Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat—parenting is incredibly hard and it’s full of challenging surprises. So we try our best not to judge parents for small mistakes. Everyone makes them after all. However…, some folks raise their kids in such a bizarre and unusual way that it’s making us consider whether someone should have called child services. Or at least if some grownups should have had a candid chat with the parents about what the ever-loving frick is going on in their homes.
Reddit users opened up about the creepiest things that they noticed about other kids’ families when they were small, in a very peculiar thread on r/AskReddit. ‘Weird’ isn’t a strong enough word for the type of behavior that wouldn’t feel out of place in our favorite ‘Goosebumps’ books or on TV in ‘The Twilight Zone.’ (Shout-out to R. L. Stine for scaring the bejesus out of us, time and time again.) 'The Addams Family' seems relatively tame in comparison to these real-life families.
Scroll down for what might be the weirdest things you’ll read all week, Pandas. And if you happen to recall anything similarly unsettling from other people’s homes in your childhood, you can tell us all about it in the comments. A small note of warning: some of these stories aren't for the faint of heart. If you'd like something lighter that will restore your faith in humanity, you should read our article about the most wholesome teachers ever right here.
Bored Panda got in touch with parenting blogger Samantha Scroggin, the founder of 'Running Outside in Slippers,' for some insights. We had a chat about what parents can do for their kids to always be honest with them, how the community should intervene in families' lives when the kids are being neglected, and how to avoid judging other parents for small flaws or differences in how they raise their children when they're not harmful. Read on for the full interview
#1I had a friend in middle/high school whose house no one had ever seen the interior of. Whenever we hung out, it was at someone else's house. If me or one of my other friends came by to pick her up to go somewhere (she didn't drive), we were never invited in and had to wait outside until she was ready. My other friends and I were always convinced her parents did some sort of top secret government work or something like that.
One of my friends finally did see the inside of her house, after dropping her off and having to pee so bad she threatened to go in the bushes in their yard. Turns out the parents were hoarders and had stacks of papers EVERYWHERE and that's likely why no one was ever allowed inside.
Image credits: flouncindouchenozzle
Parenting blogger Samantha is a firm believer in letting parents get on with parenting their own way, unless laws are being broken. It's respecting people's choices up to the point that children are being harmed or neglected.
"We all need to stay vigilant when it comes to the care of children. If any of us even suspect abuse, we need to report that. That said, if the children are safe and cared for, and no laws are being broken, I say let parents parent how they see fit," she said.
"We have different experiences and beliefs, and that will reflect in how we raise our own kids. We can judge all we want, but we should practice restraint in staying out of other families' business. Because we wouldn't want someone poking their heads into our lives telling us how to parent our kids," Samantha added.
#2In middle school, I was friends with this one kid who's mom had some serious self esteem and projection issues. I remember one day she picked us up from school because my own mother was ill, and proceeded to ask her son everything he ate that day; not just his packed lunch that she had made him, but snacks and what not. When he admitted to buying fries during lunch, she proceeded to scream at him, calling him things like unhealthy pig and almost sobbing at the very idea he might get fat, despite the fact that my friend was literally the most active, physically fit player on the baseball team. If this wasnt awkward enough, she stared me directly in the eye and said "See Evan? What if you get fat, and the only wife you can find is a girl like HER?"
I threw my backpack at her. Me and Evan werent allowed to hang out anymore, partially for that, partially because I told my mother about his nutcase mom.
Image credits: Closecall_
#3When I was 8 I took a trip for a month to Alabama to visit my friend and his family. His parents were extremely catholic and had VERY strong on contraceptives. One day while I was there, we took a "family trip" to the grocery store and poked holes in condom boxes. I didn't realized what is had done till years later. I still feel really bad about it.
Image credits: Want_to_69_a_goat
Samantha told Bored Panda that she makes it a priority to have an open relationship with her kids. That way, they feel comfortable coming to talk to her about anything.
"If they had a bad dream or even a yucky thought they can't shake, I'll be there with them and we'll talk it through. I think working to be non-judgemental and staying calm even if your kid might be overreacting helps cement your child's trust of you as a parent. Believe that they are being truthful of their perception of events," she stressed that parents ought to build their kids' trust in them.
#4They had this giant photo portrait of the family framed and hung above their fireplace in a place you could see from most of the first floor. It had mom, dad and three kids and was almost large enough to be life-sized but there was something really unsettling about the youngest son. Turns out he had his eyes closed in the picture so the photographer had someone paint his eyes open. It was super creepy and followed you around Mona Lisa style...
Image credits: TheVelveteenReddit
#5My best friend's family invited me to stay for dinner one night when I was around age 11 or 12. We sit down to dinner and I asked if I could please have some milk or water with my meal. No. No one was allowed to drink anything while eating their meals. They all had to wait until their plates were clean before they could get a drink. WTF? But, I'm thirsty! She remained my best friend for years, but I never ate dinner at her house again.
They also had 9 cats, one of which had a litter of 6 kittens. Looking back, it is amazing that they didn't have 100 cats, because none of them were fixed. They were concerned what the other cats would do to the kittens, which is understandable. So, they kept the kittens in my friend's bedroom. This was probably not so unusual at first, but two years later and these kittens, now cats, had never left my friend's bedroom. Never. My friend actually moved up to the attic when her older brother moved out, because everything she owned smelled like cat pee and she was embarrassed. Basically, she had to give up her room so that her family could keep 6 cats hostage in there.
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#6They froze every one of their dead house pets. Every. Single. One. Something along the lines of 4 cats and 4 hamsters and a dog in their basement freezer. I was shown this by my then girlfriend at age 15. The relationship did not last past a week after that. She is a rich horse girl. I don't want to know what they'll do with her horse...
Image credits: anon
Many people find themselves drawn to weird and creepy tales, even if they make them feel scared or disgusted. That’s because human beings have a fascination with the mysterious and macabre. Fact or fiction, we’re often enthralled by the dark spectacle. Yearning to learn more while at the same time terrified of what we’ll discover.
Writer and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor Doug Murano, the founder of Bad Hand Books, previously explained to Bored Panda why people have such a fascination with scary stories.
“I suspect that most of us—regardless of our spiritual beliefs—have a longing for something beyond this life. Human beings seem to be pre-programmed with this urge," he explained to us.
