Written by: Staff Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 .
If you visit Universal Studios, California, you can still visit the mansion where the 1960s sitcom, The Munsters, was filmed. 1313 Mockingbird Lane (pictured above) was the charmingly dilapidated abode of Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Eddie, and Marilyn Munster. They were a relatively normal bunch compared to their television counterpart, the Addams Family: at least for a family that included a couple of vampires, a werewolf, a Frankenstein’s monster, and a young blonde girl. Fans of the show may be disappointed to find that the house has been fixed up over the years, losing some of its rustic character. Thanks to Sandra and Charles McKee, those yearning to see the Munster Mansion in all its ramshackle glory have another option in Waxahachie, Texas.
Thirty miles south of Dallas Fort-Worth, Charles and Sandra McKee have transformed their home into an accurate reproduction of the Munster Mansion. Admittedly the more fanatical of the two, Sandra had decided that only the Munster Mansion could fulfill the role of her dream house. Not too surprisingly, there were no blueprints that the McKee’s could just pick up and follow. In order to produce an accurate layout of the original Munster Mansion, they surveyed all 70 episodes and drew up plans directly from what they saw on the TV set. To the McKee’s relief, not every room in the mansion was shown in the TV show, allowing them some creative freedom. For example, the Munsters never once visited the bathroom in the show, so the McKee’s did not have to worry about matching whatever décor might have appeared in a Munster washroom.
What did make it on screen, however, has been meticulous replicated in the McKee’s version of the Munster residence. According to Sandra, the feature that ties everything together is the hulking oak staircase that dominates the entry hall. With the help of a local artisan, they matched every detail, including the hidden door in the stairs that opens up (with the help of hydraulic lifts) to reveal the Munsters’ pet dinosaur, Spot. The house wouldn’t be complete without such ghoulish furnishings as the electric chair in the living or the Victorian candle holders and chandeliers found throughout the house; but what really gives the house a Munster authenticity is the abundance of cobwebs. The exterior has likewise been preciously copied, but the McKee’s are continually experimenting with techniques to make it look more aged and distressed.
The most amazing thing about this house is that it really is their home. Every room is functional and part of their day to day life. Naturally, Munster fans will flock to this magnificent tribute, but it is not an open tourist attraction. The McKees certainly don’t mind photographs taken from outside, but kindly ask that visitors respect their privacy. Those curious to tour the inside of the mansion can do so during the annual Munster Mansion Charity Event. There’s even a good chance you’ll get to meet one of the original Munsters in person. So far, the McKee’s have welcomed Butch Patrick (Eddie), Al Lewis (Grandpa), and Pat Priest (Marilyn) home. Of course, not every neighbor is thrilled about the macabre mansion that has appeared in their quiet, suburban town; some churchgoers have started spreading the rumor that a cult is holed up in the sinister looking mansion. To the McKees, though, their Munster Mansion is just an extension of their love and appreciation for the kooky bunch of monsters.