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Rumors People Heard As A Kid That Turned Out To Be True

Reddit user Only-Carpenter-6689 asked: 'What's a local rumor you heard as a kid that turned out to be true years later?'

two young girls sharing a secret
Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

There's a saying, "Little pitchers have big ears."

The visual doesn't mean much to us now since the type of container it's based on isn't widely used today.

But the saying has hung around because the sentiment is still sound.

Kids—"little pitchers"—hear absolutely everything you don't want them to hear with their "big ears."

This includes profanity, family secrets, and juicy gossip.

Reddit user Only-Carpenter-6689 asked:

"What's a local rumor you heard as a kid that turned out to be true years later?"

Books, Covers

"A vagrant-looking man used to collect cans from local parks and whatnot (imagine someone pushing a shopping cart in tattered clothing)."

"Rumor was he was generationally wealthy."

"When he passed away he left a fortune to the park and rec department to update facilities."

~ blow_montana

NOT Harry Potter

"This older kid had this lightning streak scar all over one side of his neck and down his body."

"The rumor was he was throwing stuff at the power lines behind our neighborhood."

"Turns out he was. He was throwing copper wire at it, and it arced."

"He's lucky to be alive."

~ WhyEvenTryEver


"We used to have a local homeless lady, supposedly a Vietnam War Army nurse. Her experiences there ruined her, and she refused help from her wealthy family."

"It was all rumors, though—until she passed away."

"Her family turned out to be the people who owned Utz potato chips."

"They paid for her funeral since she wasn't able to refuse any money or help anymore."

~ BugMan717

Love Was In The Air

"When I was in elementary school—probably like 3rd grade?—all the kids in my class would joke about how our primary teacher and our Spanish teacher 'liked' each other."

"We were all little kids, so of course, it was just dumb little kids joking around."

"That is, until a few years later when I was in middle school, and I found out my old teacher and our Spanish teacher got married."

~ CountChoculasGhost

Don't Go There

"That if you rode bikes or four-wheelers down this certain trail, an old man would come after you and attack you."

"A few years later, some kids were riding four-wheelers down that trail, and an old guy shot and killed them both."

"Damnedest thing. They had already left his property before he caught up to them, and he killed them on public land."

"I'm pretty sure he died in prison a few years ago."

"Southeast Tennessee, up on one of the mountains."

"I remember a few kids from school saying we weren't supposed to go through his property to get to the waterfalls."

"Then my dad told my brother and me the guy had been raising cane with all of his neighbors about cutting through his land and not to do it anymore. That's when I took it seriously."

~ JudgementalChair

True Lies

"Rumor had it that way up the old road out of town, somewhere in the woods, was a satanic cult that held seances and other mystical rituals by firelight. Scared the willies out of us kids, and our parents wouldn't let us ride our bikes anywhere on that road."

"Decades later I was working on a commissioned history project for the town and talked to the old man who owned the oldest homestead in the county—way back in the woods along that road."

"While photographing the creek that ran through the stone foundation basement of the home, which the settlers used for water generations ago, I noted the burned-out tea candles everywhere."

"Guy lit up and said, yeah, back in his younger days, he and his wife used to host elaborate costume parties on the property, often by candlelight for the fun of it. He'd heard the rumors of the satanic cult and thought it was hilarious."

"So he and his friends ran with it and held parties in monks' robes and had bonfires and lived it up. He still laughs about it, and now, so can I!"

~ shiggyhardlust


"There was an elderly man that could be seen walking all over town. Long gray beard. Usually seen in tattered clothes. 'Walking Man' or the 'Silver Bullet' were nicknames for him."

"The rumor was he was actually really wealthy, but lots of people just assumed he was homeless because he was always walking, carrying groceries or whatever."

"Well, about a year before he passed away, it came out that he was actually one of the wealthiest residents in our town when he donated millions to local youth programs and schools."

"Turns out, he just liked walking a lot and placed no value on material things like clothes and cars."