"So much of horror and speculative fiction grapples with death and what happens after we die that I can't help but believe much of our interest in such stories is an expression of a longing for experiences and existences beyond our perceptions," he told Bored Panda.
#7When I was in 1st or 2nd grade I was at a friend's house and forgot to turn off the lights when I left the bathroom. My friend's dad lost his shit. He cussed me out, made me stand in a corner, and wouldn't let me leave until I wrote "I will not forget to turn off the lights when I leave a room" 100 or so times.
It was my first and last time going to that friend's house.
Image credits: monchaton
#8When I was about 11-12 I had a friend that lived in a really big house in my neighborhood. We were never allowed to go to her house, outside or inside. One day, we were riding bikes and I fell right near her house and I insisted we get a napkin from her house to clean the blood. She was really weird about it. I only went into the kitchen and there was a door that was closed, she opened it and yelled that I was in the house. Her mom came in, she was a very pretty woman and was wearing a silk robe. She told us to hurry up and and then sent us on our way. About three months later they were in the news for running an illegal escort service out of their home. Both of her parents went to jail and my friend was sent to Florida to live with her grandma. I can't imagine what her life was like during that time or afterwards.
Image credits: nerfherder56
#9I was friends with a girl growing up and she didn't come from a very clean home. All the time there were clothes in huge piles all over her bathroom floor. Okay, whatever. But for some unknown reason no one in her family EVER flushed the toilet. They would sit, shit, and just go on with their life. Every once in a while when the bowl got too full, someone would just try to flush thus resulting in week old shit and piss pouring out in the floor all over this laundry. Nine times out of ten they would kick around these clothes then just leave the scene. They constantly bought new clothes. The worst thing this was all just completely normal to them.
Image credits: beeoakly
"Great horror stories thread a precarious needle: They maintain a sense of the truly inexplicable while creating a world and a narrative that provides enough answers to ground the story,” the writer and editor explained that the very best horror stories have to always leave some mystery for the audience to grapple with later.
“Over-explanation kills most horror, which is why the shark is scariest when you only see the fin; the alien is most terrifying when it's lurking in the shadows; the killer is most monstrous when he's masked," he said.
"My professional expertise is limited to fiction, but I'll say this: I've seen enough real magic and wonder in the world to make me think twice about whether the supernatural is real—and I think that's a healthy thing. It's perhaps less important to believe any given tale than it is to remain open to experiences while leaving room in your head and in your heart for belief,” Doug noted that the world is far deeper and weirder than people sometimes think.
#10I knew a family growing up and their policy was guests do the dishes after dinner. That's like the opposite of what you do wtf.
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#11I grew up in a horrible housing estate in london called the Aylesbury estate, I lived on the 12th floor of a high rise block. I made friends with a boy called Nicky who was from Greneda and he was black, he lived with his mother and father (or so I thought). I went round his place to play with a new fire engine I bought with birthday money, His house was so strange, every single light in the house was red, every fucking bulb. His mothers bedroom had a bolt lock on the inside for some reason. I saw his dad for the first time but something was a miss, HE WASN'T BLACK. He was 100% white. I was creeped out for a while, I went round his place again the following week and the man he called dad had changed he was a completely different man and the same happened again and again. Here's where it get's really fucked up, His mother died and he went into care, I sked my mum why he didn't live with his 'dad'. It turns out his mother was a prostitute and had convinced Nicky that his dad was shapeshifter. SHE CONVINCED HER SON, HIS DAD WAS SHAPESHIFTER when they were just customers. This was about 40 years ago. I never saw Nicky again, sadly.
Image credits: Flipper55
#12I had a friend who's mother would make her wear her cloths for a week before washing them. (She was smelling very bad) That family had 5 beautiful girls but the parents wanted a boy. The Mom would go to Church every morning to pray for a son. What was weird is that every kid in the family were also praying for a brother. It's was all they would talk about and it was feeling like a strange cult. Finally prayers were answered and the Son was born. Then we changed school and lost touch. About 15 years later, I saw her in a bus. The first thing she told me was: " Did you know I have a brother now ?" It was so weird that I couldn't say anything. WTF!
Image credits: sonia72quebec
Meanwhile, psychologist Lee Chambers explained to Bored Panda that human beings are practically hard-wired to be fascinated with stories about dangerous, dark, and disturbing things.
"When considering why the darker side of humanity and entertainment are so compelling, we have to first look at our evolutionary journey as human beings. For the majority of our existence, we were prey and always hyperaware of threats to our safety, which created a negativity bias that we are drawn towards," he went into detail during an earlier in-depth interview.
"In today's safe and often sanitized world, we are rarely threatened significantly, and the ability to explore evil, frightening and gruesome entertainment is one of the few ways we can visit this part of humanity while remaining safe and comfortable.”
#13I grew up in Pennsylvania, and a family that commuted from another state moved in a few homes down from us. The kids from the family were not really my age(much younger), so I didn't really hang around them too much. Their dad always struck me as a little weird, and I wasn't really sure about him. One day he just starts coming home dressed up like a professional wrestler, went even to the length of having tattoo's and such. He put on probably 40 lbs and went from being some skinny white dude to being a muscle bound freak of nature. Grew his hair out into a mullet, I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. Then after about a year, I saw him come home completely clean cut and in a suit. Apparently he was an undercover cop busting an underground professional wrestling league.
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#14When I was around 11 or 12, I was best friends with this girl who lived about a half mile away (grew up in a very rural area so us kids just walked through forests to our friends' houses). We did everything together but I wasn't usually allowed to stay the night at her house. Her dad was 'ill' and divorced from her mom so they lived with her dad's parents. When my mom made sure the grandparents were there the whole night, I was able to stay over. For some reason, I wasn't allowed to stay in my friends room and had to sleep out in the living room. In the wee hours of morning, I heard her dad come into the living room and breathing heavy...he was arguing with himself about cuddling and touching me but his other voice kept saying "no! She is a child and a friend of my child, so no!" I was so creeped out I never stayed the night again..
I later found out her parents divorced because of the worsening of his schizophrenia and the wife was bipolar. He was having a conversation with one of his bad voices and luckily her dad was able to suppress it and kept me safe. Still scary as a tween though. Still confused as to why I couldn't stay in her room...her grandparents were very religious so maybe they didn't want us lesbianing out? Who knows.
