28 People Reveal The Most Disturbing Family Traditions They’ve Ever Witnessed Firsthand

Your family isn’t as fucked up as you think. If you look through Reddit, you’ll find some family stories that’ll put yours to shame. These are some of the most disturbing ones.

Linas Vaitonis
Linas Vaitonis

1. They had her dead cats turned into blankets

I was babysitting for a girl and noticed weird furs on her bed. She explained to me very matter of factly that they were her cats. Her parents skinned her pet cats after they died (presumably of natural causes) and put the pelts on her bed. That was the only time I babysat for them.

2. They collected and traded obituary cards

My family collected “dead people cards”. When my grandparents would go to funerals they would get those obituary cards with pictures and stuff and collect them. I think it started out as getting them for memory purposes but then they’d get them for other people, and it became like a card game. My grandparents and their friends would “trade them” and they coveted the ones that had misspellings or limited edition more. Like his one mans name was “haze” but they misspelled it as “hazel” and the ones before the funeral home reprinted them were kind of showed off as a novelty. I didn’t realize it was weird forever, and mom’s still in denial that it was weird. We had to throw out BOXES of dead people cards when my grandparents died and their stilling living friends actually got mad that we didn’t distribute them again. Wtf.

3. They burnt all their food to kill bacteria

I have an ex whose family would literally burn any meat they cooked for dinner. Chicken, fish, steak all completely burned. They were terrified about bacteria on their food. I got them to cook my steak medium well (less burned, but still above well) once but I got some serious looks of disgust.

The mother also forced me to draft a living will and instructed me on the proper way to seal a room to protect from a very likely chemical attack with duct tape and plastic sheeting.

4. They ate her pet rabbit for dinner

I spent the night at classmate’s house when I was 8. Her dad told us he was cooking dinner that night and proceeded to go out to the backyard, take one of the girl’s pet rabbits and cut it’s throat then cooked it. When she started to cry, her mom gave her this death stare and said, “Stop it. What does mommy love the best…?” And the girl said, “…. Obedience.”

5. My friend’s mom was convinced a burglar murdered my family

I was about 7-8…? I used to play with this girl that lived a few houses down and across the street (I live in a cookie-cutter, very safe and fairly decent neighborhood, across the street from the high school). Her mother never let us play outside because “there could be a drive-by.” Any car we see driving by “could be someone with a gun and could very easily shoot us and kill us.” She never let us play in the living room near the windows either for that same reason.

Another time I was over there playing with my friend, and the mom pulled me aside. She pointed to a truck she saw parked outside my house on the curb (my uncle’s truck). She told me that it’s actually probably a burglar and he was inside my house and killing my family at that moment. She wouldn’t let me go home either for the fear of me also getting killed. She finally let me go home after my mom called later and requested I come home for dinner.

That family is still crazy, even thirteen years later.

6. My friend’s father acted like playing games was a sin

I remember it was when Euro 2004 happened. I went to a friend’s house for a sleepover. I was 12 years old then. So we go to his house where his and my mom dropped us there and left. His dad was there though. I never liked this man. Anyway, he welcomed us with the most unwelcoming manner, like he hated to have me for sleepover. We proceeded to his room, and played on his PS2. After half an hour, his dad enters the room and says “ok I think its about time Michael” (my friend)

So Michael sits up and unplugs the PS2 and hands it to his father, who takes it and places it on top of a high shelf. Then, the dad makes a hug gesture, like welcoming Michael to hug him, saying “speak the words” and Michael hugs his father saying “thanks father for reminding me to be moderate with distractions from the real life.”

The hug ends, he nods us to go to sleep. I went to sleep totally weirded out due to the happening, and cause my child brain back then felt bad for playing PS2 like it was bad.

The next morning we wake up, eat and greet his mother who was there. Michael goes to his father and knees before him and says “please father can I be distracted for a while?” His mother was making coffee like it was totally normal to have her son knee in front of her husband and beg for his joy as if it was a sin. His father looks at me, then to Michael and goes and brings down the PS2 like it was the worst thing he had to do.

I didn’t even touch the controller. I was totally uncomfortable in there.

Never slept over there again.

