The Addams Family House, Where Every Night is Halloween

by hookedonhouses on October 31, 2010

The Addams Family TV show house

If you grew up watching The Addams Family on TV, snap your fingers. It only ran for two seasons in the 1960s before being canceled, but its popularity grew later in syndication. (Coincidentally, it aired at the same time as The Munsters, which also lasted 2 seasons.)

When I recently made a reference to the show and my kids had no idea what I was talking about, I immediately rented the first season and made let them watch it.

I was surprised to see how well the show has held up. It’s still fresh and funny, and my daughter loved it. She showed it to a friend of hers who was here for a sleepover, and they begged to keep watching more episodes late into the night. Like me, they were fascinated by the Addams Family’s wonderfully “ooky” house.

The show was based on a series of one-panel cartoons by Charles Addams that were published in The New Yorker.

Addams family cartoon

The family lives at 001 Cemetery Lane, advantageously located beside both a cemetery and a swamp.

For the sitcom’s pilot, they filmed the exterior of an old house on Adams Boulevard (no kidding) in Los Angeles. The house has since been torn down.

real house-Adams Blvd

Starting with the second episode, a painting based on that house was used for the show:

Addams Family House-painting

The front gate, with the sign, “Beware of the Thing:”

beware of the thing sign

The Thing was a bodiless hand that appeared out of various boxes throughout the house to help the family whenever needed–answering phones, disarming burglers, etc. In the cartoons, Thing was a bodiless head, but they changed it for the TV show.

The hand belonged to Ted Cassidy, who also played the butler Lurch. (When Lurch and Thing were in the same scene, an assistant director’s hand filled in.)

Lurch, Pugsley, Wednesday, publicity stillCassidy was 6’9″ tall and looked pretty imposing on the show. The actors who played Pugsley and Wednesday said they were never afraid of him, though, because he was such a “gentle and eloquent man–very kind to us.”

Lurch was never supposed to speak, but when rehearsing the pilot Cassidy reportedly improvised the now-famous, “You rang?” in his low voice, and it stuck.

real house-gate

A front yard and porch set was used for close-ups:

front porch-set

The show would have gone to color if it had been picked up for a third season.

front porch

I always loved their front door:

Addams Family front door

The wonderful John Astin played Gomez Addams, the patriarch of the family. He was originally asked to play the butler, but they (thankfully) went a different direction, casting Cassidy as Lurch instead.

Did you know he was married to Patty Duke and adopted her son, Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings)?

Adams family entry

That was a real stuffed polar bear looming over the living room. The set designers painted it black. There was also a polar bear skin on the stairs that growled when visitors stepped on it:

Addams family 1

I believe this giraffe in the portrait was referred to as a family ancestor in one episode (does anyone remember?):

giraffe painting

The mounted fish with a leg sticking out of its mouth always generates a startled response from visitors:

leg in fish

Gomez leads the visitor through the living room, unaware of how freaked out he is by everything:

living room overview

Lurch plays the harpsichord for the family (or pretends to play it, anyway–it was just a prop):

living room wide shot

Gomez and Morticia chat in his and hers chairs beside the two-headed turtle. Those wicker chairs with the wide, rounded backs, became popular for awhile and were often referred to as “The Morticia Chair.”

Gomez and Morticia in chairs

In the first season’s Halloween episode, Pugsley and Wednesday dress up like “normal people,” and Morticia finds their costumes to be “a little too startling.” Uncle Fester advises them not to frighten the neighbors too much: “When you knock on peoples’ doors, you’d better say, ‘Do not be alarmed. We are only little children.'”

Halloween dress-up

“Kitty Cat” was played by a retired circus lion. They loved to play this footage of him coming down the stairs whenever guests stopped by.

staircase-kitty cat

Wednesday’s favorite toy was her headless Marie Antoinette doll. Lisa Loring, the actress who played her, says she is frequently asked whether she was allowed to keep it. She wasn’t.

In fact, in the DVD commentary, the cast says that someone broke into the closed set and stole most of the props as soon as the show was canceled. No one knows what happened to most of them.