Image credits: SleepyHead6
#15An all girl's foster family I was with for a large portion of my childhood: They would buy those huge bags of cheap cereal, but once they bought a huge bag of puffed corn (salty snack) and forced us to eat it as cereal with milk. WTF. Also they had a trampoline as well as an above ground pool. But we couldn't just say "Do you want to go jump on the trampoline?" You would have to say "Do you want to go leap for the lord?" or "Do you want to go tread for the trinity?"
Image credits: Pr0bl3mChild
According to the mental health expert, it’s no surprise that stories and media that are all about the stranger, darker aspects of the human condition are so fascinating.
“There is a level of novelty to it, it removes boredom quickly, and it helps us to discover our emotional limits while understanding the minds of those who go beyond social norms and potentially gaining knowledge of how we might avoid being victims ourselves. They also offer closure, with many stories ending with the mystery being solved, and the criminal being brought to a level of justice," the psychologist said why, for example, true crime shows are so popular as a genre.
The psychologist stressed that some people find it “comforting” when they see evil things being done on-screen to someone else.
#16I noticed that all of the rooms in this kids house could only be locked from the outside of the room. I thought that only existed in horror movies.
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#17They would rather trust prayer over medicine.
And then one of them died.
Image credits: JackofScarlets
#18when i was 12 i had a sleepover at friends house and his parents refused to let me have dinner until i prayed with them.
this might not sound so weird but i grew up in a completely secular environments, all contact i had to religion till that point was theoretical.
my friend later told me his parents spend weeks planning to somehow convince me to get baptised because they liked me and didn't want my soul to burn in hell for all eternity.
Image credits: tehbeh
“It can take us on an emotional rollercoaster, have us trying to solve the puzzle and test our fear in a controlled way. The permission to explore evil is powerful, as we so rarely get the chance elsewhere, and in itself, it is healthy and normal in moderation," he said. However, consuming too much dark media can have negative effects on your physical and mental health.
"The challenge we face is the fact that consuming too much of this can desensitize us, and cause us to become less empathetic to the suffering of others, more fearful of our own environment, and potentially be more likely to use aggression ourselves. It can also cause us to be triggered by our own previous adverse experiences, make it harder to manage our own emotional balance, and increase our stress levels, so moderating our consumption is something we should have front of mind, even when we get embroiled in the latest series that is pulling us in.”
#19A couple of friends down the street had just moved across country from Georgia to California, and they were different in a lot of ways. The creepiest way, though, was when my friend poured a box of econo brand Raisin Bran for breakfast and it was loaded with cockroaches. He proceeded to remove each roach with his hands, and then pour milk into the bowl with the now de-roached cereal and eat it. I freaked the fuck out, and his dad came in and basically called me a little bitch and then poured himself a bowl of roach bran and did the same thing.
Image credits: thesecretblack
#20When I was about 15 I went over to this one kids house down the street. He was a year older and his front lawn was always cluttered and unkept. I went into his house and just what I expected, the place was unfinished and a total trash heap. I wanted to be polite so I stayed a bit. I met his older brother (like 20 something years old) and he showed me his high powered dart gun with a laser pointer attached. He got really pissy when I tried to touch it. We decided to go downstairs and there was this green shit all over the walls and the kid told me it was some toxic mold that sent one of his friends to the hospital when he inhaled it. He told me this like it was nothing and he wanted me to sit by it so we could play his PS2. I asked why the hell he didn't clean it and he kinda just brushed me off. I told him that it was getting late and had to go home so I walked upstairs and he didn't even say bye. About half way down the street I look back and realize his brothers green laser pointer is aimed at my back (wtf) so I crossed the street and sort of ran home.
Image credits: anon
#21This one has a happy ending.
My dad was a contractor and I made friends with one of his employee's sons because we'd always end up on the job site with our Dads. The first time I slept over at his house I got there after dark. The house was a giant one-room log cabin. The kid had like 5 siblings and all their bedrooms were just sectioned off with walls made of clothes lines and sheets. Even the bathroom didn't have walls. It was just this massive structure with a maze of hanging sheets everywhere. It made me really uncomfortable that night.
Fast forward to the next morning when we go outside to play. We walk out the back door and there's a giant mansion in the back yard. Actually it was more like this cabin was in the front yard of a mansion. Turns out the dad had bought the land and built a cabin for the family to live in temporarily while he built their dream home. He gave every member of the family some awesome feature in their new room and it remains one I'd the coolest, most unique homes I've ever been in.
We're all still friends to this day and I would describe them as the most loving family that I know.
Image credits: xyntrx
#22Fourth grade and years before kids with cell phones, I went to a friend's birthday sleepover. After pizza for dinner, the parent's friends came over and all congregated in the living room while the kids played in our friend's room.
Time for cake and ice cream brought everyone back into the living room congregating together. Afterwards, the kids went to play again. Soon, the parents burst in and accuse us all of stealing three dollars worth of quarters from one of the adult's shoe.
The wtf part of the night came later. They took each of us kids into another room and interrogated us police show style to get one of us to fess up. They wouldn't let us out of the house, they wouldn't let us call our parents. This lasted until about one in the morning when they finally let us go to sleep. Morning came, and my dad came to pick me up. I cried and told him what happened right away, and he went off on all of them and thew the money in his wallet at them.
Needless to say, I was never allowed back there.
#23When I was in 8th grade, I had a friend who was outside of my normal friendgroup. My parents were unsure about her, bur I insisted that she was awesome. Well, she came over my house a few times and always commented on how quiet it was. I never understood why because someone always had the tv going or talking. Anyway, last day of 8th grade I tell my parents I am going over to my best friends house, but I was actually going over this new girls house. Once I get there, I notice it is entirely different. The house was really, really small and had shit everywhere. You could barely walk. Then she had 4 dogs and each were grotesquely underweight. Her mom was a severe chain smoker so the house reeked of cigarette smoke. Her step dad was apparently an acoholic and as soon as we came in, he was yelling at us to do weird things for him, such as try his beer or sit close to him. I was super super uncomfortable, but I couldnt call my mom to take me home. I decided to stay and realized why she commented on my quiet house, someone was always yelling. Her dad constantly yellign at her three younger brothers or at the tv. Her mom was worse though. My friend had a baby brother in which no one watched, just yelled at. Well, this baby got into something and next thing I know, I see the mom just hitting the crap out of this baby. I was mortified. I started crying and you could tell the girl was embarrassed. I told her I had to leave and just started walking. I walked for about 8 miles to my best friends house. I never really told my best friend what happened, but she let me stay with her and it was our secret. I stopped talking to the "new" friend after the incident, which I now feel horrible about. I am facebook friends with her now and she seems to be doing pretty good. She moved out when she was sixteen and made her own life. She just graduated from college and seems happy.