7. My friend’s mother only cared about her unborn son

I went to elementary school with this really nice girl. She was the eldest of 4 girls, all perfectly healthy and beautiful. Kids were laughing at her because she was smelling really bad. I talk to her about it and she told me that her Mother makes her wear the same cloths for a week before washing them.

Her Mother was really busy praying to have a son. She was in the Church at 6am every morning and spend a lot of time there, always praying to have a son. Well the “miracle” happened and she had a son. That’s all they could talk about. It was like Jesus himself was reborn. It was weird.

Maybe 2-3 ago I saw her in the bus. The first thing she told me (after not seeing each other for maybe 30 years) was “Did you know I have a brother?” I was speechless….

8. My friend had mandatory cuddling sessions with his mother

Definitely has to be my neighbors when I was younger.

I hung out and played with these 3 siblings. They were all pretty normal kids, but the mom seemed kind of clingy.

During the summer we would play outside a lot. Baseball. Hockey. Go carts. Swimming. The norm.

Every single day at about 12, the mom would call the kids back to the house, one at a time. They would have to go inside for about a half hour, then come out and the next kid would go in. Never thought too much about it, until one day I was actually in their house with them and found out why she called them.

She had mandatory cuddle time with each of the kids. They would lay on the couch, and she would spoon them, in the quiet, for about 30 minutes each. Weirdest thing I’ve ever encountered.

9. She was way too invested in her daughter’s love life

I know a woman who was a manager at the restaurant my wife worked at who was living through her 13 year old girl to an extreme level. The girl would come up to the restaurant from school and her mom would trash her for how shitty her makeup was and ask her how she expected to get Brent or Jason or whoever looking like that. 90% of what she talked about with coworkers was her daughters school drama; she would read her texts, give her strategies and things to say etc. Always trashing her appearance or telling her she needed to dress sluttier before going to the football game and weird shit like that. Talked about how she encouraged boys coming over and how she liked to spy/eavesdrop, and with a twinkle of pride, told us how she walked in daughters room recently and found her coming out from under the covers in her bed this boy was in, right in the middle of a possible bj.

10. She would burst into the bathroom and take pictures

My friends mom used to bust in on her daughter’s friends using the bathroom and quickly snap a picture. She proudly showed me the photo album of random kids using the toilet looking suprised/confused as hell. Didn’t really kick in how fucked up that was until later in life.

11. They played the same movie on a constant loop

Something that I have witnessed for years only began to hit me as the realization slowly unfolded. A family that I visited frequently with all adult children who still live with their parents would coincidentally always have the same exact movie on every single time I visited. They all huddle around as though they are only watching it for the first time. Once, when I actually stayed over for a longer duration, when the movie finally ended, The TV was finally turned off only to be turned on again and the play button was then pressed for the same movie, I finally realized that this movie is watched multiple times a day, every single day, almost like a ritual and all the members of the family react the same way to the same scene repeatedly as if they have never seen it before.

12. They prayed to Jesus every hour on the hour

The Jesus Cuckoo Clock. I had a good friend in elementary school. They lived in a farm house that looked like it belonged to the Adams family. Every wall in this house had a crucifix on it. Not a small hand held size crucifix, These where 2-3 feet tall. On EVERY WALL. Bathroom, bedrooms, closets. They had a room upstairs that we were forbidden to go into. (so of course we had to sneak in and see). I didn’t know why it was forbidden, but it basically was a Vatican style church chapel complete with burning offering candles pews, alter and 6 foot tall crucifix with Jesus hanging on it. But this was not the most WTF thing. They had a Cuckoo clock they called the “Prayer clock”. The clock had the 12 disciples for the numbers on dial, I never knew what came out of the clock on the hour (probably Jesus). But every single hour that clock would go off. My friends mother would round up all the kids and make us write thank you prayers and place them in the “Prayer jar”. We had to write down thank you notes to Jesus for everything we did in the last hour, and place them in the jar. If we were playing with Legos, and had a snack I would have to write down “Thank you Jesus, for letting me play legos and eat string cheese.” His mom would read them and usually would have us edit them, saying things like, “You had apple juice too, you don’t think Jesus would be sad if you didn’t thank him for the apple juice too?”

By about 4th grade I refused to go over anymore, it was just too weird. Especially since their mom had just had a new baby, and they “didn’t believe in diapers.” They let the kid crawl around naked, and piss/shit on everything.

