Haunting Tales: Ghost of Larrabee St. (Tallman’s Ghost)
Considering that our last Haunting Tale came from one of the ghost segments of the show Unsolved Mysteries, I was hesitant to use another case that was so popular from the show.
That was before I ran into the video segment online for the Tallman’s Ghost case, which covered the story of Debbie and Allen Tallman, who thought they had found a perfect house for their family on Larrabee Street in Horicon, Wisconsin.
However, just months after moving in, the entire family was chased from the home by what seemed to be a poltergeist type of haunting that some say bordered on the demonic.
Others say that Debbie and Allen Tallman were out of their depth when buying the house, and made the story up to escape a house they could not afford.
So what did reside in the house on Larrabee Street? Was it a cold demonic force, a pesky poltergeist or the results of mistaking the normal for the extra ordinary or even fraud?
The Start of the Madness…
The Tallman family, consisting of Debbie and Allen Tallman as well as their two children, Kenny aged seven and Mary Ann, who was almost one years old, moved into the house on Larrabee Street in Spring of 1986.
In November of that year, the Tallman’s would have their third child, Sarah.
But it was in 1987 that the occurrences of possible paranormal activity began at the house.
Things began normally enough in the ‘classic’ way that can be easily explained away rationally, such as doors closing on their own and footsteps being heard in the house.
However, the incidents would quickly move beyond the rational. Incidents included a radio dial that would work itself, a basement window that was removed one day from the inside and placed on the floor, chairs that would rock and move on their own, a paintbrush that placed itself into a can of paint and a suitcase that slid itself out from under a bed and back again.
Both the children and Debbie began to have terrible nightmares and the children, who were hardly ever ill before, began to get sick all the time.
The nightmares were one aspect of the occurrences in the house that really shook up Debbie Tallman:
“I’d wake up in the night crying, and I’d ask Allen if I was going to have nightmares like this all my life. I would dream that my kids were dying, that Allen was dying, that my father was dying.”
Apparitions were also seen, as both children referred to seeing an old haggard woman or a “witch.”
Kenny was quoted in a newspaper story that came out later about what this vision of an elderly woman looked like:
“I saw an old lady standing in the door of my room. A little old lady, really ugly, with long black hair and a glow about her like fire.”
Debbie Tallman stated on Unsolved Mysteries that her oldest daughter Mary Ann saw this witch as well, saying that it hid ‘behind her door’ and also mentioning how the figure was like ‘fire.’
Eventually Allen Tallman had had enough of this situation. One night he took his frustration out on the unseen guests in his house, challenging them to fight him and leave his family alone, as Allen stated to Unsolved Mysteries:
“I was like a wild man.
I was shouting at the top of my voice. I said: ‘Whatever is in our house, would you please leave my children alone?
If you want to fight, fight me.’”
One night in January 1988 after making these thoughts known to the entity in his house, Allen Tallman returned from working late one morning at around two AM.
On his way from his car in the drive way of the house to the front door, Allen heard a ‘howling wind.’ Then, Allen heard a voice coming out of the wind, calling ‘come here’ to Allen over and over again.
Then Allen saw something he will never forget when he looked over at the garage:
“Then it was glowing inside the garage, an orange red. There were flames coming out of the overhead door. There were two eyes in the windows.”
Running into the house in a panic, the ghost then chose to throw Allen’s lunch box across the living room, wrenching it out of his hands after he picked it up off the floor.
Allen would also report the presence making a threat to him one night while he slept in the girls room to help them sleep as they had been badly shaken by these incidents and would not sleep.
Apparently a fog or mist began to creep up from the floor of the room where Allen slept. It also appeared that it had something to say:
“I started to see this fog…on the floor.
A voice came out of it and it says: “You’re Dead.
These green eyes appeared right out of this thing, and then I saw flames and it was gone.”
The Tallman’s called in Pastor Wayne Dobratz after these events began and the pastor went on record that he thought the spirits were not only evil but down right demonic:
“I believe that my initial analysis of the entity being in the spiritual realm, the occult realm, the demonic if you will, was accurate and I still believe it’s accurate.”
Finally, after a relative of the Tallman’s began screaming at a female figure in the girls bedroom, Debbie had had enough. The Tallman’s fled the house on Larrabee Street, never to return.
Bunk Bed From Hell?
One of the more interesting factors that the Unsolved Mysteries segment honed in on was the fact that by the time the show aired in October of 1988, the Tallman’s seemed to have come to the conclusion that the haunting was due to a second hand bunk bed bought in February of 1987.
The show states that after the bunk bed was moved upstairs from the basement in May of that same year, the paranormal occurrences began. The bunk bed was in the same room as the mischievous radio that moved by itself and was used in the girls bedroom in the three bedroom ranch house, where both Allen and the relative saw apparitions and the girls would see the ‘witch.’
As word of the haunting began to spread around the town of Horicon, many locals came by to get a good look at the place and starting telling tales of blood dripping from the ceiling of the house, coffee mugs that floated in the air and a snow blower that turned itself on and took a few turns around the driveway of the house.
As the story gained some press, more and more gawkers came to look at the house, including its fair share of crazies, such as the man who told the local sheriff that he was there to help clean the house of its evil spirits.
The problem got so bad that at one point authorities were forced to barricade the house and it’s street off from regular traffic.
As the press died down so did the trespassers and paranormal tourists. The next family to move in reported no disturbances in the house and neither has anyone else since the Tallman’s fled in early 1988.
The Tallman’s themselves have not experienced any other paranormal events since leaving the ranch house on Larrabee Street, but even the children reportedly still have memories of their time living in a haunted house.
Hoax or Haunting?
It has been suggested that Allen and Debbie Tallman might have made up the haunting story to get out of their mortgage. Such things have been accused of haunting ‘victims’ before, including one case that made it all the way to the People’s Court on television and even more famously, George and Kathy Lutz from the Amityville Horror haunting.
The Tallman case even has drawn comparisons to the Amityville case, and has some wondering if the comparisons are based on there fact that the Tallman’s used it as a basis for their fraudulent ghost story.
Despite these accusations there are reasons to believe the Tallman’s side of events.
Allen and Debbie turned down a five thousand dollar pay day to tell their story to the National Enquirer and also tuned a down a chance to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
The Tallman family also lost about three thousand dollars after they left the house while giving the house back to the bank. Hardly the actions of someone trying to make a profit..
So what did torture the Tallman family almost twenty five years ago? Let us know your thoughts in the commenst below.