#24I was surprised to find, but this is not that unusual, that the kids ate separately from the adults. They also ate different things apparently: the meal I remember was caramel chicken which was literally chicken with melted caramel. At 8 I liked sweet stuff plenty but not with my chicken and I got mildly chided for not finishing -- the mom seemed puzzled by this.
#25When I was in first grade, I remember I had a friend whose only friend was me. He smelled a bit, but he had a Genesis. He would always come over to my place for a night or so, but one day I asked why I had never seen his place. At first he was reluctant, and told me he was very poor. He had to share a bedroom with his brother and his folks appreciated the fact that they were saving money some nights by sending him here. Ouch. No big deal, we don't have to see your place man.
Eventually though, I did. He brought it up sheepishly, and I gave in. It was a very small place inside, unsurprisingly, occupied by him, his little brother, and their single mother. It seemed to be just a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a bathroom. No judgment. Good times were had. That night, however, I woke up and needed a glass of water. It was sort of dark, and I took a wrong turn. I discovered that it hadn't been my imagination earlier that day: the house did look bigger on the outside. I didn't know where I was anymore. I had left the bedroom, but I was no longer in the kitchen, or the bathroom, nor was I in his mother's room. Where the fuck was I, exactly? I was lost. Total darkness. I must have been making some noise, because just then, some light came on in the distance. It was his mother. Before I could process how far away I was from this light, I heard, "Get out of there right now!!". I hurried around a corner and through a doorway, back into the kitchen by way of some side door I hadn't noticed in the daytime. Not another word was said. I went back to bed, but lay awake for quite a while. I had accidentally explored another wing of the house--probably the other 70% of it, at least. There were at least three other rooms, with massive furnishings under white sheets. There had been dust everywhere. I could feel it on my hands and arms. At some point I noticed my friend and his brother lying awake as well, simply looking at me. Of course... their mother had to have awoken them. I whispered, "Um....." but my friend already knew. He whispered back, "That's.... our dad died in there. We don't go there. Ever."
#26In high school, I rode the bus home to a new friend's house. The house was literally like a barn. Animals everywhere. The TV was sitting on top of a rabbit hutch. It smelled like death in there. Unfortunately they lived way outside of town, like 15 miles from where I lived so I couldn't just walk home. I tried to be as polite as I could while stepping around piles of feces and chickens in the living room. After dinner (which was Hungry Man TV dinners made in a microwave that had to be duct taped shut), his mom offered me a ride home. So I go outside to her car, open the door and am nearly knocked out by the worst cat piss stench I have ever encountered. It literally took my breath away. At that moment, my friend came running out and shouted, "Don't sit down yet. You have to get a bag first." Bag? WTF? Okay, a bag. He popped open the trunk, grabbed a black garbage bag from a roll of bags and laid it out on the backseat. He said the seats were soaked with cat pee. His mom came out with keys in hand, all chipper and said, "Ready to go?" like everything was normal. I quietly sat on my plastic bag all the way into town and had to fight the urge to throw the door open as soon as we hit city limits. The next day, my friend said, "You're never coming back over, are you?" I told him maybe I would one day but I was usually super busy after school (a lie). It took several washer cycles to get the stench out of my clothes.
#27In High School, I was hanging out with a friend and she needed to stop by her apartment to pick up something. She was hesitant to let me inside but I needed to use the bathroom. The entire apartment from what I could see was empty- no furniture, no art on the walls, no anything. I asked her if she lived with her parents or if they just moved or something and she said, "no, this is where we've lived since I was in 3rd grade." Then I said that we should get some food to take with us since she mentioned that she was hungry earlier. She said that they didn't have any food. She could tell I was confused so she walked me to the kitchen to prove it. There were about 200 bottles of liquor sitting on the counters. She opened the fridge and the freezer and they were completely full of liquor. She opened all the cupboards- every one of them filled to the brim with bottles of liquor. She said, "my parents don't really eat, they just drink"
Update: (Someone asked if she turned out okay.) Yes, actually. It's a small town so even though I moved away, my Mom has remained close friends with her. She is happily married now with a bunch of kids (many of whom are adopted) and a beautiful home and a great job that she loves. Sometimes I see her when I visit during the holidays and she's always glowing- very healthy and happy. From what I've heard through my Mom, she has mentioned that her abusive childhood has helped her to be more sensitive and compassionate toward others, and as far as I know, her and her husband are completely sober now (she used to get drunk often in high school).
#28It was a blended family with 4 girls and 1 boy. The house had 3 rooms and a den that had doors on it--it could easily be a makeshift bedroom.
They crammed all 4 girls into the smallest room, and gave the boy his own room. Her stepdad worked the night shift, so he'd sleep in the den, which was right by the front door, and scream and occasionally beat her and her sisters with a belt for coming home from school and waking him up when he slept RIGHT NEXT TO THE HEAVY FRONT FUCKING DOOR. She was instructed to play outside and not come in every day till 7-8pm.
The issue is that we lived in Arizona where it is hot as fuck, so these kids are out in 110 degree weather in the desert not allowed to cool off or get drinks. It was insane.
I hated her house and always invited her and her little sister to my place, where we could play games in the AC and access the kitchen freely.
#29So when I was a kid there was a family down at the end of the road. They had a boy and a girl and we used to play. He parents always struck me as being a bit odd. The mother, who reminded me of a shorter Olive Oil from Popeye, always seemed to flinch around the dad who was basically a massive toad. The kids were afraid of them as well but this wasn't too uncommon in the south where parents would woild confuse respectwih with fear. Sometimes the son would let me ride in his powerwheels truck but then his dad, who was always stationed on their front porch, would stand up and yell at the boy for letting me ride it. When it was hot, I would sometimes ask if we could play in the shade of their garage but they would shrivel at the idea of someone coming into their house.
