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Look inside: ‘Munsters’ mansion replica stands tall, dark and haunted in Waxahachie

‘This house is spooky at nighttime,’ says co-owner Sandra McKee.

It’s Halloween all year long at Sandra and Chuck McKee’s house in Waxahachie.

'The Munsters' was on for just two seasons, 70 episodes, between 1964 and 1966.
'The Munsters' was on for just two seasons, 70 episodes, between 1964 and 1966.(hand out / digital file)

Almost 20 years ago, they built a near-replica of the Victorian mansion from the campy 1960s TV show The Munsters. Then the McKees lived inside of the 5,825-square-foot home for 11 years, among the carefully placed cobwebs, the dungeon with a trap door, the revolving suit of armor and the grand staircase — where Eddie Munster’s pet dinosaur Spot spits fire from underneath.

Even the McKees’ bedroom was designed precisely after Lily and Herman Munster’s room, right down to the tiny antique bed the McKees squeezed into each night.

After 11 years, they decided that living in a re-created TV set wasn’t all that comfortable. Sandra cooked every meal in the laundry room, since a new-age stove didn’t belong in her Munsters kitchen. So they moved next door, to the garage, which has been converted into a small house on the 2.5-acre property.

“It has normal things. Like lights,” Sandra says of the newer home. “And now, we have a king-sized bed.”

Chuck McKee and his wife Sandra McKee (not pictured) built this Victorian home in 2001 and 2002. It's designed to look exactly like the home in the 'Munsters' TV show, inside and out.
Chuck McKee and his wife Sandra McKee (not pictured) built this Victorian home in 2001 and 2002. It's designed to look exactly like the home in the 'Munsters' TV show, inside and out. (Steve Hamm)
The bedrooms — which have each been slept in — are designed to look exactly like the Munsters characters' rooms. Here's Marilyn's bedroom at the 'Munster' house in Waxahachie. It was intended to be the room for the grandkids, but they refused to sleep there, saying it was too spooky.
The bedrooms — which have each been slept in — are designed to look exactly like the Munsters characters' rooms. Here's Marilyn's bedroom at the 'Munster' house in Waxahachie. It was intended to be the room for the grandkids, but they refused to sleep there, saying it was too spooky.(Steve Hamm)

The mansion remains a showpiece where Sandra hosts ticketed tours and monthly murder mystery dinners. She thinks the house is haunted. Although her grandkids grew up sleeping over, they refused to sleep anywhere except next to Sandra and Chuck’s bed, on the floor.

“This house is spooky at nighttime,” she says.

When she invites Munsters fans into the home, she just asks that they don’t touch the hundreds of pieces she’s collected over the years. She proudly displays dishes from the actual TV show and a historically accurate organ from Craigslist.

“I never dust,” Sandra says, laughing.

Take a tour of the ‘Munsters’ mansion in Waxahachie

But how do you build a ‘Munsters’ mansion?

The house on the TV show wasn’t a house at all — it was a set, moved and adjusted as needed. So to recreate a place that didn’t exist, Sandra and Chuck McKee had to create their own blueprints.

The grand staircase at the 'Munsters' house in Waxahachie has a moving middle section where Eddie Munster's pet dinosaur Spot can pop out.
The grand staircase at the 'Munsters' house in Waxahachie has a moving middle section where Eddie Munster's pet dinosaur Spot can pop out.(Steve Hamm)

Watching the show carefully, and rewinding hundreds of times, Sandra counted the number of steps Lily Munster took from room to room. She was literally following in the footsteps of her favorite TV vampire.

Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on the show when he was 11 and 12 years old, has visited the home dozens of times. He’s even slept there before Munsters charity events. He’s one of the only living cast members from the show.

“I fell in love with Chuck and Sandra immediately,” he says. “The thing with Sandra was, she did her research.”

Interestingly, Sandra did not start watching The Munsters when she was a child. She was the youngest of six and says, “I don’t remember getting to watch anything I wanted to, as a kid.” She became a fan some 30 years later. She likes the premise: They’re a family of nice monsters who, despite their circumstances, seemed pretty normal.

She formerly worked in the insurance business, then owned an antique store and a lingerie shop, before she made the Munsters house her primary focus.

Chuck, a semi-retired plumber, is just along for the ride.

“This is, more or less, my wife’s passion,” he says. “It’s my passion to keep her happy, healthy and fed.”

Calling all Munsters fans

The fanbase for this quirky, short-run TV show remains strong some 57 years after the show premiered, Patrick says. People have driven eight or nine hours to visit the Munsters home in Waxahachie.

Eddie Munster's room is Sandra McKee's favorite, because of the memorabilia placed with incredible precision.
Eddie Munster's room is Sandra McKee's favorite, because of the memorabilia placed with incredible precision. (Steve Hamm)

For decades, TV producer Kevin Burns held the largest Munsters collection in the world. He died in 2020, and his estate is now auctioning hundreds of Munsters pieces via Dallas-based Heritage Auctions.

Lily Munster’s dress, possibly the most iconic look of any of the characters, is marked at just over $8,000, but it could go for $50,000, says Joe Maddalena, executive vice president for Heritage Auctions. Grandpa Munster’s electric chair starts at $10,000, but Maddalena thinks that number could quadruple.

Maddalena expects the Munsters collection to fetch over $1 million.

Tell a Munsters superfan: Bidding is open now on Heritage Auction’s website, ha.com, or by phone at 877-437-4824. The live auction takes place at Heritage Auction’s headquarters, 2801 W. Airport Freeway in Dallas, at noon on Nov. 5.

Sandra is hopeful that she’ll be able to afford a few of the pieces and add them to her collection. There’s always room for more Munsters memorabilia, she says.

Sarah Blaskovich, senior food reporter. Sarah writes about restaurants, bars and culture in Dallas. Follow @sblaskovich and ask her what to do, where to eat or where to drink in your area.

sblaskovich@dallasnews.com /sarah.blaskovich @sblaskovich @sarahblaskovich
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