Thought Catalog
January 9, 2017

25 Traumatized People Share An Unsolved Mystery From Their Dark Past

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What is the issue?
It’s hard to find a reasonable explanation for these stories from Ask Reddit. Some events are simply unexplainable.
Unsplash, User avatar Etienne Pauthenet @epauthenet Etienne Pauthenet
Unsplash, User avatar
Etienne Pauthenet
@epauthenet
Etienne Pauthenet

1. My father might have murdered my mother

“1993, I was 10 years old. My mom either shot herself or my dad killed her. For years I believed she killed herself and shunned family that said otherwise. Fast forward 17 years later, I find out my half sisters have been molested by him their entire memorable lives. Asked him point blank the day he was sentenced to 25 years in prison if he killed my mom. He still denies it. I haven’t spoken to him since, and never will again. I’ll never know what truly happened.” — Zombiecub

2. Blood mysteriously appeared on the walls

“I was at my Grandmother’s house and she asked my mother and I to help her toss old bread to her chickens, so the three of us stepped out onto the deck and started tearing bread and tossing it over the railing. We were only out there for about a minute. When we came back in there was blood on the fucking walls! Little drops of blood on every wall on the first floor and some of the walls on the second floor, none in the basement. We checked her two dogs for injuries and any trace of blood, nothing. The cat was outside, she hardly came inside. We could not find the source of the blood! We spent hours wiping the blood off of the walls that day. Years later, we were moving her out of that house and found more spots of blood behind things like bookshelves and dressers. This has bothered all three of us for years.” — Zefyros

3. My friend disappeared after an accident

“Mike. Mike and I were best friends in 1st through 3rd grade or so. We hung out all the time in school and out. One day we were hanging upside down on one of those dome jungle gym things and Mike fell. Normally no big deal except in some freak circumstance, he just so happened to be positioned directly above the concrete used to hold the dome in place. When he fell, he cracked open his head on the concrete and I remember seeing the blood on it.

Teachers ran over to help, took him to the Nurse’s office, shortly after an ambulance came and took him away. Then I never saw him again. He never returned to school and my parents didn’t know or didn’t tell me what happened. I’ve asked them since and they don’t even remember.

At this point in my life, knowing what happened will change my life exactly 0. I totally don’t remember his last name to try and find him on Facebook or anything, it just annoys me. Like, did he die or just move away or get transferred to a different school because his parents were upset at what happened?” — Sciencefacepunch

4. A mysterious window was hidden inside of my childhood home

“The window in my childhood home that I couldn’t find from inside the house. I feel like it would be easy to find if I were there now, but a little part of me believes the window only existed on the outside.” — myFriendDario

5. My mother is hiding a dark secret from us

“What my mother is hiding from us. We know nothing about her past and childhood aside form very few stories from my grandmother before she died. She’s more or less cut herself off from her entire family (they’re all really weird and sort of crazy – lots of bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, etc). My sister and I have spent our entire lives in the dark on basically everything, and she refuses to talk about ANYTHING.

While I understand there might be shit she doesn’t want to talk about, it’s not really fair to us. There are mental problems on her side of the family we need to know about because we have her fucking genes, and she’s essentially keeping some really, really important shit from us. I wouldn’t care nearly as much if she hadn’t randomly teased us with information as teenagers, refusing to elaborate, but explaining she went to an alternative school and didn’t want us to turn out bad.

Now, this is significant because my mother is the perfect picture of a mom-mom: mom jeans, wolf sweatshirt, fanny packs, she quilts, reads exclusively murder mysteries, and gardens like crazy. Oh, and works at an elementary school. So for her to radomnly drag my sister and I out of bed at 4am on a thursday to explain this to us, and give us NO DETAILS as to why…

It’s been over a decade since then and we haven’t seen anyone from her side of the family, and she won’t talk about them. My sister and I suspect she was knocked up or something, and we want to know if we have a sibling we never knew about floating around out there. It would change our lives.

I dunno, I know it’s her business, but when you have kids and burden them with your genetics, you kind of owe some level of honesty and clarity to them. She’s willingly severing us from half our lineage. I can trace my father’s line back centuries, and I find that kind of thing to be really, really important to me. With her, I had my grandma, and that’s it. She lives in her own world though, and I’ve realised with adulthood that my mother is a psychological train wreck and can be a horrible person.

