It was a dark and foggy morning as I pulled into the driveway of the Munster Mansion. The ominous house seemed to spring up out of nowhere as I turned the corner of Brown Street. I parked, took a deep breath and walked through the towering iron gates. As I knocked on the antique door-knocker, my heart thumped louder and louder. I wasn’t sure what to expect in this creepy house…a witch? Frankenstein, himself? Would this be the last time I ever saw the light of day?
However, to my surprise, there was no monster on the other side of the door, just the warmly smiling (and definitely non-monster) Sandra McKee, owner of the Munster Mansion in Waxahachie, TX. “Come on in,” she beamed. At first, I was taken aback by the dragon peaking out at me from underneath the staircase, but then I realized Spot was just as friendly as anyone’s pet dog would be.
This is a typical reaction for guests visiting Sandra McKee’s replica of the mansion on 1313 Mockingbird Lane from The Munsters, a 1960’s sitcom about a kooky family of monsters living an average life.
Since it was built in 2001, the Mansion has attracted fans and curious on-lookers, alike — which surprised Sandra.
“We just thought everyone would say, ‘Oh there’s just those weird people on the corner,'” she said. “But now we’ve been on tons of TV shows and have had fans travel all the way from Australia to see it.”
Each year, the McKee’s host a huge event so fans can mingle and get a look at the house, and this year’s event is on Oct. 21-22 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Ticket sales benefit the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center.
At the event, you can tour the Mansion, peruse the Munster’s gift shop, play tons of games and ride the Ferris Wheel in their backyard. You can even meet Pat Priest, who played the Munster’s beautiful, non-monster niece Marilyn. There will also be performances by a magician and a fire-breather.
The idea for the now-famous replica first started when Sandra and her husband, Charles, were looking for a home in 2001. After not finding the perfect house, she jokingly brought up the idea.
“I said to him, ‘You know, we could just build the Munster Mansion’ and to my surprise, he said okay,” Sandra said. “I just ran with it before he could change his mind.”
In 2001, the McKee’s began building their dream home. They didn’t have actual blueprints, so instead, Sandra meticulously watched episodes of the sitcom over and over again to get the house exactly right.
“I knew Lily [Munster] was about 5 ‘4″, so I could tell by how many steps she took as to where to place things throughout the house,” she said.
Furnishing the house has been an ongoing process to find the exact match for each piece of furniture. Every room is laid out exactly like in the show, whether it’s actual props from the show (like the items on the dining room table pictured above) or recreations (Sandra had the electric chair in the living room custom-made).
As you roam through the cobweb-covered rooms of the Mansion, you’ll find Herman Munster reclining in the hazy living room watching reruns of his famous show.
Mrs. Lily Munster will show you around her eerily beautiful dining room, complete with tattered wallpaper and picture frames just barely hanging on the walls. But, careful, she’s just vacuumed (which she likes to do in reverse so the dust blows out and cakes the entire room…)
And if you look closely in the entry hall, you’ll find the famous coffin-phone. Upstairs, you can stir up trouble with mad scientist Grandpa Munster in his lab…but be warned, you never know what kind of hair-brained potion he’ll concoct next. You can even hang out with werewolf son Eddie and his stuffed doll, Wolfie in his room — which is full of more pointy objects than should ever be allowed around a growing boy.
You never know quite what you’ll find in this spooky and kooky mansion, so be sure and drop by on Oct. 21 and 22. The event is cash only and parking is at Finley Junior High, where shuttles will pick up and drop off visitors at the Mansion. Click here for more information.