The Munster Mansion In Waxahachie
Need something cool and scary to do this Halloween Season?
Visit the Munster Mansion!
Located in Waxahachie, the Munster Mansion is the proud home and hard work of Sandra and Charles McKee. The mansion is a replica of the house used in “The Munsters” 60’s sitcom show. It has been painstakingly recreated room by room, through watching and re-watching footage from the show.
“Our goal is to spread our passion with the general public of the Munster Television series and share our hard work and dedication to building the Munster Mansion,” says the couple.
Married for 34 years, they first lived for 10 years in an old Victorian house they restored in Grand Prairie. Sandra’s son and daughter, Maka and Leilanai Manutai, lived with them and Charles’ daughter, Amber, came on the weekends. All three are grown and gone now, although Maka and Leilanai live close by in Waxahachie and Amber is just up the road in Weatherford.
While the family was considering a move to Waxahachie, Sandra made a comment one day she’d love to live in a home like the Munsters did. Charles thought it was a fun idea. “I loved the Munsters more than he did but he was okay with us building a home that looked like it,” so the two used photos of the home to create their own.
“We drew it out on paper. And I watched all 70 shows to get the details right. The actress playing Lily was 5’ 4” and I’m 5’ 2” so I would count her steps in the kitchen on the show to determine how big it should be.”
Authentic Items & Replicas On Display
Many pieces in the house are from the show or exact matches of items from the show. “This is a living work,” explains the McKees, “so each year more detail is added, and more items collected to make the mansion as exact as it can be.”
The McKees admit, “It was a challenging project, as there were no plans or blueprints to go by.” The house was completely designed using the show footage. “Living in the Munster Mansion is a dream come true for us.”
Nearly 15,000 people have “liked” the Munster Mansion’s Facebook page.
History of “The Munsters”
Of course, The Munsters TV show is a classic. The series originally aired on Thursday at 7:30 pm on CBS from September 24, 1964, to May 12, 1966. In 1965 it was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series but lost to The Rogues.
The idea of a family of comical monsters was first suggested to Universal Studios by animator Bob Clampett, who developed the idea from 1943 to 1945 as a series of cartoons. The project did not take off until mid-1963 when a similar idea about a “weird but honest family,” was submitted to Universal Studios by “Rocky & Bullwinkle” writers Allan Burns and Chris Hayward. The proposal was later handed to writers Norm Liebman and Ed Haas, and although it was popular, the TV show only ran for two seasons on CBS, with 72 episodes filmed. The show was filmed in black and white because the producers didn’t want to spend more money to produce it in color.
The sitcom depicting the home life of a family of benign monsters starring Fred Gwynne as a Frankenstein’s monster-type head-of-the-household Herman Munster, Yvonne DeCarlo as his loving, vampire wife, Lily Munster, and Al Lewis as Grandpa, the over-the-hill vampire who relishes talking about the “good old days.”
Other popular “family” shows at the time included The Addams Family, Bewitched, The Lucy Show, Gilligan’s Island, and Green Acres.
Once their mansion was close to completion, neighbors took notice. Sandra admits that when they were building their mansion, “We just thought we were building it for ourselves,” but when asked to host a charity event, they agreed. “The house wasn’t even finished when we did our first one,” she admits, “and then we kept being asked to do another and another.” The benefits raised funds for CASA; the SPCA; BOYS & GIRLS CLUB; the Senior Citizen’s Center; the Parkland Burn Center; The Gingerbread House, and more.
Actress Pat Priest, who played Marilyn Munster for most of the series, came to every one of the Charity events held there, to help promote them and raise funds. “She became like a family member,” Sandra says. “Most people don’t realize that she was the “second” Marilyn.”
Actress Beverly Owens played the part of Marilyn in the first 13 episodes, “But she was recently engaged and so miserable. She wanted to get out of her contract and get married, so eventually the show did release her from her contract. Pat thinks she got the part because she was the same size as Beverly, and also a blonde, so she looked a bit like her and fit into all her costumers.”
Now 85, Beverly lives in Boise, Idaho, with her husband who is 97. Because of her advanced age, she no longer travels. “We miss her,” Sandra says.
But she admits the Charity events were very hard to host. Their last benefit was in 2016.
“They were so much work. So now we stick to tours and Murder Mysteries.”
Private Mansion Tours Available
“Munsters” fan John Rhodes, now 39, a Waxahachie resident, says, “I have been to the Munster Mansion a few times. The first time was back in 2013 or so – it was for a benefit for a children’s charity. I loved the show – watched it with my grandpa. I always liked creepy stuff and scary movies. Not that “The Munsters” was scary.” He added: “I was planning on taking my kiddo, Paxton, who just turned 12, this month.”
Private mansion tours are available for up to four people for $120 and $30 per person after that. Murder Mysteries are also held monthly at the Munster Mansion. These include a tour of the mansion along with a three-hour Murder Mystery complete with wine and hors d’oeuvres. Dressing in costume is encouraged. These events are purposely limited to about ten guests so everyone can participate.
To book you tour or Murder Mystery, email: MUNSTERMANSION02@AOL.COM or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 469-305-0033 to set up your tour. The mansion is private property, so no “drop in” tours are available.