Haunted Bunk Bed in Wisconsin Torments Horicon Family

By on June 5, 2015

A family in Horicon, Wisconsin experienced nine months of torment after purchasing a second hand bunk bed that unleashed an evil entity into their home.
Haunted bunk bed of Wisconsin from the Horicon haunted house
Haunted bunk bed depicted in the Tallman House episode of Unsolved Mysteries, which aired October 26th, 1988.

When I was young, my family drove through Horicon often on the way to visit relatives. I was seven when the story hit the media and someone, probably my mother, told me about the haunted house there. Every time we passed through I wondered which house it was and what horrors had happened there.

The story, it turns out, is pretty damn weird.

Related: Tracking Down the Haunted Tallmann House

A Haunting in Horicon

In 1987 a family living in the small town of Horicon, Wisconsin was gripped by what may be the only case ever of haunted children’s bedroom furniture. Allen and Debbie Tallmann bought the bunk bed from a second hand shop and moved it into their home on quiet Larabee Street. Strange things began happening almost immediately. The radio would switch stations on its own. The children saw an ugly old woman in their room. She had long black hair and a glow like fire. Doors banged open and shut, a chair rocked by itself. Disembodied voices called out from empty rooms.

The Tallmanns decided to bring in their pastor, who said he felt the presence of the devil and blessed the house.

But the activity continued, and their son Danny soon became so scared he no longer wanted to stay in the house. Frustrated one day, Allen walked into the house shouting at the top of his lungs, “Pick on me, leave my kids alone!”

The next day, whatever entity was inhabiting his home accepted the challenge. Allen heard a voice from the garage say “Come here.” When he went to investigate, he saw the orange glow of fire inside, with red eyes staring at him through the garage door windows. Later, while sleeping in a single bedroom with his frightened children, Allen witnessed a fog rise out of the floor. It turned into flames with green eyes. A voice emanated out of it, telling him “You’re dead,” and then it was gone.

A few days later, a relative of the family spent the evening at the house, babysitting while Allen and Debbie worked late. A skeptic of the paranormal, this relative became a believer by the time they returned, having witnessed a horrific figure.

The Tallmanns fled their home that night in the dead of Wisconsin winter.

Horicon Haunted House

Horicon haunted house where the Tallmann family lived
The haunted Tallmann house in Horicon, WI ca. 1988

As rumors began to spread, the media and hordes of people flocked to Larabee Street to see the house. One notable visitor was a drunk guy with a bible intent on performing an exorcism. Instead of casting the devil out and saving the town as he bragged to police officers, he was arrested for drunk driving.

The story of the haunted house in Horicon quickly took on a life of its own, growing to include blood oozing from ceiling, a hole to Hell in the basement, and a snowblower that cleared the driveway by itself.

The sheriff contacted the family and met with them at the station. Many harrowing and sleepless nights had Allen and Debbie on edge. After hearing their account of the events over the last nine months, he became convinced of their sincerity. At his request, they eventually shared the details of their experience with a few select members of the press who were not seeking to sensationalize their story and promised to protect their identities. The sheriff hoped the truth would quell the growing hysteria around town.

But the interest only began to grow.

Following threats of arson, he eventually decided to also release the address of the vacant house to ensure a neighboring home with a sleeping family didn’t get set on fire.

Unsolved Mysteries

Sometime after the house was sold, the Unsolved Mysteries crew arrived to shoot on location with permission from the new owners. The episode, filmed inside the actual house, aired in October of 1988. Reenactments of the events featured local Milwaukee actors portraying Allen and Danny Tallman.

The episode is only available on the out-of-print Unsolved Mysteries: Ghosts DVD, a compilation of haunting stories featured in the series.

Unsolved Mysteries Ghosts DVD
Unsolved Mysteries: Ghosts

The house still stands on Larabee Street and, as far as I no, no further activity has been reported by the subsequent owners.

The Tallmann family destroyed the bunk beds, and never had another paranormal experience.

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  1. Wobbler

    August 14, 2015 at 6:14 am

    They deserve to be haunted for buying such a rubbish bunk bed in the first place. I could have made a better one from a couple of pallets and thrown in a free ghost.

  2. Kim

    June 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    This is why ppl don’t want to report or try to get help from the outside because everyone says their crazy and makes up stories! I’m glad that this day and time are more open about this stuff. Just because YOU never experienced it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen! Be thankful you haven’t experienced it!

  3. Richard Hartwig

    June 23, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    lived 5 miles away from that house for many years…..quite the weeks we had there for a while….cars constantly going past that house…..funny thing is….horicon actually had a police car with the number 666 for a license plate….quickly removed after all the hoopla started happening

  4. Shelly Owens

    June 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I’ve know the couple and their children that have lived there the past 20+years. Nothing out of the ordinary ever happened in the house to them. Haunted Bunk beds? Or a couple looking for a way to make some $ and get out of their mortgage? We will never know.

    • aliciamae1023Alicia Aggas

      June 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      I believe that it was one of those houses where community/people help you build it, and then you have to live in it, and pay the mortgage………As I understand, you are likely correct (with other things I will not share in a public forum).

  5. archie1954

    June 10, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    There are a lot of very stupid people around. The first thing they should have done was get rid of the beds!

  6. Skip Tikal

    June 10, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    And the reason for the fog/fire was probably marsh gas

  7. Ned Harkey

    June 10, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Did anyone check the house for carbon monoxide leaks? Usually 100% the cause of all ghostly hauntings…

    • Rocheal

      October 2, 2016 at 6:58 am

      Well i will tell you one thing. I grew up in horicon on columbia street. Are house was haunted not only by my family but friends also so it does happen.

What do you think?