Jim and Katherine Tatum experience a series of supernatural occurrences in their new home.

Jim and Kay Tatum are sitting on a couch in their living room.

Was the Tatum’s home haunted?

Kay Tatum is sitting on her bed, back to the camera, peering out through the blinds on the window.

Kay says she heard the drill outside her room


A man hidden in shadow is walking in the hallway outside the bedroom door.

They said a ghostly man walked by the doorway

In a quiet suburb near Atlanta, Georgia, Jim and Kay Tatum built a new home, with plans to retire. But in January of 1986, five months after they moved in, the Tatum’s began to experience a series of incidents that would ultimately force them to put their house up for sale. One night, Kay Tatum couldn’t sleep. She sensed a strange presence in the hall outside her bedroom. When she got up to investigate, Kay caught a glimpse of a man walking past her open door:

“It was definitely a man, and he was swinging his arms lightly, and his head was slightly bent, and he walked briskly past me. At first I thought it was my husband. And I went into the bedroom and there my husband was in the bed, so I thought we had a burglar.”

Jim searched the house:

“There was no evidence of any entry, or of anyone having been in the house. So I thought perhaps Kay had just been using an overactive imagination.”

Shortly after the incident, Kay began to suspect that it may have not been an actual living person at all:

“I had fear, and I was perplexed about what happened. And while I was tossing and turning, I suddenly remembered that I didn’t hear any sound as he passed me. I still am unable to figure out why it happened.”

A woman in pink pants in bending down to pick up a drill off the floor.

She said the drill was off, but it made noise

Two months passed without further incident. Then, one night in March, Jim was working upstairs on the house. He stopped when Kay called him down to dinner, and, as usual, made sure to unplug his drill. As the evening wore on, Jim decided to watch a movie, while Kay went upstairs to read. One hour later, Kay heard the sound of the drill outside her room. She assumed Jim was teasing her about having seen a ghost. But before long, she felt the joke had gone on long enough. But when she got to the hallway, it was empty, and the drill was unplugged. Kay Tatum:

“I was really frightened and I reached down and felt on it and it was ice cold. It had not been turned on.”

Now, Jim too started to believe something strange might be occurring:

“I was very confused, too. I knew very well that something was happening because Kay is very level-headed. And she was truly frightened.”

The strange events continued. One night, Kay heard the sound of coins falling in a bowl. But she was alone in the room. Another time, while cooking, Kay felt two sharp tugs on her blouse:

“After that incident, I decided we had a problem in this house. There was something going on. It wasn’t something that we could understand or explain, but there was something definitely going on.”

A small white porclein bell in the shape of child angel sitting on a wood table.

Did a small bell ring on its own?

The occurrences all seemed to center around Kay. Terrified by what was happening in their house, Jim and Kay turned to an expert for help, parapsychologist William Roll:

“The question comes up, why is this family having these experiences? Is there some sort of ghost that has come back to haunt them for some unknown reason? What’s taking place? A lot of people have these experiences. It’s part of who we are as humans, to have these so-called psychic experiences.”

Dr. Roll believes that memories can actually be transferred to physical objects. These residual memories can be triggered by ordinary people.

It wasn’t long before Jim finally had his first strange experience. It started with a small bell. An early riser, Jim always got up hours before Kay. When Kay woke up, she would ring the bell if she needed anything upstairs. One day, Jim heard what he assumed was Kay ringing the bell:

“I’d grown used to climbing the stairs after hearing the bell. And so I did so, and it wasn’t Kay. She was asleep. So I went in and looked at the bell, and it was there. I obviously heard something else, other than the bell.”

After the third time this happened, the Tatum’s decided to make up a code in order to outwit the entity. Kay would ring the bell three times if she wanted Jim to come upstairs. One morning Jim heard the call:

“It rang three times. I knew this was Kay, because this was our signal, but Kay was sound asleep. And the bell was in the other bedroom, where it stays. I went in and looked at it. I turned around and walked out the door, and the thing rang again! So, I began to, to see how Kay felt. I was frightened. My hair stood up on my neck. I told Kay then, no more bell. I’m not going to answer that bell anymore. And that bell has not rung since.”

William Roll is no stranger to these types of incidents:

“There are a number of haunting cases that are not very striking, not very strong, but where the phenomenon is, nevertheless, quite disturbing to the family. It might be a bell ringing, a fleeting glimpse of an apparition. The events are trivial, but they’re deeply upsetting to the family because they don’t fit into the picture that most of us have of the world. And that image of the physical world, particularly of our home, is intricately related to who we picture ourselves as being.”