13. They built a bomb shelter under the house

An old friend’s mum was completely paranoid that Al Qaeda would storm the small British town they lived in… Her solution? Have a massive bomb shelter built under their house. Not the weird part, though. About about 5 times a year, she would spend literally thousands and thousands of pounds on groceries to stock the shelter with. By this, I mean she would genuinely buy out the whole supermarket (it would take her about 20 trips over a week). Not just canned food, but perishables, too…I only found this out by sleeping over on one of her ‘shopping’ days, where food covered literally every single surface of their massive house. My friend just shrugged it off and was like, “Oh, yeah, just restocking our bomb shelter! We always need to be ready for invasion.” Da fuck?

14. The entire family would walk around naked

My long time friend growing up, she and her sister would walk around their house completely naked in front of there little brothers, dad and uncle… We were 15 at the time.

15. They encouraged the daughter to get knocked up

Encouraging their teen daughters to have kids as early and as often as possible, because then they could live off welfare and child support and wouldn’t need to work.

16. They literally had to lick their plates clean

In my first few weeks of high school I made a new friend who quickly invited me to his house. He and his family were extremely down to earth, normal people it seemed. When we sat down at the table I don’t remember the finer details of the meal but.. after a while I noticed my friend and his younger brother licking every last crumb and bit of sauce from the plate, nothing out of the ordinary I thought, long day I supposed. This was until an hour later, when his mother brought my dirty plate into his room and demanded to know who hadn’t licked their plate clean. My friend nervously pointed at me. She was furious and asked how the next person was supposed to eat from it if I had not licked it clean. She left the room, surely what I was thinking couldn’t be true? I asked my friend if they actually wash their plates and he replied ‘of course, we use our tongues so the next person can use it?’ Needless to say, I never returned to that house.

17. He only called his parents by their first names

I’m seeing a lot of overly affectionate families here, but my buddy gets to me with his lack of affection. Rather than Mom or Dad or something similar, he refers to his parents on a first name basis. It’s Doug and Karen. When asked why, he looks at me like I’m a crazy person and responds, “Those are their names..?” I don’t know why it threw me off so hard.

18. His mother kept grabbing his crotch

I stayed the night with a guy I was dating and the first time I did, I noticed his mom kept grabbing his crotch. I asked him about it when we were alone and he said ” she does it all the time.” Then I noticed she had pictures of only him everywhere. She had two other sons. It was fucking weird.

19. They were forced to treat the dogs like people

I had a close childhood friend whose mom insisted that we treat their dogs like people. Whenever I went round there I had to “greet” these two cocker spaniels, say goodbye to them when I left, say “excuse me” if I walked past one of the dogs in the hallways. Stuff like that.

Sometimes we’d be eating dinner and having a conversation and the mom would try to “include” the dogs by asking their opinions and we’d all sit there in silence like idiots until she decided they’d had enough time to reply, which they never did, being dogs.

There was other stuff with those dogs but I don’t really want to relive it right now. Not the weirdest thing ever, but weird enough.

20. She licked all of the chicken wings

I went on a picnic/barbecue thing with this family. Mom, dad, three or four kids, i don’t remember. We light the barbecue and start preparing food. The main attraction is chicken wings. Yum. The wings are covered in sauce. They are placed on the barbecue and the mother tends to them. After a forever, the food is ready. She brings the huge platter of chicken wings, sets them on the blanket. Everyone is taking plates, fixing drinks for themselves etc. The woman picks up a chicken wing. Holds it with two hands, as you do, and starts licking it. She’s licking it, turning it over, keeps licking. I think, ”umm weird, but okay”. Then she puts it back on the platter. I am stunned. She picks up another one. Does the same. Puts it back. All the while, she’s talking. Saying things like ”alright kids, come on, get your chicken wings, eat”. As if… she’s preparing the wings for our consumption by licking them. I am still in shock. I can’t say anything. I’m looking at everyone else. No one, none of them is reacting. There is no sign on anyone’s faces that something weird is going on. She licks and licks and licks and they just eat it.

I had salad that day.

21. They only wore underwear in the house

My family was that weird family. From like 3-7 I would only wear my underwear when I was home (I felt free and comfortable that way). So as soon as I’d get home from anywhere I’d strip down to my panties and it didn’t matter who was at our house, be it my friends, my sibling’s friends, relatives, or friends of my parent. My family acted like it was completely normal. I’m sure people thought we were weird as hell.