~ Spo_Ofzor

Cult Down The Street

"There was a rumor at my high school that that the building down the way was a cult."

"It wasn’t unheard of to dare people to go over there, and then you’d end up being followed or sometimes invited to dinner."

"Turns out, it was the headquarters of the cult the Duggars are in, Institute of Basic Life Principals (IBLP)."

"I was watching that documentary—Shiny Happy People—and my mind was blown because all the high school rumors had been true!!"

~ _curiouschloe_

Murder House

"It was a local urban legend that this huge, old, abandoned house was haunted because, like, a century ago, there was a murder there. Kids would freak each other out over it, tell ghost stories, sneak onto the property, whatever."

"I thought it was just that, an urban legend about an abandoned house."

"Nope! In the early 1900s the husband and wife were found dead in the house. It was never solved, but the son was suspected because he was missing and never found."

"No one moved into it after that and it’s sat empty since. I only found out because they planned to tear it down to build apartments on the property 2 years ago but the local community rallied to preserve it."

~ Mat_Cauthons_Hat_


"We had a pizza place in town that it was rumored if you asked for extra oregano, they knew you were buying marijuana and would hide it under the pizza."

"Turns out it was true and was the only thing keeping them in business because their pizza was awful. After the guy got busted, the pizza place went out of business a few months later."

~ robbviously

"That's A Cult, For Sure"

"Grew up in a beach town in California. One year, these Christian hippie types started rolling around, passing out pamphlets and inviting people to the new restaurant they were opening."

"I look at my friend after they walk away, and I say, 'that's a f*cking cult for sure,' and laughs were shared, and it became a running joke. We ended up going to the restaurant multiple times."

"They had really good food, good ambiance and became kind of a staple restaurant for locals, and they never pushed any agenda on patrons."

"Cut to a decade later, I'm living in Las Vegas and had a coworker from the same area I grew up. Turned out she grew up in that cult and escaped when she was 23, a few years before I met her."

"We ended up becoming kinda close, and she shared some of what it was like. When I was running around the beach getting approached by these dudes when I was probably 13, she was working at the restaurant, without pay, under strict rules."

"Turns out the cult—Twelve Tribes/Yellow Deli—is known for child labor violations, has been accused of abuse multiple times, and makes everyone work in a for-profit business for free. And I'm sure she just barely scratched the surface for me."

~ DJ-spetznasty

Behold A Pale Horse

"We had a rumor about there being a white horse in the woods behind the movie theater in our town. There were a couple homeless people living there, though, so no one went and checked it out."

"Well, before seeing a movie one day, me and a couple of friends decided to make the trek. We stumbled past the makeshift camp and found a small path that led to a fence."

"We stood there for a couple of seconds, and then, seemingly out of nowhere, a majestic white steed came trotting towards us. We snapped a quick pic on an early 2000s cell phone of our friend and the horse, then got the hell outta there."

"The pic looked absolutely fake, and no one believes us about it to this day."

~ xbutcherx


"When I was a child shakes cane we had the legend of The Baroness. Supposedly, she lived in a haunted house and drove around a pink hearse!"

"When I was old enough to drive and explore on my own, I finally saw her! In her pink hearse!"

"She also did live in a house that would have coded as spooky or haunted to a small child. It was just an old house with neat architecture."

~ NonStopKnits

Isn't This The Plot Of Poltergeist?

"The park we used to play football at used to be a cemetery. They exhumed all the bodies and moved them years before I was born."

"We’d freak each other out, especially at night, saying there were still bodies buried there."

"One day, we were playing, and they were doing some groundskeeping work, and they found a coffin. The state came out and found 30 more."

"We were actually playing on top of hallowed ground."

~ Telrom_1

I can't recall any local rumors—true or false—from my childhood, but my Mother was always straightforward. She didn't really gossip.

And our whole family—both sides—was less "hide the skeletons in the closet" and more "put them on the front porch with a big sign."

Family scandals, we had.

Family secrets, not so much.

Do you have any true rumors from your childhood?