Couple build 'Munsters' house in Texas
Owners watched all 70 episodes of the TV series and pored over old photos to re-create the details of the spooky abode in a new house. They are still working on the dilapidated look.
If you're of a certain age, you may remember a popular 1960s television show called "The Munsters," which featured a family of monsters trying to get by in a mortal world.
Sandra and Chuck McKee went way beyond watching the TV show. They built and inhabit a 5,825-square-foot replica of the Munster Mansion in Waxahachie, Texas, outside Dallas.
Most of the time, they go on about their lives without hubbub or ghostly apparitions. The home is not open to the public, except for their annual Halloween charity bash, when the two dress up as Herman and Lily Munster.
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"There’s a lot of research involved," Sandra McKee told Mike Yawn in an interview for his blog. "You just adjust. It’s no big deal for me to have half the house covered in cobwebs or statues. It sounds weird, but it’s kind of normal for me."
The couple spent about 18 months building the house. They knew they wanted traditional, not modern, style and settled on a Victorian. Sandra McKee said the project started when she joked to her husband that they could build the Munster house. In the end, they did.
To do the project, the couple watched all 70 episodes of the series multiple times and examined still photos of the set. Sandra McKee counted the number of steps from the front door to the staircase in the fictional house so they could build the same way.
Several members of the original Munsters cast have visited the home, which includes memorabilia from the show.
The home apparently isn't quite creepy enough, or at least it wasn't initially. A question at the couple's website notes that the house looks clean and fresh, not dilapidated like the TV mansion. The couple's response:
We are in the process of painting the house darker browns to make it look older as well as having it aged and distressed to appear very old. We are always working on ways to make the house look older and dilapidated. It is our ultimate goal for the house to appear exactly as it did on the television show.
Back around 1968 I got to take the Universal Studios tour. Nowadays it's just a bunch of carnival rides based on movies....but back then, the trip thru the streets & sets on the tram lasted for 2-3 hours. You got to walk around thru dressing rooms & visit the model shop, etc. I clearly remember that the Munster home was next door to the home of Marcus Welby M.D........and learned from the tour guide...that Welby's house was the same one used as the Cleaver residence in Leave It to Beaver. One highlight of the day was meeting Al ( Grandpa Munster ) Lewis....who was strolling about greeting visitors.........He was looking pretty "dapper" in his fine fedora & cape....sporting a cane. I made my 2nd visit to the park/lot in 1996, and was very saddened to see what had become of the once grand tour. I think the tram ride had been reduced to about a 40 minute ride....with no stops. A few of the old sets were still around, but the tour guide seemed kind of oblivious to the history of the place. I honestly believe that in my 56 years, that was one of the happiest days of my life........but then I really love that world of movie magic.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.