I just feel bad for my dad. He’s losing his mind. She’s a stick in the mud and it’s only gotten worse over the years. Least he has his kids, we hang out with him all the time.” — DefconDelta88

6. My mother’s autopsy records were destroyed

“Pick one:

Mother killed herself and autopsy records have been destroyed. No one saw her body.

What happened to my high school ex – died of apparent drug overdose but where did he get liquid morphine and who propped his dead body on his front steps (post mortem)?” — [deleted]

7. My dog had an unexplainable incident

“The dog incident. OK, so about 5 years ago I’m painting some skirting boards near the door going into the kitchen. I’ve got the carpet bunched up and pulled back when the dog decides he wants to go out into the garden. I say, ‘What? Now? Holy Shit you are one major pain in the arse.’ I un-bunch the carpet and open the door but usher the dog through with my arm so he doesn’t touch the wet paint and I say to him, ‘Stay out there. Don’t be barking.” I close the door, push all the carpet back against it and continue painting. After about another minute I realize my knee is in agony from the uncomfortable position I’m in and I stand up to have a stretch. It’s then I see the dog lying on the couch behind me and he looks really freaked out and nervous. I run into the garden (which is completely enclosed) and there’s nothing there. I’ve never figured out what the fuck happened. Still haunts me.” — fortean-bean

8. We heard a phantom voice say our names

“When I was 5 my brother and I were playing outside and heard someone call both our names from the house. Mum was the only one home and said it wasn’t her.

Saw an orange light appear above the hill near our house one night. it expanded into a cone shape and disappeared. Maybe it was something like a flair dropped from an aircraft but I remember it being a still, silent night. There’s a ruined old house on the hill to add a creepy factor.

Dad heard a rushing noise one day and went outside to see a helicopter hovering very low near our rainwater tank, a man inside was taking photos of the tank!? Then it flew away.” — torchwar

9. I swear that I saw a UFO in the sky

“I really want to know whether the triangular ufo I saw when I was 15 really was some alien spaceship or a hallucination. I saw it in broad daylight on a cloudless day and it was close enough to see it perfectly (looked like a silvery triangle with round edges and seams at the corners). Bugs the fuck out of me.” — heroineasinladyhero

10. Someone killed my dog, but we don’t know who

“When I was about 14 years old, our dog Herbie was shot in the back with a bow and arrow. The yellow arrow was left embedded in him (it had gone right through his back and come partially out of his chest). He had to be taken to the vet and put to sleep. He suffered miserably.

Because Herbie was kept chained to his house in a pen in a wooded area next to the house, the shooter had to have gone right in there and stood over him to shoot him that way.

Only one person I knew in the neighborhood shot bows and arrows. He lived right across the street and was a friend of mine (I thought). But he denied doing it.

I’ve managed to get in touch with dozens of childhood friends on facebook. Most are quite receptive to getting to know me again. For some reason over the 30 years or so since Herbie died, this is the one childhood friend who will not talk to me. His mother and brothers were all glad to hear from me, though.

I cannot say for sure that this guy killed my dog, but I am suspicious.” — deltalitprof

11. We saw an angel on Christmas

“When I was a baby my parents lived on a long terraced street with no side streets. You could see almost all the way along very easily.

Christmas day and an old homeless man knocks on my parents door, so being christmas they invite him in for a cup of tea and something to eat.

After 45 mins he leaves. A second later they check out the door and he has disappeared. They asked all the neighbors the next day and no one had seen him or let him into their house.

My family are very skeptical and not religious, but thats one of those things where you wonder if there’s some things we don’t understand. Christmas angel?” — aurora_unicorn

12. My old toy moved on its own

“I saw my doll move in an empty room as a child. I don’t like dolls anymore.” — RakkaEclipse

13. The clock stopped the second my grandfather died

“The day my grandfather died, their grandmother clock (apparently that’s what smaller grandfather clocks are called) suddenly stopped. He had made the clock himself and took care of that clock once a week on the dot. He was super meticulous. I’ve never met him (he died three days after my mum found out she was pregnant with me) but I grew up with this clock in my grandmother’s home. They got it looked at multiple times and were told there was nothing wrong with it at all, but it just refused to work. Everyone just sort of accepted that it was probably just old or something.

