Sandra Mckee and her husband, Chuck, own “The Munster Mansion” in Waxahachie, Texas. The home is an almost-exact replica of the home lived in by the Munsters from the 1960s television series. After I toured the home, I spoke with Ms. Mckee about the “Munster Mansion” and her experiences living in it.
MY: Tell us how the Munster Mansion came about.
SM: I was joking with my husband how cool it would be to build the Munster House. He said, “Yeah, we could do that.” I ran with it before he could say, “No, no, no.” I watched all 70 episodes to find out, for example, how many steps from the door to the staircase.
MY: What do your children think about the home?
SM: They are accustomed to me jumping into things. You only live once; you might as well go for it. But it’s my grandchildren that really love it. In fact, the younger ones actually believe we are the Munsters.
MY: How much of an inconvenience is it to go about your day-to-day living in what amounts to a museum?
SM: It’s normal. The problem is that I can’t just go out and buy something. I can’t say, “Oh, I see this beautiful living room set, I’d love to have that.” It has to match the show. There’s a lot of research involved. 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. When I decorate for our Halloween event, I always ask, “Do I have enough stuff out?” And other people come to the house and say, “Oh, yeah, you got plenty of stuff out.”
MY: What’s your most prized piece of memorabilia?
SM: I’d say, probably Al Lewis’s tuxedo in the memorabilia room. It was actually worn by him in 2002, and he burned a hole in it with his cigar. To have Grandpa Munster in your home, that’s pretty cool. I bought the tuxedo he wore to our home.
At this point, Ms. McKee was interrupted by her husband, who told her that The Munsters were on television.
MY: You offer tours twice a year to raise funds for charity. What gave you this idea?
SM: When we were building the house in 2002, I was contacted by Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster), and he wanted to come down. We decided to throw a party and raise funds for a charity, but this year is our biggest yet. We donated$13,000 to the SPCA.
MY: What’s the most unusual thing someone has tried to do while touring the house?
SM: Well, our first year, we didn’t have tour guides to watch things. We caught one couple in the coffin phone. That was weird. We figured we should ensure it was family friendly. Another lady, not that she chose to do this, but she fell in the dungeon (Grandpa’s Dungeon) with her five-year old. That was scary. We now have a rail.
MY: Other than the show’s stars, have any notables come by for a tour?
SM: No, but we’ve hosted Extreme Cribs, TV Land, People Magazine, and The New York Times, and now we’ve done the Huntsville Item! My dream is that they will remake The Munsters and put my home in the movie!
MY: Finally, what are the worst and best things about living in the Munster Mansion?
SM: I get to live with something I grew up enjoying. I watch The Munsters and look up and say, “This is cool. It’s like living on the set.” My home was on television, and the show’s stars have been here, and it’s great to turn that into a charitable event. It’s stressful, but we love it.