We all have family secrets. Some of us have more devastating ones than others, but there’s usually something lurking around in each of our closets. It always does seem to be the older generations that have murkier waters than others, though. Maybe it's because those were the times when people felt it was necessary to hide their secrets and not air their dirty laundry. People were more concerned about their reputations then than they are today. It really makes you wonder what embarrasses people anymore. What if you found out a member of your family had been part of the Manson clan? Or how about the fact that your grandparents gave away children that were adopted into their family? Talk about messed up.
With the popularity of social media these days, it’s a wonder that anyone has any secrets anymore. After all, we read shocking posts daily on social media, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that’s “too personal” to say to the world. Does anything even shock us anymore? It’s hard to say. Maybe if we dig into these deep dark confessions of family secrets, we'll remember why we kept them hidden away. If you thought your family had some dirty little secrets, wait until you read these ones. It might make you think the skeletons you have aren’t as bad. Some of these secrets are creepy, disturbing, or just downright dark. Either way, you'll get some amusement from these secrets that just couldn’t stay hidden away.
15 The Manson Family
What would you do if you found out that a member of your family was also a member of the Manson family? You would probably keep an extra close eye on them from that time on, right? If someone could be manipulated into killing once, could it happen again? It’s hard to say. This Thought Catalog confession came in the form of a whisper and not a very long one.
“My mother was part of Charles Manson’s ‘family.'” Now that’s probably not something you want to get out. Not all of the Manson family murdered for him, but many of them did. We aren’t sure which category this mother fell into, but it’s still pretty creepy. That whole clan was very cult-like, and their visions for the world and Manson were very disturbing, to say the least. The man can still rule a clan while he’s locked up in prison, so he’s very powerful indeed.
14 Nazi P--n Ring
Nazi P--n Ring? You might think that you heard wrong, but this is one shocking story. I don’t know that you've ever heard a story like this one. Have you ever heard a story in your family that involved not only the Nazis but also p--n? Check this story out: “My mother was the subject of a child p--n ring held by her biological uncle on her estranged father’s side. Her stepfather was a huge Nazi sympathizer, stumbled upon photos of my uncle in Hitler youth garb. The abusers are no longer alive, but there’s a reason the moment she and my father had my older brother, she packed up and moved 3,000 miles away without a word.” (Thought Catalog)
Well now, that’s a little awkward, don’t you think? This is not the kind of story anyone wants to hear about their parents; that’s for sure.
13 Multiple Families
This story involves a grandfather that wasn’t happy just having one family; he wanted many families. It wouldn’t be the first time that this has happened over the generations. Many people live double lives; it’s pretty creepy, actually, but they get away with it for many years. In this case, a grandfather had many different families and a lot of children. That’s the kind of secret you want to keep hidden.
“My grandfather had four different families at the same time. Eventually, they found about each other and they left him. Except for my grandmother; she stayed. He has a total of 22 children.” (Pref)
22 children! How does he support that many children? It’s crazy that some people live these other lives. How do they keep up with it all? To keep it secret that long, you would think it would be impossible.
12 Disappearing Children
This family adopted children because they weren’t able to have their own, but once a real pregnancy happened, they got rid of the adopted children. Too cold to believe? Well, believe it.
"I just found out that my grandparents wanted more kids, but were having trouble getting pregnant for the second time. They adopted a toddler-aged brother and sister when my mother was seven. Soon after, my grandmother got pregnant, and the girl died from a very mysterious fall down the stairs. The boy was quietly given to another family. They never ever spoke of either child from that day forward. I thought my mom was pulling my leg, but a quick search turned up the girl's death record.” (Ranker)
Was the mysterious fall down the stairs an accident? Or was it another way of quietly giving away another child. This story is just messed up.
11 The Favorite Girl
Cults are great at manipulating people into joining them, so imagine your shock if you found out a member of your family was part of one. Usually, these sorts of things are kept hidden, but in this case, just a little internet research went a long way. It turns out that this kid's aunt was a member of a cult. But not only that; she was actually the leader's favorite. Yikes!
