Haunted Bunk Bed in Wisconsin Torments Horicon Family

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 Unsolved Mysteries episode, 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.


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 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 in bed sleeping 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, helping Debbie with the children while Allen worked late. A skeptic of the paranormal, this relative became a believer that night when a horrific figure materialized in the bedroom as he was putting the children to bed.

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 continued to grow.

Following threats of arson, he eventually decided to 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 the Tallmanns.

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 Tallmann family disposed of the bunk beds. The house still stands on Larabee Street and, as far as I know, no further activity has been reported by the subsequent owners.

11 replies
  1. Avatar
    Joseph Belas says:

    The year is 2007 when my family and i visited Davao City Philippines as usual it was very hot and i got out of bed to be the first one to wash it was about 5am no one else awake 8 persons in the house ( my ex wife now) had recently purchased the house by dishonest paper-works i did not know of this till much later,whilst i was washing my face i noticed on the right hand side of the wall near the sink a blood droplet began running down the wall ,i touched this dripping blood and wiped it away,the Philippine people had no remarks to make,but on my return to the UK my home here was dreadfully haunted so much so that i called for help from religious officials at Norwich Cathedral which helped very little,however i found by placing salt at each doorway helped a great deal from the tormenting spirit.Two days ago whilst having a shower blood was seen coming from the floor of the shower unit.
    I am convinced that my ex wife has used her voodoo powers to curse me and all that surrounds my life.The blood has not come from my body i am 100% sure of this.


    Joe, Norwich City uk

  2. Avatar
    Wobbler says:

    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.

    • Avatar
      Ben says:

      Sit down and have a nice tall glass of stfu it’s not that serious go bang your ankles somewhere else it’s just to give thrilling entertainment for people that have never experienced the paranormal

  3. Avatar
    Kim says:

    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!

  4. Avatar
    Richard Hartwig says:

    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

  5. Avatar
    Shelly Owens says:

    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.

    • Avatar
      aliciamae1023Alicia Aggas says:

      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).

    • Avatar
      Rocheal says:

      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.


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