One day, I ride my bike to the end of the street to see if they wanted to play only to find the family cars gone and their gate closed. This was very odd as they were always home and their gate was never closed. Something seemed off but I pedaled home. A couple weeks later, still no sign of them. Some of the neighbors had been complaining of a strange smell and it seemed to be strongest around their house. After stepping off of the bus after school one day, I noticed dozens of emergency vehicles and news vans down the street. Being a kid, I rode my bike down the street to see what was going on. I couldn't get very close but I could see that the house was roped off with police tape and there were a lot of people in hazmat suits walking in and around the house. This was still early for the Internet so I had to wait till the evening news to find out what had happened.
"County officials claim this to be the worse case of animal cruelty and neglect they have seen in 20 years. Over 200 cats and several dogs were found in a home after having been left without food and water for weeks." They were eating each other. Half of them were dead and the living were scavenging what was left. I heard about some being taken out that were still alive but had no flesh on their tails, paws and faces. They found cats stuck in walls that had tried to claw their way out. The police caught up with the family in New Jersey a couple week later. The children were to stay with family members while the parents served their jail sentences. It took about a month for a crew to completely gut the interior of the house and rebuild (there was a layer of feces a few inches thick throughout most of the house). A few months after that another family moved in and that was that.
They were weird but you'd never imagine someone doing something like that. The weirdest part is that I only ever saw a couple cats around the house and a dog in their back yard.
#30Vietnam vet father. The doberman bit the kid. The father went outside to where the dog was chained up. Twisted it's neck. Buried it on the spot. With the chain still coming up out of the ground attached to the stake.
#31I went home one time with a foreign exchange student who was spending freshman year with one of the middle school art teachers from my school district. I had this art teacher in 6th grade and she was a little batty. I was a little apprehensive about staying the night at her house but Ana was a cool chick. When we got there, she (art teacher) confiscated all of my toiletries. Toothpaste, deodorant, facial cleanser, everything, and replaced it with her own homemade products because she did not want toxins from my products to become airborne in her home. Wha? The toothpaste smelled like horseradish. Needless to say I did not use toothpaste that night. I was also told to avoid this one bedroom because it was the teacher's "freak out room." Fifteen year old me was intrigued because I could see paint splatters from under the door frame on the hardwoods. Ana said she didn't want to talk about it and I didn't pry.
Cut to the middle of the night and I hear moaning and crying coming down the hall. I got up to see what the hell was going on and I notice that door is open. I look inside and see a room painted completely black on the floor, walls, and ceilings With multicolored paint splatters everywhere. There were shattered pieces of pottery all over the floor and broken canvases with half completed paintings stacked in a corner. The centerpiece of the room was my art teacher, laying the floor, naked COVERED from head to toe in this burnt orange paint flopping around like a dead fish while crying. Beside her is a painting of a sunset or something that she had ripped to shreds with a knife.
I guess I gasped or something because she stopped, looked at me, and said in a whisper, "I couldn't get the orange right." And then screams at me, "DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS BEING AN ARTIST?"
She the flops back to the floor to continue wailing and slinging orange paint around the room.
As soon as morning came I called my mom and noped it right out of there.
#32My friend could only watch one move. One movie. Ever. Mr. Bean. His parent's didn't allow him to watch anything else.
#332nd grade. I went to a neighbor's bday party. Ate 2/3rds of a hot dog and tossed the rest. Friend's dad literally made me eat it out of the garbage. Stopped the party, picked it up, handed it to me, got this wild-eyed sneering look on his face and started screaming about how he "Worked for that" and I "was going to eat it" and "respect his hard work" and "don't waste it." Yeah, the dude was fucking loaded. He could afford to lose 35 cents worth of chicken toes and pork snouts, but apparently the insult (from an 8-year-old) was too grave for him to accept.
Man, fuck that guy. He passed that shit onto his kids, too. They were all insanely status-conscious, constantly buying new shit whenever our family did... we kids built a rickety "tree-house" out of 2x4s? They hired a bunch of day-laborers to build a house on stilts for their kids. We got chickens? They hired day-laborers to build a picturesque chicken coop. We got a computer? They did. We got a nintendo? They got super nintendo.
I didn't realize people like that actually existed, but they totally do.
#34I visited a friend from school at his house, and the only door in the entire house was on the bathroom door. You were allowed to close it if you were showering or using the toilet, but it was timed. If the timer expired before you were done, his mother would angrily barge in to see what you were doing, since (as she put it) "there were no secrets in this house."
Also, because 'secrets' were not allowed, he would regularly come home from school to find the contents of his room thrown into the hallway, clothes inside out, and everything gone through during her search for secrets. He had a certain amount of time to both get his stuff back into his room and properly put away. Anything left in the hall when the timer went off was thrown out.
I elected not to return for a third visit.
#35Had a friend in high school. He lived down the street and rode the bus with one of my best friends. He was a nice guy but it was easy to tell that he had social problems(didn't know how to interact with other kids). No one was allowed to his house even though he would tell us all the time he was going to ask if we could come over. He told us he wasn't allowed to watch TV and the only one in the house was in his parents room. He wasn't allowed to come out but I think for an hour or so after school his parents were still at work so he would sneak out and come over to my friends house. He would eat as much junk food as he could get away with there and sometimes steal some in his pockets (we never said anything because we knew he probably wasn't allowed to eat anything his parents didn't give him). One day he asked us to come over after we got off the bus(I was riding the bus home with my friend to spend the night.) and said we could hang out for a little while. His room didn't have anything in it except for a bed some dressers and an empty bookshelf. He said his mom took all of his books away because she found out he snuck out once. Then it got weirder, he took a football from his parents room so we could play catch out back. There were giant holes dug all over the back yard, like 10 of them. When we asked him about it he told us that the first time he got caught coming over they took his books away, and after that every time they caught him they would make him dig the holes as punishment. It was heartbreaking, he knew he was going to get caught but still came over just to probably get a little bit of a normal life. A couple months later he was absent from schooll for a week or so and no one knew what was up. The middle of the next week he called up my good friend out of nowhere and told him that his parents caught him again and his dad beat him up bad. He said he ran away and tried to go to my friends house but no one was home. He went a couple houses down and and begged to call the police. He said he wasn't going to be living with his parents anymore and we never saw him again. The only phone number we knew of was his parents, who apparently moved out of the house a couple of months later. Forgot about him until this thread, I hope he's doing alright.