“I read a blog post about a cult in America, known for exploiting young and vulnerable women, where my uncle’s wife is described as the leader’s ‘favorite girl.’ Nobody in my family knows she was a part of this cult, but I did some research into it. It turns out she named her firstborn son after the leader, weird.” (Thought Catalog)
That’s not weird; that’s just plain creepy! Hopefully, her little secret won’t get out to the rest of the family.
10 Evil Mother
There are some pretty evil mothers out there, and this is a great example of it.
"My mother abused me my whole life, and one day, I finally couldn’t take anymore and told a teacher. CPS was called, and as soon as my mom realized what was going on, she raced to the police station and told them that an hour previously, I had gone crazy and tried to kill my baby sister so that I looked like the crazy one and nothing I said would be taken seriously. I was removed from the school in handcuffs and immediately taken to the county courthouse, where I had to face my mother in a trial. I chose not to testify because I knew it wouldn't help, but in the end, the judge realized that she was crazy and I wasn't. I had the choice between being put in a psychiatric hospital for teens or going home, so I chose the loony bin. Five days later, my aunt came from another state and adopted me. My family doesn't talk about it, and to this day, my mother maintains that I was a horrible child and I was 'sent away' for my 'own good,' and that she is so happy I am better now." (Ranker)
9 Axe-Wielding Granddad
This abusive man went so far as to go after his family with an ax. What a terrible person to have in your family.
“My grandfather beat my father and his brothers and his mom. My dad quit school and worked three jobs to save money without telling anyone. When he had enough money after like 2-3 years of doing that, he moved him and his brothers out of the house in the middle of the night when his dad was out drinking, never to return. The guy was pissed, to the point he somehow tracked down my dad at work (it was some factory job where he'd gotten my grandmother a job as well). Anyways, he entered the building with an ax and proceeded to try to kill my dad, who apparently was able to defend himself and my grandmother somehow.” (Pref)
8 Named After a Dead Baby
Some people hold onto their baggage for longer than necessary. Sometimes, it’s best to let go of the bad things. This is a terrible thing for a child to learn about, and no one should carry on a name from another child. It’s just too bizarre.
“For the longest time, I thought I was named after my father. Found out a few years ago that I’m actually named after a stillborn baby that my father had in a previous marriage that was named after him. My mother named me after that baby against my father’s wishes.” (Thought Catalog)
This just sounds like a very unhealthy environment, the poor kid. It probably would've been better if the kid never found out about it. Isn’t that what family is all about, though? Major dysfunctions that help us to become who we are?
7 Keeping Secrets
Sometimes, it’s not always best to keep a family secret.
"We have a pedophile in the family, one who also is a misogynist, so he molests girls with the sole purpose of ruining their lives. He had abused all of my aunts and raped a seven-year-old girl who lived next door and probably a lot of others that I don't know about. Everyone kept it pretty quiet until his wife filed for divorce because he was cheating on her and used the molestation cases for her benefit. He has three sons who still don't know what their father is. He isn't in jail because THAT would be bad for the family name because you know, 'we're all so proper and law abiding.' I keep trying to get my parents or other relatives to take action, but his wife refuses any suggestions of the sort. She also thinks that the other girls were 'asking for it.' It gets me really pissed that these people are related to me." (Ranker)
6 A Murdering Mother
What if you found out your mother murdered your brother? Could you live with that secret?
“My mother murdered my brother a while back, and while no one else knows this, I was able to talk to the mortician and discovered that my brother had his neck slit by my mother and that he had bruises up and down his arms and face. Turned out to be defensive bruises from trying to block her stabbing him. I’m the only one in my family to know, and I don’t think anyone in the family could handle figuring that out, especially since it’s been over two years now.” (Thought Catalog)
Keeping that secret might be dangerous. What if she decides to murder more of her children? The very person to keep the secret could be the next one to go. What a creepy story.
