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  • Writer's pictureivebeenthinkingpod

#82: Family Holiday HORROR Stories

The Almost Permanent Vacation

not really a family related horror story but my family went to Hawaii for vacation years ago (I was like 14) and on our flight back one of the engines went out so we had to turn back around except we had to circle for like 3 hours to burn off fuel......the landing gear also was malfunctioning so the landing was super rough. we finally got off the plane and were greeted by ambulances and fire trucks and shit lol

we got escorted to a hotel and were given a free night and free dinner tho

(in response to whether or not the experience traumatized them from flying)

haha nope not at all! I love traveling and so does the rest of my family still. flights crossing oceans do give me anxiety though but I don't fly internationally very often lol

honestly yeah it was scary but the best part? the crab legs the hotel fed us from a buffet. I've never had crab since and I don't know if I could because it would ruin the memory of how g** damn good they were


Your Saur Kraut made me puke, Brenda

I don't know if it counts as a horror story, but it is pretty funny and very on brand for me. TW: purging (but not due to an eating disorder)

When I was around 7 or 8, my dad had remarried to an absolute witch of a woman. We lived in a different state from them, so most of the time it didn't bug my siblings and me, but whenever we would visit (once every couple years or so), we had to suck it up and just deal with it. We didn't like her, but dealt with it for my dad. She didn't have kids of her own, so she tried "mothering" us whenever we were there. My siblings are both 5 and 6 years older than me, respectively, so I had to deal with most of that nonsense. I have always hated confrontation, so I would just kind of shut my mouth and take it. She would draw my baths for me and try to bathe me, which is super freaking weird and I knew it then too. She never did anything untoward, thank God, but I still hated it. I told my dad I didn't like it, but he said to just humor her because she so badly wanted kids of her own. She eventually stopped when I told her myself that I knew how to draw and take a bath on my own. One year, when I was 9 or 10, we were visiting for Christmas and she had made a big pot of saur kraut. I was a pretty picky eater back then and had never even heard of saur kraut, so I was adamant that I didn't want any on my plate. My dad said that I had to at least try it. Pretty fair thing to say, and understandable to ask of a child. As many families did back then, we had the "clear-your-plate" rule, meaning whatever was on your plate had to be eaten, even if you were done or didn't like it. So imagine my horror when my dad's wife put a giant heap of saur kraut on my plate. As I said before, I am extremely non-confrontational, but when feeling attacked I can get incredibly passive-aggressive. I ate everything around the mound of mush and then just kind of sulked. My dad started getting increasingly angry with me and told me I had to eat it all. I told him that I was full and felt sick. He told me that he didn't care. It was on my plate; I had to eat it. I complained that I hadn't served it to myself. I told him it was too much. His wife told me I had to eat it all. I sulked some more. Dad said I couldn't leave the table until it was all gone. It was almost time to open up Christmas Eve presents. I had to do it. So I ate it all. Every rancid bite. And then I primly excused myself from the table, walked to the restroom, shoved my fingers down my throat, and threw up. I walked back into the dining room, looked at my step-mom and said, "Your saur kraut made me vomit," and then went to watch whatever movie was playing in the living room. Now that my dad is blessedly divorced from this woman, we tell this story and laugh. Back then though? Woof.

I still hate saur kraut to this day.


Nightmare Family Vacation

Family holiday? Eh....I mean they're the same all around and kinda boring. Maybe a couple shouts here and there and I'd tell you the things I dislike about family holidays but at the same time, I don't 100% hate them.

But let me tell you about family vacations because omfg, I hate family vacations. Let me tell you this one family vacation that made me hate family vacations overall. I think I was around 14 or 15 and my parents wanted to take me and my sister to a beachfront hotel in Florida. I couldn't remember what the exact name was (calypso or bermuda, idk), but it wasn't a chain hotel like Hilton or Holiday Inn. It was a local. Around that time, I wasn't too jazzed about family vacations because I was slowly beginning to like studying and working because of the independence and peaceful isolated times I get away from my parents.

So me and my family arrive at the hotel and we check in. I remember this small two bed in one room being dusty as hell. I was sneezing and wheezing all the time. The place was dirty and I remember the refrigerator was leaking. We(and by we, I mean me because my parents told me call front desk) contacted front desk and they said maintenance would be there. While we waited, my parents wanted to go to the beach. So we did and set up our shit in this one beach spot. Took about like minutes to get everything set up perfectly in just the way they wanted. Which by the way, they only had like 2 or 3 beach chairs and of course, I didn't get a seat. At the end of the day, we come back to our room and I'm back to wheezing and sneezing. My parents thought I was being dramatic but it got to the point where I got read eyes and snot coming out. It also got hard to breath if that gives you an idea of how dusty the room is. No one but me in the family was as sensitive to dust as I was. I can handle a couple of dust bunnies but that room, oh my god, the AC vents was caked with dust, the curtains had dust just waiting explode into the air, the tables weren't even wiped.