#36When I was 5, I had a mentally handicapped friend who lived a few houses down from ours. My parents stopped letting me go over there out of nowhere, but would let him come over to play.
Not long after they let me stop going over there to play, my dad and I ran into his dad at the hardware store Menards. My dad was very uneasy around him. Even as I kid I could pick up on his "how can I end this conversation and get the fuck out of here?"
I never knew why my mom and dad were so apprehensive of his family until I brought it up when I was 12 or 13 after we had moved away from that neighborhood for 7 or so years. Turns out my mentally handicapped friend's mom and dad were also brother and sister.
#37It wasn't "creepy", but I always felt bad for my friend down the street. Him and I were best friends growing up, his dad was cool and normal but his mom was super weird. She made him dress like an old man all the time, dress pants and button up shirts and loafers. One day I went over to his house to play and he answered the door in a Batman t-shirt and blue jeans, I about shit myself and asked if his mom knew what he was wearing. One day he was playing at my house and his mom showed up at the door holding a pair of scissors and saying he needed a haircut. He stepped outside and she cut his hair right on our front porch and left, didn't even sweep it up after she was done, just left a pile of hair there.
We stopped hanging out when we were like 11-12, and he got really weird by the time we got into high school, very old man like, just like his mom had raised him. Still wore casual dress clothes and came to high school every day with a cup of coffee in one hand and using a cane to walk. Then he ended up going off to college. He came back with long hair, a leather jacket, and piercings all over his face. When his mom saw him she broke down into tears.
#38This is pretty tame compared to most stories, but I was friends with a kid in high school who just straight up lived alone.
We were both 14-15 years old, and I would spend the night at his house and there was never anyone else there, even on week nights.
When I asked him about it, he always sort of dodged the topic and I never got a straight answer.
#39My best friend growing up had the most permissive parents in the world.
I was just an innocent 7 year old girl the first time I went over there and my friend clogged the toilet and she said "hey motherfuckers the shitters clogged" to her parents. I was taken aback to say the least.
Then she had the idea to dress sultry and walk around the neighborhood. When her mom asked us where we were going she just said "we're playing prostitutes". Her mom just laughed and said "have fun".
One time we were eating ben and jerrys half baked her dad asked what we were eating and he said "you guys know you have to invite me when you're getting high for real though" and he was serious. And we were 7.
They lived on a lot of land and her mom would put like 5 of us kids in the trunk of their hatchback and do doughnuts in the middle of the field with zero regard for safety.
#40I knew a guy in high school who came off a little odd but a nice enough person. One day, several friends and I ended up at his mom's house. We were sitting around the kitchen table just chatting with his mom when she lit up a crack pipe, hit it, and passed it to her son like it was no big deal. He then hit the pipe and handed it to the guy next to him. Each of my friends smoked crack that day. I did not.
#41I remember a kid arriving at school crying because he was so cold. His family was unable to provide both kids with warm clothing. It was the first wtf moment of my 8 yo life.
#42When she was little, she wasn't allowed to sleep on her bed because it was a day bed. She had to use a sleeping bag in her room every night. When she was about 8 she got a normal bed that she was allowed to sleep in though
#43My friends family had 3 dogs and 3 cats. They weren't very cleanly when it came to the house. This meant that the air smelled like pet hair, stains on the carpet, etc. Well one day said friend comes over to my house and asks why I have an empty glass by my computer.
Tell him, "I reuse the cup for water instead of getting a new glass everyday and stick it in the dish washer at end of the week."
"You mean there's no hair in the cup after you leave it out?"
"I can't wait to move out."
#44As a 12 year old, my 12 year old friend showered daily with his mom and dad.
Image credits: salzocow
#45My mom had a childhood friend whose father had a glass eye and would throw it in the bathtub with her when she was taking a bath.
#46Pour the unfinished drinks--milks, juices, sodas--back into the containers after the meal.
Image credits: MoreSteakLessFanta
#47My next door neighbor, Kevin and I were buddies because we were the youngest in the neighborhood and no one else would play with us. I would say this was when I was 9 or 10. Anyways, his parents both worked 9-5 jobs and I remember them as being very nice but in a forced sort of way. I wasn't allowed to go in their house because they didn't let anyone in. Once I had to go to the bathroom and as we were in his yard he let me in. Every single doorway in the house had a curtain covering it. They made a fake hallway right at the entrance so you couldnt see the living room or the kitchen. I asked him why they were there and he said his parents liked privacy. They also ate nothing but fast food. I remember the first time he had supper at my house he was shocked and kept telling my mom he didn't have to do something like (cook a meal for her children) that just because he came over.
They moved kind of suddenly when I was around eleven and I remember he couldn't really tell me where they were going or why. He couldn't give me a number or an address to keep in touch and he never called me so...it was sad.
Image credits: thelittlesignal
#48The parents did lines of coke around the table like it was nothing. I didn't know what the hell was going on but when I asked my mom I wasn't allowed over there anymore.
Image credits: anpn
#49When I was around 8-9 years old, there was a girl in my neighborhood that hardly anyone ever saw, outside of school. She was maybe a year younger than me. I tried talking to her a few times, and she was very, very shy. She was never allowed at other kid's houses. Reasonable, I guess. There were a lot of questionable people in our town. However, no one was allowed over at her house, either. Not even in her yard or on her driveway. This was because, in her words, her parents "didn't like kids." Okay. One friend of ours managed to see into her house a few times. Apparently all the furniture was always covered in plastic, and everything was dark.
We went maybe a month without seeing her outside of school, which was normal. One weekend, a friend and I saw her walking down the sidewalk and she told us that her father had died. Her mom told her that he 'started bleeding from the inside after he ate some crayons she didn't clean up,' and that it was her fault for not cleaning well enough.
She lived in the same house until after high school. She hardly ever spoke and when she did, it was just a whisper. She sort of seemed like a small child a lot of the time, with how she acted and pronounced words. If I weren't just a clueless kid then, I probably would have said something to someone.
