16 People Discuss Unassuming Hobbies That Definitely Have a Dark Side

When you think about hobbies like beekeeping or collecting Disney pins, you probably assume the people who get super into it are sweet or maybe hippies, but who definitely just want the best for everyone involved.

While that may be true of the bulk of the people in any given hobby, there are dark sides to almost anything that involves human beings – and these 16 people are divulging the dark sides of hobbies you would never believe had them at all.

16. *adds it to the list*

Wine Collecting

There’s rampant forgery.

If you haven’t watched $our Grapes on Netflix.

I highly recommend you do.

15. You can go to jail for that??


Some people go nuts, end up stealing eggs from nests of endangered birds, some go to jail!

14. Save (some of) the bees?


There are keepers who weaponized severe illnesses against others’ hives and many cases of hive theft every year.

My local orchard had their bee population WIPED out by a neighboring farm with a vengeance..the scum of the earth poisoned like 30 boxes of bees in one night just to make a point…the effect had lasting consequences on the farm

13. Once you get in the door…

I suspect people with no experience assume that hobby store-style group activities, like tabletop miniatures games, Pokemon etc. is just silly fun for nerds and kids, but the amount of drama, anger and bullshit going on in those places as personalities clash is off the charts.

I’ve heard stories ranging from stalking to assault to death threats, and that’s just the normal side of how crazy it gets.

12. Well that’s terrifying.

I’m not sure if it’s still a thing, but when I played Magic: The gathering a number of years ago.

I heard some real horror stories about how competitive Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh players were.

One story involved a guy at a Yu-Gi-Oh tournament holding a gun under the table to scare the opponent into losing.

11. Make sure you want to know.


You can uncover some family secrets that you might never really want to know. Some cousin marriages, some affairs. Once I found a birth certificate for a “doorstep baby.”

I hope the baby and the mother found their peace in life.

My paternal grandparents were first cousins. Grandparents was a letter carrier who got caught stealing mail (this was in the 1910s, so mailing cash was common. ) and did federal time. His father (my great-grandfather) couldn’t find work after his Civil War service, and became a boarding house thief, who was caught stealing clothing and stuff from other people’s rooms. He was apprehended with a list of over 50 boarding houses in Philadelphia among his possessions. His wife, my great-grandmother, ran off with his brother’s son.

My father and his five siblings were all honorable.

10. How does that work?

Wasn’t there one Yu-Gi-Oh card that got banned in competitions cause it was making people show up smelling like absolute s*%t?

The card had a line on it about the players shaking hands. And if you shook hands you would get a beneficial effect. So people would choose to not bathe or just smell terrible so that their opponent, while they might want that beneficial effect would resist because they dont want to touch the other players hand or be near them.

It kind of reminds me that super smash brothers tournaments when held in person actually had to put in rules about competitors having to bathe since some of them were unhygenic nasty fools. And it was such a common problem they had to make a TOURNAMENT RULE ABOUT IT for some tournaments people ran.

9.  The woods are no place to fool around.

Ornithology aka Bird Watching.

I’ve been harassed by other Ornithologists over territory and high frequency spots.

They will also use fake bird calls to scare birds away.

One fellow left a bloody feather for me in a spot that I frequent.

I have prepared a sharpened quill for the next encounter!

8. Stealing from kids.

I briefly took over a games/hobby/comic shop as part of an estate when the owner died until the relatives could figure out what to do with it.

The biggest issue I had were the late-teens/early 20’s kids from the university that would hang out playing all day on weekends, but when you weren’t looking they would be scamming the smaller kids out of their good (expensive) cards with bad trades. Sometimes they would talk the kid into buying an expensive card from us and then immediately trading them crap for it.

I figured it out after an encounter with a very not-amused parent.

Talking to other shop owners, I found out this is quite common and you need to be on your toes to sort out the truly helpful from the card sharks.

7. Hunting anything in Appalachia, I would imagine.

Wild ginseng hunting in rural Appalachia. The “Mountain Gold” roots are highly valuable, and illegal harvesting is big business.

Lots of shady (and armed) characters traipsing through the woods to find the stuff.

I’ve never understood this really as ginseng farms are a thing. It’s like if people were poaching wild strawberries because people like strawberries.

I understand it in the sense that I understand they’re supplying a demand, but why that demand is there is confusing to me.

6. That’s definitely dark.

Stamp collecting.

Some places won’t mint stamps of a living person, so major collectors are waiting for certain people to finally die so they could complete certain sets or have special commemorative sets made.

5. Why is this always a component?

Drum Corps.

Some Corps will literally push you past your breaking point. Some people end up getting stress fractures or worse and are told to push through them.

I’d say the dark side of drum corps (and pageantry in general) has definitely gotta be the sexual abuse/exploitation of students by instructors. Horrifically common with band directors too, I’ve found. Behind that I’d probably say neglect on the part of admins.

For example I’ve heard plenty of “we ate mustard sandwiches for lunch for a week” stories.

4. That definitely doesn’t seem right.

Macrophotography has a whole ethical debate about euthanizing insects to be photographed.

I bet that some exotic or endangered insects are highly sought after too.

On a related note, I recently heard of some photographers that were seen trampling on the nesting area of an extremely endangered bird that they were trying to photograph

3. The knitters are nuts, y’all.

My favorite is with knitting/crocheting.

Do you make a baby blanket out of wool and risk the child having an allergic reaction, or do you make it out of synthetic fibers and have the blanket it melt onto the child should a fire happen?

Either choice means you’re a demon and want all babies to die.

2. Magical obsession.

Disney pin collectors.

I like pins and will buy them when I am traveling as souvenirs. Apparently at Disney properties pin trading is a big thing.

I had stopped by one of the kiosks at Disneyland because I wanted a few Star Wars pins and saw people trading pins with the employees. I was curious about it so I googled it a bit and was amazed by the black/grey market of pin trading.

People would buy knockoffs and then go to the parks and trade them to staff or other patrons, even kids, for legit pins. Or they would find someone with a rare/valuable pin that didn’t know it’s worth and try to rip them off. I guess with obsession comes darkness.

1. I’m sorry, what now?

Manhole cover enthusiasts.

Found them while working on a school project, there are some sophisticated thieves in that community

Color me shocked, y’all!

What hobby do you know has a dark side? Surprise us in the comments!