So it was a nightmare. And there was no signs that the maintenance man came in cause the fridge was still leaking and it wasn't even working. "We" called front desk and the lady there said she thought maintenance came by but that didn't seem to be the case. It was around the time maintenance had already went home so I told them that I couldn't breath in the room and it was too dusty. She apologized and said to come up to the front desk to get a new key to move to a new room. Oh by the way, she didn't know she was talking to a 14 year old until we went up to the front desk. Yeah as soon I got there and told her the situation, she had this surprised look on her face and said "oh, that was you on the phone?". So if any of you at this point are wondering what kind of parents I have, it's the lazy narcissistic kinds.

Anyways, the new room was a little better, but still a tad bit dusty. At least the AC in our new room was less dusty than the one we were in. Fridge worked too so that was a plus. Was I still wheezing and sneezing? No, just sneezing and I ended up cleaning up whatever dust was in that room just so I could sleep peacefully. Which by the way, my mom didn't sleep very well cause of the noises coming from the hotel bar.

The next day was awkward and a tad more worse than the first. The hotel we were at had its own restaurant and bar and we decided to eat there. Well the restaurant was like a Russian Roulette cause when I got my food, I noticed something was off. I couldn't remember what I had but I remember I was complaining about the food tasting weird. My parents and sister however had no complaints. They just thought I was being uptight. So yeah, I had to suck it up and eat my food. Didn't enjoy it unfortunately and I had to just so I wouldn't cause a scene with my parents.

During our time at the restaurant, I think we met the owner of the hotel. I say I think because he didn't look like one. He just came over to ask how everything was and we only had one complaint but that was all. The way he acted was strange though. Let me paint you a pretty picture of what the owner was like. He looked more like a lifeguard and didn't stand out very much. I understand it's Florida and it gets hot but he had on the same T-shirts as the one you would get from the front desk's gift shop. You'd think the owner would stand out a little more to their guests, right? Anyways, our interaction with him was weird cause when we complained about our room, he just said "Oh" and "Okay and "I'm sorry". It was like talking to an NPC. Guy was weird as hell. My parents didn't think much of it but I was like "this guy has a lot of red flags tbh".

Oh by the way, remember when I said the restaurant was like a Russian Roulette? Later that day I got intimate with the toilet and got the funny idea that my food had something rotten in it. And I say it was rotten because over the time of growing up, I came to find out what rotten food tastes like and looking back at it now? My food was rotten. The hotel restaurant served me rotten food and I don't understand my parents didn't taste anything weird. I guess I had that one dish that required that rotten ingredient. Back to me getting intimate with the toilet, my mom was chastising me about me eating bad junk food and then the conversation got out of hand when I brought up the fact that it was the food and that it tasted weird. So now my parents at that point think I'm too high maintenance and dramatic. They were convinced it's the whole angsty teenage phase and wanted to ruin the vacation for others. I can't say I never had the teenage phase but I also can't say I remember what I did as a teenager that matched the whole trope of teenagers getting out of hand.

Right, so in the remainder of the vacation, we basically didn't do much but stay at the hotel and "have fun at the beach". Didn't go to visit any museums or attractions. That's every fucking vacation with my family. And every time I try to bring up the fact I don't want to come, they say I have an attitude and that I'm ungrateful.

If it were me and I had decided my own vacation, I'd be doing a lot of shit like hiking, going to museums, rock climbing, hunting even! Yeah my family aren't those kinds of people unfortunately. I guess they just wanted a break from work.


"Your dad is my dad" Thanksgiving

When I was around 10, Thanksgiving was hosted at my house. There was already some family drama between two of my aunts from years before. They refused to attend the same parties and never wanted to speak of the other or about anything involving my cousins. I was much older when I finally knew why. Apparently aunt A thought aunt B was trying to sleep with her husband and when aunt B denied the accusation, claiming they were just good friends, aunt A refused to ever speak to aunt B again and vice versa.

Anyway, Thanksgiving at my house this particular year, a truce was set and everyone was invited for dinner. Naturally, each aunt was in their separate corner with their kids and each generally ignored one another, but there weren’t any sly glances or whispered insults so we had dinner in peace.

