The Keeper of 150,000 Secrets

Every Sunday a new batch of dark secrets appears on

It’s kind of a weird thing, going on-line to read the secrets of strangers. Weird and a little dirty. But you get used to it and it quickly becomes addictive.

It started four years ago when American artist Frank Warren decided to hand out 3,000 blank self-addressed postcards to strangers. He asked each recipient to write a secret on the postcard and mail it back to him. Participants were encouraged to set themselves free by revealing that they had a crush on their boss; cheated on an exam; lied; stole; secretly served decaf to rude customers or – my personal fave – peed in snowballs before throwing them at friends.

The only stipulation was that the secret should be true, that it should not have been shared with anyone before, and that it be sent anonymously. Warren mounted an exhibition in Washington, D.C. with the initial batch of postcards. The show was a great success and word of the “post secret” project spread. Before long, secrets began arriving from every continent, save, presumably, Antarctica (unless the scientists are freak nasty).

Warren has since tallied over 150,000 postcards, which translates as 1,000 per week. His mail carrier must be huge.

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