Image credits: President_of_Pigeons
#50i was playing with a couple of friends at a playground with a huge set of swings and huge wooden constructions all set up in a circle... and one of the kids said: "let's play concentration camp... you are jews, i am a guard, you have to try to escape..." i was mortified... This happened in Germany. All of us have been around 10-11y old at the time, i think. His parents where within earshot and didn't seem to be disturbed by this game...
Image credits: GuybrushMonkey
#51My friend's dad had hundreds of p*rnographic VHS tapes organized on shelves in his office.
Image credits: anon
#52Went to a friends house and could hardly breathe when i stepped through the front door..they had like 20 dogs/cats and would just let them piss and shit anywhere in the house the smell of ammonia was so strong i could barely breathe, it was so bad that all the floor boards were just soaked with urine and were rotted.
Image credits: unrealzy
#53Not really that weird, but I remember my friends parents used to let my friend eat a 40 pack of timbits everyday. He was super thin, so he was blessed in that sense, but I found it odd. It was almost like a ritual.
Image credits: Andrewh112233
#54Oh man, almost EVERY day before we got on the bus my friends mom would pretend that he was some male suitor leaving the house. She would run out half clothed and throwing his clothes yelling "oh billy that was amazing! Ohhhhhh billy!" Pretty weird.
#55Went to this kid's house. He wanted to go to a near by playground. Mom told us we'd have to wait until she was finished with whatever she was doing. 6-7 year old kid pulls over a chair, stands on it, and slaps his mother straight across the face with force. She is quiet for a second or two, then says "Ok, get your coat."
Went home and thanked my Mom for being her for about 12 hours straight.
#56I had a neighbor whos mom slept on the couch. Never once of my 10 yr frienship with her did I see her mom sleep in the bedroom with her husband. Come to find out her dad does this weird thing where he hollers and kicks the wall when he sleeps.
And my friend never ate, so her dinner might be 3 bites of soup and that's it. Me being the chubby one would always get hungry in the night and try to sneak in snack from her pantry, the thing is her mom never slept so ill walk into the kitchen at 3 am and she'd be in there smoking a cigerette. I pretended I had to use the bathroom to save myself from the embarrassment of asking for food.
#57The family all slept in the living room instead of their bedrooms.
#58Neighbor kid took out a stick of butter and started dipping it into a canister of Kool-aid. After licking all the mix off the butter he repeated it over and over as if it was that fun-dip candy. It skeeved me out and I declined his generosity when he offered me the kool-aid and the butter. His older sister's were there and they said they do this all the time, it's great.
#59When I was five, I went to the neighbor's filthy house to play with two kids my age. They had a doggie door but no dog. One of the kids pointed out that that was the escape door for their mother when their father was drinking.
#60I had childhood friends whose mom would breast feed them till the age of 7-8. I never saw my two friends being breast fed but one day their little sister (who was 5 going on 6 at the time) run over to her mom, unbutton her shirt and start breast feeding while her mom was on the phone. My two friends just said "Hi mom" and we went to hang out somewhere else. It baffled me that it was so casual, especially while guests were over.
#61When I was about 12-13, I had this friend who lived in a house with her mother and 4 other sisters. One day I went to her place while on my period, and ended up using her washroom to change my tampon. I put the used one in the garbage can--which had a lid--completely wrapped up in toilet paper. Later in the night, right before dinner, we're all sitting at the table waiting for their mother, when we suddenly all hear her screaming from the bathroom "WHO HAS THEIR PERIOD?!? WHO USED A TAMPON??!" she came rushing down and all the sisters denied having theirs. I ended up sheepishly coming clean, to which she said "AND YOUR MOTHER LETS YOU USE TAMPONS?! DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT THAT DOES TO YOUR BODY?!" She then proceeded to make a whole dinner conversation out of why tampons are horrible for me, and why they've "ruined my purity forever" and bragged about how her daughters would never use anything so "primitive". Needless to say I never went there ever again.
I thought it was so weird and WTF-y because the only way she would have seen my used tampon is if she had actually gone through the garbage, looking for something incriminating. The thing is, thats totally something this woman would do, to try and find something to yell at her daughters about.
#62I used to feel real sorry for this one kid. First off: he never grew. I knew him from 2nd grade to 6th grade and in that time, he never aged past the day I met him and I'm sure it's a medical situation. He just never changed.
His dad was absent and his mom took care of him w/ his grandma's help, who lived in an apartment above them. By the way, his grandmother is some sexual sadist or something, if the rumors are to be believed and she has come on to me several times over the years.
His mother never let him outside. EVER. I have lived across the street that apartment complex for the better part of 16 years and I've NEVER seen him outside. I assume he had some sort of personal tutor. Me and him used to play video games in his place. It was always extremely cluttered. His mom would retreat to her room and smoke and play loud rythm and blues music.
There was a computer in her living room. All of it, except the monitor, was buried under countless CD's and many, many copies of The Sims. There hasn't been more than 10 Sim games, I'm sure, so she must've had many copies of the same games.
After awhile, being his friend just became too sad. I haven't seen him in many years. They haven't moved. I see his mom often and his grandmother on occasion (shudder) but I haven't seen him since the last time we hung out. I wonder if he's actually grown sometimes.
#63They were vegetarian and fed their adult German shepherds rice and vegetables every meal. There were also locks on their phone and fridge and only the mother had the key.
#64During primary school I was involved in an out of school program that required travelling to another local school. Because my parents worked during the day they arranged for me to be picked up by the mother of one of other children in my class. We went back to their place were I was to wait until my mother came to pick me up.
While I was waiting her son picked up a book and his mother turned to him and said, "What have I told you about touching your step fathers stuff?" She then grabbed him by the ear and pulled him over to his bedroom shoved him in and locked the bedroom from the outside with a heavy bolt. I can remember hearing him screaming from the other side of the door. I can't remember exactly what she said to me but it was something along the lines of this is the way it has to be.
I told my parents and needless to say I never got a lift home with them again. Also a few months later he was removed from his parents after he set fire to his bedroom.
#65Not a kid, but a girl I used to date. I was 23 and she was 18 and a freshman in college. We were about to go out and she went to take a bath while I'm waiting in her room. Her dad walks up to the bathroom door and opens it and here I am "oh, umm, no wait" and he walks in the bathroom and closes the door. Comes out a few minutes later.
I didn't ask her anything until we left, but she said "yeah...so?" Didn't ask her again. Saw him do it again when his other daughter (16) was in the bathroom.
