Martha Stewart living it's not. OK, she might approve of the antiques, but the gargoyles and the electric chair probably wouldn't appeal to her sensibilities. Then again, the secret dungeon probably would. Hey, we all know it's true.
These accommodations aren't for the House Beautiful crowd, anyway. They're all part of a theme cooked up by Charles and Sandra McKee, a fairly normal couple who've chosen to live in an admittedly abnormal residence. They've spent several years now reconstructing as accurately as possible the Victorian-style mansion from the 1960s sitcom The Munsters.
They'll admit making a fictional dwelling a reality is a bit unusual, but their results are impressive. Except for a few "gimmes" here and there, the McKees have hit the mark. 1313 Mockingbird Lane has left TV Land and materialized in Waxahachie.
With a bit of dusting — vacuum set on "blow" instead of "suck" — you'd think the Munsters actually live here. It's no surprise; the McKees spent hours poring over photos and videotapes to nail down the details. Yet, they were fortunate enough that a sufficient portion of the floor plan was kept off-screen, enabling them to incorporate some personal space, too. Most importantly, as Sandra pointed out, "They never showed the bathrooms. So, we were lucky on that one."
It's certainly not your typical do-it-yourself, which is why the Munster Mansion has attracted unremitting attention since it was just a wooden frame. After all, a recreation of a hair-raising sitcom house sticks out in rural Texas like Herman's forehead. However, save for a neighbor who called the house an eyesore on a local radio show and a group of churchgoers who spread rumors about the building housing a cult, the attention has been positive. So positive, in fact, that the McKees have played host to three of the original Munsters cast members and have been able to organize a growing Halloween charity event.
Sandra, who confesses to being the bigger fan of the two, says she isn't a zealot, just an enthusiast. "Some people try to make it into something strange, but it's not. … If I'd loved Gilligan's Island, I may have a hut out here. I just happen to be a Munsters fan."
For information on attending the Munster Mansion Halloween Party, visit www.munstermansion.com.
Update: The first Munster Mansion party took place in 2002, attended by Butch "Eddie" Patrick and Al "Grandpa" Lewis. Read more.