Munster Mansion event to benefit kid’s burn center
By 10/26/2006 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - You can tell it's that time of year again just by all the activity going on at the McKee residence.
Even though the official address may be 3636 Farm to Market Road 813, most folks know it better as the residence at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
You can find Charles and Sandra McKee busy preparing the 'Munster Mansion' for their annual charity event.
This year the annual fall festival will benefit Pediatric Patients at the Parkland Health and Hospital System Burn Unit.
'The money that will be raised at the festival, with the added assistance of donations and sponsorships, will help to send as many kids as possible to a special summer camp for burn victims,' Sandra McKee said.
'There they can feel like themselves with no worries and meet new friends just like themselves.'
The McKee's had no blueprints from the original Munster set to assist them in building their home and they painstakingly sketched out all the rooms themselves, including the exterior of the home, drawing only from the details they were able to extract from watching reruns of the 60's sitcom classic.
'Many people arrive expecting to find a haunted house,' Charles McKee explained, 'but this is a kid-oriented event and we want children to feel comfortable and safe while they are visiting here.'
The McKee's have been working on the home for five years.
Each year they have added more features, refining the appearance of the home to more realistically reflect the original Munster home, as presented in the TV series.
Sandra McKee explains, 'last year we completely redid Eddie and Grandpa's rooms to reflect the period of the show.'
The house also features Lily's bedroom and is replete with hidden passageways, a dungeon and a room beneath the staircase that houses Spot, the Munsters' pet dinosaur.
'At the festival, Grandpa's dungeon will be open, as well as the secret staircase where Spot lives,' Sandra McKee exclaims.
This is the fifth year the couple has utilized the unique theme of their home in hosting a charity event.
'We do a children's event, so we support a children's charity,' Charles McKee explained.
It takes the McKees nearly two months to prepare the Mansion and grounds for the annual fall festival.
They were quick to credit local artisans, businesses and friends with helping to complete all the tasks necessary that makes it possible for them to continue to host the annual event.
This year the celebration will take place on Oct. 27-28, from 6 - 11 p.m.
There will be a shuttle bus available to carry folks back and forth, between the Mansion and Waxahachie Junior High, where parking is sufficient to handle the expected crowd.
Pat Priest, Marilyn Munster from the TV series, will be on hand to meet guests and sign autographs.
Admission to the mansion grounds, puppet show, haunted house and fortune teller is free.
The festival will also feature midway games, a caricature artist, face painting and a variety of vendors providing food, drinks and souvenirs.
McKee adds, 'There will be a children's costume contest with prizes and we'll also have special appearances by the Space Frog and Thurman the Dragon.'
In addition to a DJ on both nights, a surprise addition to this years' attraction is a special reenactment by Kevin Titus and DEOA Historical Reproductions.