just moved on. I don’t know anything about my fathers past, and now I’m sure I dont want to. – Deleted User
My grandfather may have been a war criminal. He was born in the UK to a German family and spent half his childhood in Germany — for the rest of his life he would be able to fool Germans into thinking that he was one of them and then snap back into Yorkshire English equally convincingly.
He wouldn’t tell us too much about the war. We knew he was a special weapons expert and was regularly recalled by the army to consult well into the 1980s, but some of the stories he told read like excerpts from the film Inglourious Basterds. – CarpeCyprinidae
My great aunt and uncle were the sweetest people imaginable. When I was growing up they lived four houses down so I used to go around to their house a lot after school. My uncle Jimmy used to play dollies and tea party with me. I have very fond memories of them.
When my uncle Jimmy died, I remember all these very professional looking old men at his funeral, surrounded by what looked like security guards. My mum casually mentioned to me many years later that my uncle Jimmy was an old-fashioned English ganster. He did time for robbery and sex trafficking and was also accused of murdering 4 people but there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute.
I was gobsmacked. In addition to this, my lovely Auntie Diane — his wife — was the madame at one of his brothels and recruited his sex slaves. She had also done time. I put two and two together and realized those men at his funeral were old gangsters. It really messed me up. – inchypia
I was conceived in a threesome between my mother, my dad, and his identical twin.
Can’t get a DNA test because they’re identical twins, but the one who took on the role of uncle bought me a pony when I was a kid so it’s cool. — Deleted User
I knew my grandmother had my oldest uncle out of wedlock to someone else, and was pregnant a second time when she married my grandfather (he was a brave man to take on someone else’s child in the 1930s).
Years later, after my parents had died, I was doing a little family history, and looked at my uncle’s birthdate and my grandma’s birthdate — she would have been 14 or 15. The baby daddy was supposed to be some rich prick who took advantage of her when she worked in the Big House. Supposedly.
I don’t know about her and my granddad. When you look at this sweet little old lady you couldn’t imagine her being in that situation. Even in the few photos we have when she was younger than I am now, it’s hard to imagine. And I guess now, I’ll never know. – throway_nonjw
I just found out that my mother was divorced by my father via email while he was away working overseas in Sudan. Turns out my dad met his high school ex while working there and decided to marry her. You know, first love and stuff.
Soon after my mom received the email, she got dressed up, left the house leaving me and twin brother alone (while being pregnant with my youngest sister), and went to court to file in divorce papers. – princessisab*tch
I had heard stories about my great-aunt being blind, but never actually met her. When I did, I noticed the scars on her temple, and after she left I asked my Grandpa (her brother) about it.
When she was young, the town she lived in had a serial rapist about. Her husband worked at the gun store my Grandpa managed. One night, her husband says he’s going out and tells her to lock the door,because of the rapist. She does so and a few hours later sees on the news that the serial rapist is trapped in a house and has a woman and her daughter as hostages. He was trying to negotiate with the police.
When he leans out the window holding the young girl and yelling something at the police she recognizes him as her husband. She goes upstairs, grabs his gun, and puts it to her temple. I have no clue what happened to the husband, I didn’t ask. He’s probably dead or in prison. – PeteKachew
My mother’s aunt passed a few years ago. We went to Arizona for the funeral, which is where I met my Mother’s side of the family for the first time. I learned that apparently my aunt had been murdered.
A few hours after the funeral we were all in the hotel room catching up when one of my mother’s cousins (who hadn’t shown up) called from a payphone. He asked to be put on speaker and to have the kids leave the room. Since I had recently turned 18 they asked for me to stay. Turns out he found out that my now-deceased aunt’s dealer had cut her coke with some kind of poison.
He got a confession from the guy before he offed him and dumped him in the desert. He said he was sorry he couldn’t be there and also said we wouldn’t see him for a few years. He said he loved us, apologized he never got to meet my brothers and I, and hung up. No one has heard from him since. – Raiden1156
My great uncle used to go up by the Hollywood sign and look into Judy Garland’s house.
That’s why you’re not allowed to go up there anymore. – ginabeena
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