5 The Suicide
Suicide is an awful thing for any family to experience, and there is always pain left over for many years to come.
"I had an aunt who committed suicide when I was three and my older sister was four. Her daughter had run off, and no one had any idea what happened to her mom. It was my older sister who told my mom that 'Aunt Pam is playing in the garage.' Sure enough, they found her dead in her car. No one knew why my older sister knew this, and when asked about it, she said that her dream friend told her. My sister and I found about this recently. My sister also used to talk to this 'dream friend,' who came to her first in a dream about a graveyard." (Ranker)
What a creepy situation to have dreamed of someone’s death.
4 Family of KKK
A secret revealed of an uncle who was involved in the KKK:
"A great Uncle of mine passed away when I was a little boy. The family met at his house after the funeral to start packing things up and all, as he had no children and his wife [had] died many years before him. My great uncle was a highly respected member of his small town. He was a banker of some sorts, a deacon in the church, all of those things that made him a good person. Well, tucked away in the attic, not covered by any dust, mind you, was a large wooden trunk. Inside this trunk were the purple robes of a KKK Grand Dragon, various member listings, meeting notes, and all other sorts of things related to the KKK. It turns out that my great uncle was a very active, although very much secretive, member of the regional chapter of the KKK." (Ranker)
3 Multiple Killings
Imagine finding out a member of your family killed multiple people.
“My great-grandfather killed two people, and the only person who knew was his wife and myself. I found out after he died when I found his journal in the house. I was the only one really close to him because the family knew he killed his wife. No one could prove it, and it was a mercy killing as she had cancer, and assisted suicide wasn’t a thing. When he died, I was in his wood shed. He spent a lot of time out there whittling, and no one thought to check for valuables out there. The family gutted the house and his son put it up for sale. Out in the woodshed was his journal in a tool box. I read it from cover to cover. He was bullied for years by someone from another family, and he eventually drowned him in a creek and left him there. They found his body weeks later after it was washed up elsewhere. They said it was a swimming accident. The journal said he told his wife, who then used this information to get him to kill her because she didn’t want to live any longer but couldn’t get into heaven if she killed herself. The whole thing was so f*cked up. I still love my grandfather, but goddamn.” (Thought Catalog)
2 Grandma’s a Liar
Well, somebody had to say it.
“I was helping my grandmother clean her attic and come across a box with old legal papers; I’m a nosy little sh!t, so I take a break and read through them. Found a document adopting her four kids out to a family, her reasoning was she had a fatal brain tumor. Thought this was weird so I kept digging. Found another document where she took the family to court to get her kids back, had to confess the brain tumor was a lie, and she did it because the man she was with didn’t want kids. The reason she took the family to court to get her kids back: the adoptive father was habitually molesting them, including my uncle. She apparently found out because my grandmother and her new man were living close enough that my mom ran away from her adoptive parents to my grandmother’s house and told her everything. It’s hard pretending you don’t know…” (Thought Catalog)
1 Mummy in the Attic
This whole family sounds insane. I mean who would be okay with having a mummy of an old lover living in the attic?
"In 1976, my father was in the military and traveled to Guatemala after an earthquake. During the cleanup, he was at the Mayan site of Mexico Viejo. There were several burial sites overturned. For some reason, unknown to me, he brought back the remains of a female Maya Indian. He claimed to have loved her in a past life. These remains are still in the box in our attic. They are mostly dust now with a part of the skull left. My father died in 1986, so I cannot ask him about it. My mother and sisters claimed her ghost followed them wherever they moved until my dad died. I am skeptical of that claim. I also have a half-brother in Puerto Rico who is in his 30s I will never meet. I only know his name is Ricky and my dad had a fling with a Puerto Rican woman while stationed there in the army sometime in the '70s." (Ranker)
Sources: ranker.com; Reddit; Thought Catalog
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