22. His parents acted like the third wheel

My sister dated this guy in high school for a couple years. He had the biggest helicopter parents in the world. He would call to see if my sister was around, and then his whole family would show up (mom, dad and sister) would be with him. It was almost like they were going somewhere and dropping him off, except they would come inside and crash in the living room for hours while they waited on him. I felt so bad for the kid cause he was 17-18 y/o and his parents would 3rd wheel him everywhere.

23. Her family was obsessed with plates

I knew a girl in high school who had parents who were obsessed with dinner plates. They had such a huge collection of collectible plates in their house that every room was full of them on display. Their entire house was basically a library set up for these things. Her bedroom was a mattress on the floor surrounded by display cases of plates. You couldn’t even lean on any wall, they were all like this. The last time I went over there I knocked one off the wall by mistake. I caught it and it didn’t even break but my god the rage her dad flew into was fucking horrifying. He was inches away from punching me. Never went back! They tried to nervously laugh it off like “haha good ole dad being funny hahaha.” The one time I asked my friend why they had so many she want on a passionate tangent about all the cool plates they had and why they were so awesome, it went on for an hour. I never asked again because hearing about neat dishwear for an hour was like torture.

24. His mother checked all of his shits

I went to this guy’s house once after school. I wasn’t friends with him, but we were assigned to a project together. We’ll call him Gary. Anyways, we were working on this project when he excused himself to use the restroom. 15 minutes later he returned. A little while later, I decided to use the restroom while he was making snacks.

I walked into the bathroom and behold! Before my eyes, floating like a manatee through the brown estuaries of Florida, was the result of Gary’s earlier bathroom excursion. I shrugged it off – I mean, we all forget at least once, right? – flushed for him, took a leak, flushed again, and went to work on the project.

Gary’s mom gets home from work a couple hours later. She nods to us and says hello politely before heading towards the back of the house. A few seconds later she returns to the kitchen where we were working and screams “WHERE IS IT?” I jump and am confused, so I shoot a “wtf” look to Gary. Gary muttered “It wasn’t me, it was TheCosmicCoasta.” His mom glared at me, huffed, and walked out.

Gary later explained that every day after school he would take a dump and was required to leave it in the toilet so his mom could check it. He wasn’t even sick or anything – she just wanted to check it to make sure he was healthy or something.

I never went back to Gary’s house.

25. Her parents let her use a vibrator to clean her teeth

Not sure if this is creepy or just…flat out disgusting.

When I was about 14 or 15 I would go over to this girl’s house (I am also female) and we would hang out, blah, blah, blah. One day she came out of her parent’s room with something in her mouth. At first I didn’t realize what it was but once she sat back down on the couch, I saw that it was a fucking vibrator. In her mouth. On. I kind of flipped shit and asked her what the hell she was doing. She said her gums hurt, so she was massaging them.

The bad/sad/disgusting/weird thing was that she didn’t even know it was a vibrator. She found it in her parent’s room one day and thought it was for your teeth/gums. On top of that, her parents knew she used it for that purpose because they walked in and talked to her while she had it in her mouth. I didn’t go back.

26. The kids were excited whenever the parents had sex

I knew a guy who was the oldest of 12 children (he was 20 at the time). He told me that a few months after his mom would have a baby his parents would go on a “hotel date” and when they did, all the kids would get excited and talk to each other about if he’s gonna get her pregnant. And then they would all bug the mom about it until a few weeks later when she would announce she was pregnant and all the kids would be so excited about it.

27. They collected creepy vintage dolls

A friend from high school theater used to invite me over to her family’s house all the time. Her mom collected large vintage dolls, like child-sized ballerinas, Victorian girls, and this one overly-happy clown. They’d dress it up in their own clothing and place it around the house like it was a family joke that it was “alive.”

28. No one spoke during the entire car ride

I went on a road trip with a friend’s family one time. It was a 5 hour drive, and the entire time, no one spoke. It was completely silent. No music, no talking, nothing. And even though they had drank tons of liquids before getting in the car, no one had to pee during that 5 hour drive. Weirdest and most unsettling drive of my life. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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