Also, I've taken baths there before and there were no shower curtains or anything to block his view from seeing his daughters naked.
#66Had a best friend when I was elementary school age who lived right next door to me. Their house was small but nice. The parents were both doctors, and extremely hardcore Catholics. Like the kind who light candles in their walkway and pray to the Virgin Mary before leaving for the day. Going to his house sucked because it was full of old heirlooms and antiques that you weren't allowed to touch. Like old chairs you weren't allowed to sit in and china dolls sitting above the fireplace that were creepy as hell. Turns out they aren't fit for raising kids, but they felt it was their Christian duty to have them. They had one, my friend, and decided no more. They were both too involved in their careers to deal with their son, so he spent a lot of time alone at home. They were very strict about he homework, and if he ever made a grade less then "A" then he would be grounded for weeks. He grew up and played high school football to please them with his manliness, but then turns out he is gay. They were not happy about that.
#67When my friend and I went swimming when we were 9 years old, we changed at the pool. He had no scrotum. I told his mother and she said, "That's OK. We know." Now, I didn't know much then, but I knew the doctors better fix those undescended testes before puberty... I was a science geek and knew this. He never got them fixed and as an adult, one became cancerous. He's now 48 years old, unmarried and without children. God damn.... stupid parents of his.
#68My friend's single mother had a carpeted kitchen. I didn't realize how weird it was til later in life.
#69I always find it really sad that my neighbors dad sat on his lawnmower from dawn to dusk so he didn't have to deal with his family.
#70When I was younger, about 6 or 7, I was out with my mates, doing my thing, riding around on bikes ect, when we start talking about our houses. One of our friends said his living room is really red because of the flag. Which also had a weird black squiggly symbol in the middle. Apparently his German grandfather + father really liked this guy called Adolphi Hitla (Yeah, I wasn't very good with foreign names at the time) and it was just a family thing that he wasn't supposed to tell people about.
I had no idea who the fuck it was when I was a kid but looking back, I can't tell if he was joking or if there was some Neo-Nazi shit going on in his house. I haven't seen him in years and I hope that he was just having a weird joke with a bunch of kids two years younger than himself (he was like 10).
#71Visited a kids house that lived a few bus stops before mine. Ever seen a level 5 hoarder? The house was so messy the entire family slept in the mudroom with the washer and dryer on a futon bunk bed. In the kitchen you walked on about a foot of trash and the dishes were literally stacked up t
#72My friends neighbors had a basketball hoop in their backyard made out of a guillotine
#73My friends teen brother's room, was the nook under the stairs. Both parents had their own room, and he got the Harry Potter set up.
#74My friends family never finished their drinks. They always stopped drinking before it was empty. I never understood why and they would always avoid the question when I asked. The nightmares I had about those f**king cups man. WHY THE F**K DIDN'T THEY JUST FINISH THEIR DRINKS LIKE NORMAL HUMAN BEINGS?!?!
#75I had a friend whose family only drank powdered milk. To me that was pure insanity.
#76I used to hang out with a kid whose family not only didn't have a litter box for the cat but wouldn't pick up the cat shit either. The only reason I went over there was because he had an Atari 2600. I always came home with cat shit on the bottom of my shoes.
#77Friends parents would cut mild salsa with ketchup because it was too hot. That's messed up.
#78I used to stay at my buddies house a lot when we were kids. For breakfast, we would just have toast or fruit (fucking boring when you were a kid). But his fucking dad had coco-pops. But they were just for him, no one else was allowed them. One time I was like 'scrap toast, let's have coco-pops' and the family (minus the dad) were like, 'we can't, they are for dad only'... Seriously Wtf, grown ass man wouldn't share his coco pops with this kids.
#79I stayed at this girl's house on a school night for whatever reason, and we all had to take a bath. They told me to go first, but I was playing with this girl's only toy - a globe - and said I'd go last. Little did I know THEY ALL USED THE SAME FREAKING BATH WATER. THERE WERE LIKE, FIVE KIDS AND TWO ADULTS. They ALL, ALL SEVEN OF THEM, took a bath in the same water. I got pushed to the end of the line and when my turn was up, the water was brown. I mean, no longer transparent. I cried and they called my mom and then ran me new bath water.
It would appear that they were really poor, but no. Her dad was an orthopedic surgeon. Wtf.
#80I had a neighbor growing up who's parents were just the sketchiest people I've ever met.
The mom would spend an hour every time before she got in the car wiping everything down with baby wipes and then cleaning her hands with hand sanitizer, but whenever I'd go in the house (which would be rare) it'd be so gross. Layers of dirt on the floors and cabinets, old fast food bags and cups all over the place, wet dog smell lingering, it was just bad.
She'd always invite me to play at her house but I'd always say fuuuck no.
#81It would definitely be waking up early after a sleepover to stumble upon her creepy elderly uncle, exercising on a rowing machine, in the raw. I saw too much old-man penis that day. shudder
#82When I was a kid (around 12) the daughter of a woman down the street used to show up in our yard randomly. Just playing and hanging out by herself. It was weird because neither I nor my parents knew her or her mom but she was a sweet girl so nobody ever said anything about it.
5 years ago her mom was on the show Hoarders. The house was filled to the brim with garbage, she said on the episode the toilets had stopped working like 5 years ago because she was too ashamed to call a plumber so she just started shitting in plastic bags and leaving them around the house.
#83My best friend's family drank milk with ice in it. I still don't get that, although its pretty game for this thread, I'd suppose.
#84I remember going to my cousins' house when I was 6 or 7. They were like 8 and 10. I remember thinking it was weird their mom didn't eat with us -- she just drank Dr. Peppers and smoked cigarettes. Their dad was nowhere to be found.
Anyway, we were up late talking and giggling and what not in the middle of the night while we laid down. All of the sudden we hear my uncle hitting my aunt. He then comes in our room stark naked and tells us to shut the fuck up.
Never went back.
I now know she was addicted to meth and he was an alcoholic.
#85At a friends birthday party, he did something that set off his dad. I don't remember what. His dad made him lay down on the floor and then spanked him with a big metal spoon in front of all his friends. He was also big into football and made us all go bench press. We were like 8 years old.
We moved, but I found out a year ago that the wife left him and all the kids got full rides to Harvard and Princeton.