Now the drama begins. Aunt B decided to leave the party first. She said her farewells and grabbed her kids to load them in the car. My mom, a few more aunts, and cousins went out with her to thank her for coming and being a good sport. Her eldest son, my least favorite cousin, was approached by a little girl walking his way from across the street. She said hello and asked if so-and-so was his dad. He said yea and she straight up said, “he’s my dad too. You’re my brother.”

Dead silence.

Everyone knew it was true except for my aunt and her kids. The reason I didn’t like this cousin was because he was just like his dad. Arrogant, stubborn, macho. The apple did not fall far from the tree. Whenever her husband came to drink at parties without his wife, he’d laugh about all his affairs and the hush money he paid to keep the other kids fed. He mocked the man who was raising his kids as his own and who knew his wife was openly unfaithful. I had no doubts my cousin would be just as scummy when he grew up.

He made a disgusted face and told her she was too dirty and full of fleas to be anything special. She started crying and aunt B called her a little liar and that she needed to go back home instead of spreading lies. She shoved my cousin in the car and drove away. The girl ran back home. We were all shocked into silence, but my mom was pissed. She immediately went to aunt A and demanded to know if she’d been the one to orchestrate everything. She denied it, but for someone who loved to gossip, she was very cool about the whole thing. Everyone knew.

After everyone left, I asked my mom why no one had ever told aunt B about her unfaithful husband and the other kids, but my mom told me she’d known for a long time. I thought they’d get a divorce for sure after that day, but everything went on like it always did and my cousin still thinks that girl is lower than dirt on his shoes.


Thanksgiving and Forgetting (or, alternatively, Meth Head Thanksgiving)

This family holiday horror story begins during a summer when I was in undergrad in a medium sized southern U.S. city.

One weekend, I was on the way to a club with a neighbor. We were both planning to see the same band, so we decided to walk together. She mentioned on the way that she needed to grab some money from a guy that owed her. It was right on the way.

I didn’t think much of it until someone opened the door to the apartment and she asked for ‘Scary Larry.’

We waited for a good five minutes. Nothing.

She finally knocked again and pushed her way in.

We found Scary Larry and four others munching chips on stained couches watching anime. They were pretty clearly high on something.

I wondered, this, the first time I recall seeing Scary Larry, if he got the name because he had done scary things, or just the hollowed-out scarecrow look he had.

She asked for the money he owed her. Though he did get the money, he then increasingly aggressively tried to talk her into staying. Pulling on her, alternating between anger and pleading.

I had been calmly trying to deescalate but I finally spoke up loudly when she more clearly conveyed she wasn’t staying.

Scary Larry got in my face and asked ‘who the fuck’ I was to say that she was leaving. I told him, “no one, but she said she is leaving, so that’s her decision. I’m leaving too, so…we’re leaving.”

We started to walk out and he blocked the door. I told him to move. He shoved me.

“Again Larry, move. And don’t touch me again.”

At this point, I’m looking for weapons. I see a bat behind the door.

He cussed at me and went to shove me again and I picked him up and smashed him through the coffee table in the middle of the room.

I grabbed the bat. Again, he had four friends right there.

But his four friends…they just laughed and berated him.

We left.

All she ever said was ‘sorry about that.’

About five months later, I was back from my out of state school for Thanksgiving.

My parents were pretty happy that my little sister was planning to come to dinner. Long side story short, it had been a somewhat rocky road for her. Failed out of high school initially, was stripping, alcoholic boyfriend, etc. But was getting back on track.

They were less happy about the two guests she brought.

Scary Larry was a fine guest by mine and my sister’s standards. It was a bit sad to see how much he, I think genuinely, appreciated my mother’s cooking. (her cooking is terrible).

I didn’t get the other friend’s name both with Larry only saying it with a mouth full of food and the friend’s jaw being mostly wired shut. But I think he enjoyed the Thanksgiving meal that we put dish by dish through the blender for him.

But my parents didn’t appreciate Larry’s vulgar sense of humor. Or either of their lack of table manners.

They progressed to speaking in German, lecturing my little sister about her choice of friends, etc. Larry didn’t seem to remember meeting me before at all. Even with me repeatedly making potentially memory jogging jokes. I couldn’t recall if the friend was one of the guys that had laughed at him back in the summer, but he never seemed to make the connection.

In the end, they happily went home with substantial doggie bags.

My mom refers to that as the meth head Thanksgiving and has forever since more closely scrutinized guest lists.


Bless all of y'all who submitted. The link to the Reddit thread is below! Listen to the episode to hear some of my and Adam's additions hehe

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