Wednesday's Marie Antoinette doll

Morticia (Carolyn Jones) spent a lot of her time tending to her wild plants in the conservatory–especially the meat-eating Cleopatra.

Addams family-conservatory

Carolyn Jones was married to Aaron Spelling for about 10 years. He had so little money at the time that he didn’t feel he could ask her to marry him–so she proposed to him. The marriage ended in divorce in 1964 just as his career began taking off and as she started filming The Addams Family.

She looked very different in real life without that signature black wig:

Carolyn Jones photo-Morticia

When Pugsley finds a puppy to play with, his family is scandalized (they call it the p-u-p-p-y instead of actually saying the word). Morticia worries that he is neglecting his pet octopus, Aristotle:

Aristotle the Octopus

Gomez loves his trains–blowing them up, that is:

Gomez trainset 1

The chemistry between Morticia and Gomez was considered a little shocking at the time for a sitcom, even though they were a married couple.  After all, Rob and Laura Petrie were still sleeping in twin beds over on The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Gomez trainset

In one episode, Morticia tells Gomez, “When we’re together, darling, every night is Halloween.”

We only get a glimpse of the kitchen in Season 1, but it looks surprisingly normal–almost like they stumbled onto the set of another sitcom altogether:

Morticia-Gomez in kitchen

Wednesday’s bedroom is more Victorian B&B than spooky:

Wednesday's room

Pugsley’s original name was Pubert, but the network made them change it. His room is described by Morticia to a visitor as “The door at the top of the stairs with the baby vultures painted on it.”

Pugsley's room 1

Gomez tries to talk Pugsley out of being a (gasp!) Boy Scout:

Pugsley's room 2

Uncle Fester worries that the kids are spoiled, asking, “What other boy has a playroom like this?”

playroom

You can read more about the show and the cartoons by Charles Addams here and in Stephen Cox’s book The Addams Chronicles: An Altogether Ooky Look at the Addams Family. A fan created a floorplan of the house that you can see here.

Click Here to See More Houses from TV Shows, including…

Bewitched sitcom Samantha's house


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Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish October 31, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Too fun! I loved this show! We used to watch reruns on Nick at Night all the time. Love the details you’ve shared!
.-= Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish´s last blog ..Make Your Own Decorative Wall Panels =-.

Anita October 31, 2010 at 8:27 pm

Love it! This is my dream house!!
Great post. xx

Handy Man, Crafty Woman October 31, 2010 at 8:29 pm

How cool is that, now it’s a Broadway show! I’d love to see that just b/c I love Nathan Lane!!!

For some reason I always preferred the Munsters instead. Are you going to do a post on their house? :-)

hookedonhouses October 31, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Maybe next October! :)

Bre October 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm

I loved Addams Family! Such an iconic show, The Addams and The Munsters I loved them both. Great Halloween costume potential for both. The Addams house is full of fun and quirky details, I love Wednesday’s bed!

Happy Halloween Julia and family!
.-= Bre´s last blog ..Happy Halloween =-.

Tricia Rose October 31, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I have been waiting all my life for this blog! Brilliant, Julia!

Alecia October 31, 2010 at 9:59 pm

What a fun post for Halloween especially chocked full of so much information! Thank you!
.-= Alecia´s last blog ..Daycare Halloween Celebration =-.

Deb October 31, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I had no idea this show only ran for two seasons!! Thanks for the post :) Happy Halloween!! I’ve been watching “Charmed” reruns all day getting into the spirit (that’s a great house too!)
.-= Deb´s last blog ..Halloween!!! =-.

Tina October 31, 2010 at 10:19 pm

I loved The Addams Family and The Munsters – such classics from my childhood…thankyou for sharing – great post!
.-= Tina´s last blog ..All Hallows Eve and a Ghostly tale =-.

Todd Smith August 31, 2011 at 11:45 am

Herman Munster. The typical American male

Nita October 31, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Never liked this show. I don’t like humor that is too obvious, is why. The house is okay. Did the show ever go to color?

Kim November 1, 2010 at 12:21 am

What a gorgeous house! I love the staircase. This house I actually wouldn’t mind stepping inside of, (if it were real) because it doesn’t seem to be too creepy. It would probably be kind of fun.