In the end, things got so bad that the Tatum’s moved out of their home and put it up for sale.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season one with Robert Stack and season seven with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.


  1. Bryan

    This actually took place around the corner from the bloody battle off Kennesaw Mountain in Kennesaw- Marietta Georgia. The story is, the “new housing” which was placed on the land of the battle site just off the mountain in a small residential area built on the war site. Lots of mysteries here, when I lived in Marietta I would hike this once a month and a hiker went missing here, nothing turned up and then about 3 months later his body showed up not far from where this story took place.


  2. l Bill

    Ghosts and demons are two different things. Demons are straight from hell, whereas ghosts are stuck and not being able to pass on, attached to something here on Earth. These ghosts are most likely from purgatory


  3. Steve Bradee

    Why would there be any reason to believe any of this? Seemed like the wife was f’n with the husband and anyone else who would pay attention to her. Hopefully someone got a good deal on that house after they moved out and got devorce!
    Can’t believe they aired that segment, what a waste of time to watch…


  4. Cory L Jacobs

    Have Jim and Kay both passed now? What became of them? Cory J.


  5. Chris

    I cant believe I found this. When I was like child I watched this episode alone, late at night. There was a familiarity about the story. Turns out, staring at me in our china cabinet, was the same bell. Thats when I knew I loved this show. Even now I get the chills thinking about that bell. I couldn’t sleep properly for weeks because I was afraid to wake up hearing that bell.


  6. Joshua Jeffrey

    Why can’t you find the classic episodes like this with Robert stack hosting on YouTube or even this site. It would seem besides the fact I enjoy watching that theres a lot of cases that aren’t solved and the more you get them out there the better chances they would get solved. So it doesn’t make sense that you have to pay to see them. Or at least get them on Netflix which everyone I know has.


    • Unsolved Mysteries Post author

      Hi Joshua – FilmRise is handling the distribution, and we hope the Stack episodes will be available on YouTube in the future.


  7. Angela Myers

    there were no carbon monoxide poisoning issues in their home. The ghost in their house was an old civil war soldier who never moved on. They found out their house was built upon an old civil war ground. The reason why I know is because Kay Tatum was my great-aunt. And when they use to come down to visit us when I was little … they use to tell us all kinds of things that the “ghost” would do. May explain why I am so into the paranormal now


    • Michael

      This reply kind of creeps me out. I had a strange urge to revisit this board today, and I noticed that you posted it as a response to my carbon monoxide post *exactly* five years ago… *on my birthday.*
      I’ll just regard it as a supernatural sign that you’re right.


    • Chris

      Hi Angela. Did your Great Aunt ever reveal the location, house that they lived in? I’ve heard there are other houses around that also experienced strange happenings


  8. Michael

    Last year I heard a report about mild doses of carbon monoxide poisoning in houses that cause people to have visual AND auditory hallucinations. The scientist (who I assume was unfamiliar with this case) specifically mentioned reports of ringing bells. I’m IN NO WAY STATING that every ghost incident is connected to carbon monoxide poisoning because I actually believe in hauntings (especially The Comedy Store in Hollywood) in general. But this case might fit the bill.


  9. Bill Blaski


    When I put my email address in it doesn’t allow me to hit the submit button??? What’s going on?


    • Bill Blaski

      On the email update section, not the comment section.


      • Unsolved Mysteries Post author

        Hi Bill – are you experiencing the issue with the mailing list, tips, or submitting new stories section?


        • Bill Blaski

          It’s on the main home page under join our mailing list.

          It lets me enter my email address, but won’t let me hit submit?



          • Unsolved Mysteries Post author

            Thank you for letting us know about the issue – we will work to have that fixed ASAP. Can you please let us know if you are browsing the site from your phone or a desktop, and what browser you are using? Feel free to email us at unsolved@unsolved.com Thank you!

          • Bill

            Hello I’m browsing from my phone samsung s8

            It’s running the newest android operating system. Android 7.0

            Hope this helps

  10. Bryan

    I always got the impression that Kay was playing tricks on Jim. Just seemed like he was clueless and she was all in.


  11. Donna S.

    The “ghost” is another spirit called a demon, one of the fallen angels, a spirit serving satan.
    Before I became a Christian, I dabbled in the occult, and I saw manifistations of spirits. One must be careful not to invite the spirits to come and “bother” you! Once I accepted Jesus as Lord and my personal Savior, the evil spirits were afraid of me because of Who I now love and belong to: Jesus Christ. I have not seen any manifistations since, thanks to the One True God who protects me!


  12. Tiffany jones

    Who is the ghost


  13. Tianna Sperdakos

    I know who those people are and who the ghost is. we have the same problem. call 5153905


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