When my grandmother died years later, it was sitting in my uncle’s home. He got home, went about his business, and suddenly heard it chime again right as he got the phone call that my grandmother had passed. He brought us all over to see this clock and got it looked at. It was perfectly functional and to this day it still works like a charm. I have my own explanation for this (it only started once they were united again in their next life – I’m not religious but I believe in reincarnation, I have had paranormal encounters, I live in a house that has two spirits etc) but at the same time… Freaky.” — [deleted]

14. Sometimes, I have dreams of the future

“Why do I have precognitive dreams. Perhaps a dozen times a year I wake up and remember small bits of a dream. It’s usually a single image of something from my point of view. I will promptly forget what the image was exactly but will remember that I had it. A few weeks or usually months later I will experience the image in real life and have a strange moment in my head where everything will feel like it’s being stretched and then pushed back together. When I was much younger I thought that someone had just managed to fuck with history and change the timeline. Later I reached the very short lived conclusion that I’m some sort of seer. Now I just want this shit to stop so I don’t get random deja vu induced headaches.” — 11AWannabe

15. The ghost of my aunt visited my grandmother

“While my grandmother was in the hospital, sick and dying, she said she would get regular morning visits from her oldest daughter (who had died about twenty five years prior). Nobody believed my grandma. After my grandmother died, my mother and I went to thank the hospital staff and the head nurse asked my mother if we knew the woman visiting my grandmother. My mom kinda scoffed-as if-oh, she pulled that on you too? But the nurse was serious, in fact the entire staff had witnessed a mysterious woman walk into my grandmother’s room almost every morning.” — dm219

16. We saw a horrifying face with bright red eyes

“8 year old me and my 7 year old cousin were staying the night at Grandma’s house. Grandpa was working the night shift so it was just the three of us. About 9 pm or so Grandma was taking a bath and me and cousin were goofing off. It was winter and the old gas heater made the house quite warm so we climbed on grandmas bed and put our faces up against the cold window panes. While doing so, a face, with bright red eyes, and weird veins sticking out of brown leathery skin pressed against the glass directly in front of me from the outside. My cousin saw it at exactly the same time that I did and we both lost our shit and started screaming and banging on the bathroom door. My badass Grandma comes flying out and grabs her little 22 out of her purse. She throws open the back door and starts popping off shots at a distant figure running into the woods. Didn’t hit him as far as we know. A few years ago I was visiting that same cousin and he brought the story up which surprised me a little but reaffirmed that it really did happen. I’m 50 years old now and the memory is still as vivid as it was the day after it happened. Still don’t know wtf that was, I just know that whatever it was, it wasn’t human.” — [deleted]

17. Someone carved my name in the attic

“So when I was about 17 we were redoing the ceiling above our porch/carport and doing insulation in out attic. We found this extra “room” (it was really just like… area above the carport ceiling) which we found out you could actually get to through either our attic by squeezing down this little area, or from a crawlspace that went from my at the time bedroom closet to my parents bedroom closet and farther on (had never explored there, just figured it went to attic space.)

In this “room” was a single wooden chair, a gas lamp, and a 1′ by 1.5′ board, like an inch thick. This board had several names carved into it. One in each corner, a couple in random places spaced out, and one directly in the middle.

The one in the middle was my name, which is weird because the spelling is not the normal spelling of my name. That name was also the only name that was not only carved, but also lined in red ink. It also had several scratches through it. and a large X carved through it. Never knew where it came from or who was hanging out in that little area by themselves, sitting in a chair with a single gas lamp carving names into a board.”

18. We found a mysterious man in our photograph

“Three years ago I travelled with my parents and younger sister to Chicago and while we were waiting for our hotel room to be ready, we went to the Navy Pier. At ten in the morning the pier was pretty empty so my dad took a picture of my mom, sister and I standing on the steps in front of the Ferris Wheel. No one else was near except for a woman and her daughter at the very top of the steps (in the photo the mom has her back to us and the daughter is out of frame).

