There was a family of girls I went to church with and none of them were allowed to cut their hair. They had to wait until they were sixteen so they wouldn't get a haircut they'd regret - because the mother had. They also weren't allowed to talk at the dinner table. One time one of the daughters was laughing at something and coughed on her food. The mom was afraid of one of them choking and dying, so talking was banned. No one told me that when I came over for dinner. I just talked and they all stared at me.
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.
Not drinking anything with dinner. They would have dinner, then after dinner someone would bring out a pitcher of water and glasses and they'd sit around the table, all drink their glasses of water without talking, put them down, and walk away.
Went to a friend's house when I was 17. She asked her mom for a snack and her mom brought out a huge raw white onion completely slathered in mayo on a plate and she and my friend just went at it with their forks like it was filet mignon. 3 years later and I still think about that shit from time to time.
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 dishware for an hour was like torture.
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 'oh, yeah, just restocking our bomb shelter! We always need to be ready for invasion'.
The act itself isn't creepy, but I was very creeped out until I realized what was happening. I was at my SO's house, and her mom was cooking and said, "I think it's about that time." Immediately the entire family (mom, dad, and six siblings) started simultaneously mumbling something I couldn't understand. After they finished and saw the look on my face, my SO said they just said grace, but everybody is in a rush to eat which is why I couldn't hear what they were saying. I thought they were going to sacrifice me.
I am told it is a little disconcerting at first, but people warm up to my very mixed family.
Here is the background, both of my parents have divorced parents that never spoke to each other and never wanted to be like that when they divorced. So we have large family get togethers where all my siblings and all my step siblings hang out with my mom, dad, step dad, and stepmom. This includes international vacations, various birthday parties, and Valentine's Day. We just all get along and we are from a small town. It's especially helpful because last year my stepmom was paralyzed from the chest down and my mom helps take care of her.
I went to a friends house and we put some cartoons on. While we were watching I asked him a question but he didn't respond, he was fixated on the TV, absolutely glued. His childminder just laughed "oh he'll be like that all evening now". So I just had to wait for my parents to pick me up whilst he unflinchingly watched TV for hours...
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".
They also collected and played didgeridoos as a family group. It sounds cool, but they were all pretty odd individuals.
Not other family, but still - one day my parents decided I'm big enough to start coming back home from school on my own. But apparently I wasn't old enough to get my own set of keys. I used to spend 1-2 hours every day sitting on a doormat, waiting for my sister to come back from school and let me in. I was often really hungry and peed my pants at least five times. I was around 10 at the time. Our neighbours, who saw me there every day said nothing. Wonder if it was creepy for them. Oh, and we were a middle class family!
After half a year my parents decided I am trustworthy and made this big 'funny' ceremony of giving me the keys. Made me sign this 'funny' contract of the key bearer and shit. Wasn't that funny for me. They still sometimes make jokes about me not being responsible enough at the age of ten to even keep the keys.
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.
This was not my experience, but my aunt's. It was back in the 50s when my aunt was a teenager.
She was hired by a couple to babysit. She'd never babysat for this couple before, but she was impressed because they were fairly wealthy and lived in a big house. The two small children (around 5 and 6 years old) were well-dressed and well-behaved. My aunt spent the day with them, fed them, played with them, etc. That evening she got them ready for bed. The parents were due back later that night.
My aunt heard some sounds coming from an upstairs closet. The children were in bed asleep. She opened the closet and found a crib, and in the crib was a baby. Both the crib and the baby were filthy. I think my aunt woke up the children and asked them about the baby, but their answers were vague -- I don't recall my aunt having any luck getting information about the baby from the two older children.
My aunt cleaned the baby up. She washed the bedding. I remember her telling me that the baby didn't really make much sound, other than the little grunts that had drawn her attention to it in the closet. She probably tried to feed the baby, but I don't remember that part of the story.
According to my aunt, the parents came home, paid her, thanked her, took the baby, and the dad drove her home. She never babysat for them again, and she has no idea what happened to the baby. I remember when she told me this story she said that as an adult she realized that she should have called the police. She was really upset that she hadn't thought, as a naive teenager, to do something to help what was obviously an abused child.
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.
I went on vacation with my buddy when we were kids. They weren't religious but before ever meal they would all say the same chant about being a better person and trying your best. It was really creepy because they would all say it in the same monotone voice.
It turned out the mom was just tired of everyone eating before she got to the table so she made up the tradition.
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.
We had a family friend whose dad would take cuddling and kissing with his 2 daughters to another level. Like they're both in college now and they still sit on his lap, cuddle up and kiss him all over (cheeks, neck, lip pecks, etc...) all in public. It's not the first time I saw something like this but it's probably the worst case.
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.
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.
There was a weird kid in my neighbourhood named Neal. He had a club foot. That's not what was weird it's just sort of memorable.
Anyway we were invited to his birthday party down the street. His parents sent invites that we were to bring a present and ten dollars to cover the costs of hosting the party.
My mom was annoyed and confused but sent us with the presents and the money. We had to give the money to Neal's parents before they let us in the house. We were each given one water balloon to throw, and exactly one slice of cake. Then we gave this kid his present and his parents sent everybody home after maybe half an hour.
Not that creepy, but my ex boyfriend used to call his mom whenever he was stressed so that she could assure him that everything would be ok. He used to send her messages like "is everything going to be ok, mom?" and she'd reply with "don't worry, you'll be ok". He was 28 at the time. He also gave her all his passwords so she could access his bank accounts and take care of his finances. And he got sent to a really cool destination for work for two weeks and spent the entire time moping about how much he missed his family. I love my parents and all, but cmon.
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.
I'm willing to out myself and my family. One day my then girlfriend now wife witnessed us putting slice cheese on our donuts. Her face was disgusted. I was not aware other people don't do that until that moment. Also, it's delicious so save your protests.
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.
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 for ever, and moms 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