During lunch we were going through the camera photos and spotted this strange figure standing just behind myself in the Ferris wheel photo. The figure was literally standing on the step behind the one I was on. He/she was very short (a foot shorter at least, and I was 16 yrs old and 5’2. All four of us can attest that no one was close to us when my dad took the picture. The person was wearing long charcoal grey pants and black boots with a long sleeve blue shirt, which was strange in its self because it was quite hot that day (nearly everyone we saw on the pier was wearing shorts and t shirts). The scary thing about it is how close the person was to me.” — pizza95

19. Someone was camping behind my house

“When I was around 10 years old, I was in the woods behind my house and found an old tent, with food, a radio, and a sleeping bag inside. Outside this tent was a fire that was still smoldering. I was young and wasn’t really worried about strangers living in my woods, so I didn’t tell my parents. About a week later, I decide to head out there again and see if the tent was still there. It was gone, and to this day I still wonder who was camping out or living in the woods behind my house.” — ConnorTG

20. I saw glowing orbs float through my bedroom

“I was up late one night on the phone with my girlfriend at the time. I was laying on the bed in the dark and just staring off into the middle of the room talking and not really paying attention to anything other than the phone call. When all of the sudden in the middle of the room these green orbs appeared on the floor. The best way to describe would be about the size of tennis balls and the color of tennis balls, except they were glowing and didn’t look solid. One seemed separate and the other three were like kinda mushed together, but all of them were in the same general area. I thought maybe it was those spots you get on your eyes when you stare at a light too long, but those lights move with your eyes and don’t stay in the same spot. I closed my eyes and opened them. They were still there. I even told my girlfriend to assure that I wasn’t crazy and it was real. They got brighter and went from very dim to pretty bright. Slowly illuminating the room and looking very much like glow sticks glowing. When they reached their peak brightness they dimmed at the same rate they brightened then disappeared. I will admit it sacred me too much for me to get out of bed when they were glowing, but after they dimmed I scurried over to the spot and turned on the lights and frantically searched the area to find the source. I never did find out what it was or what caused them. It was just weird. That was at my dads house though and weird stuff happens there sometimes.” — Boomnuke35

21. There was a strange man in my house

“When I was 4, I saw a man in my house (I lived alone with my mother). He was in the adjacent room, and he turned to me then disappeared. Then, when I was 15, I was home alone and getting food from the fridge. I saw something from the corner of my eye, and it was the same guy. He looked right at me, then disappeared again. I want to know who he is.” — QTipIndians

22. My cousin went missing

“My cousin disappeared one day. Never a trace to be found.” — whenido

23. We don’t know how the picture got on her phone

“My mom’s coworker has a photo taken on a cell phone of me and my best friend, but none of us remember the instance the photo was taken or why my mom’s coworker would have it.

Curiously too is the fact that the photo looks candid; it’s blurry, and show’s my good friend in-motion, probably acting out some scene or something we were all laughing at. My mom or someone else in the room must have taken the photo either by accident or just to do it, because the photo isn’t special in any way. It wouldn’t even be worthy of a family photo album being as its just too blurry from the motion.

Fast forward to recently, and my mom’s coworker gets a new phone. She approaches my mom and says that its the weirdest thing, but every time my mom calls her, that picture shows up as the contact photo of my mom’s number.

Alright, that makes sense. Except for the fact my mom doesn’t have the photo in her phone anymore, and that the photo doesn’t show up as being inserted as the contact information picture.

Immediately I thought it had to be some wireless back up or syncing process. My mom sends the photo or whatever files to her over the years for fun, the co-worker gets a new phone, when she sets it up the files tha are backed up on her computer or account or whatever insert themselves back onto the phone. But neither my mom or I have her coworkers email. I don’t have her phone number, and she also switched phones. There doesn’t seem to be a real solid tie between my mom and her coworker to insinuate that wireless technology/backup technology would have anything to do with it.

I can’t possibly think how that picture got to that woman’s phone. None of us even remember the instance that the photo was taken. It had been off of my mom’s phone for a long time at that point if I remember correctly.” — sillyapples

24. I woke up covered in blood

“I once woke up from a night of moderate drinking with a pair of neat, 4 inch long slashes in an X pattern cut into my back, over my ribs. I would never have known if my shirt hadn’t been stuck to me from the small amount of blood that had leaked out, as it was almost completely painless.” — Aurell1an

25. A mysterious man visited my grandmother

“When I was a kid, I saw a man in a suit and a top hat, a little fat and with a mustache, standing outside the door on my grandma’s house. He was just standing there looking at me. I freaked out, obviously, but I didn’t tell anyone.

Years later, in my 20’s, my grandmother told me that my mother used to see a mysterious figure in suit and top hat, fat with a mustache when she was a kid in her room, the same one where I saw him when I was a kid. So I told them that I saw him too, and everyone was freaked out, and we have no idea what the hell that is.” — Bergara TC mark 

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