What a great show. I love the sound of the door bell. I would love to have a door bell like that for Halloween. Too bad the show only lasted for a couple of years. Lots of shows around that time, didn’t seem to last for very long. Gilligan’s Island only lasted for 3 seasons. At least we can still enjoy them, though.

Jessica November 1, 2010 at 12:27 am

I loved the Addams family…this post had me feeling very nostalgic. You did an amazing job…it’s so neat to see stills of the house and learn a bit more about the actors. The kitchen surprised me…can you imagine how fabulous it could have been if they had kept the theme going in there, all Practical Magic-ish…but maybe that was the point, to be completely different. I think I’m going to have to rent this (or buy it). Thank you!
.-= Jessica´s last blog ..Pumpkin Playery =-.

Laurie November 1, 2010 at 6:48 am

When I was a graduate student at Penn, I heard that Charles Addams was an alum and based the mansion on a building on campus called College Hall. I remember looking at College Hall then and seeing some resemblance. Love your blog!

ModernSauce November 1, 2010 at 7:48 am

So cool! Surprising how many elements are popping up in rooms now – the taxidermy, fur rugs, the Victorian look, even Morticia’s chair I see quite often!

Thanks for the post!

LuxuriousLife November 1, 2010 at 7:59 am

I’ll have to revisit the show; I watched it when I was young, but don’t remember much from it. I was a big fan of the Munsters.
Looking at the bear rug on the stairs, I wonder how people kept from slipping down that? It looks like a hazard; I’d be more frightened of falling than the bear growling at me!!
.-= LuxuriousLife´s last blog ..Decorating With A Box Of Chocolates =-.

Richella at Imparting Grace November 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

Gosh, I just loved The Addams Family. . . the theme song comes to my mind every now and then. I know all the lyrics, of course.

Know what’s amazing? My 17-year-old son is about the same height as Lurch. Funny how my perspective on what 6’9″ looks like has changed!

Happy November!
.-= Richella at Imparting Grace´s last blog ..All Saints Day =-.

Nichole November 1, 2010 at 8:33 am

I definitely need to go back and watch these shows again and look more closely at the sets. Great Halloween post!
.-= Nichole´s last blog ..Time To Feel Sorry For The Husband…Again =-.

bungalowbliss November 1, 2010 at 9:53 am

What a fun post, Julia! Thanks for taking me back to one of my favorite shows. As always, I love the detailed look at the house and the behind-the-scenes info. :)

Ellen November 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

This post is such great timing. My family watched The Addams Family last night, and you answered some of my questions. My husband claims cousin It was a child actor, I think it was an adult actor walking around on knee pads. Strange conversation, I know. That was a fun post to read.

hookedonhouses November 1, 2010 at 10:56 am

Ellen–

Cousin Itt was played by the actor Felix Silla, a “little person” who has appeared in all kinds of TV shows and movies. You can read more about his career here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Silla

-Julia

Cody November 1, 2010 at 9:59 am

Yay!! I’ve been waiting for this one – I want my own Addams family house. I love all the characters especially Grandmama. You are right they do refer to the Giraffe as a relative on one or more of the episodes. The leg in the fish is also referred to as different personas including an uncle (i think) and ocassionally changes costume to a diving flipper.

Pat November 1, 2010 at 10:17 am

You really did a fantastic job with all the details! It sure seems like the show ran a lot longer then it actually did.
I don’t like “horror” shows, but this didn’t really fit into that catagory to me. Maybe I should qualify that , I don’t like movies like Chain Saw Masacre! The writers were way over the kids heads, yet there was enough content to also makes the kids want to watch. Very sophisticated yet with kid appeal at the same time, and John Astin was a master at his role.
Great post once again Julia!!!
.-= Pat´s last blog ..Sunlight- Sunlight In My Soul Today… =-.

melissa November 1, 2010 at 10:34 am

I really loved this post! Very interesting and entertaining! :) :)

Lesley @ TheDesignFile November 1, 2010 at 10:39 am

I had so much fun reading this post. I remember all the characters and the house from this show but I really can’t conjure up a single episode and I was surprised to read here that it only lasted two seasons. It does sound like fun to rent a season and watch.

I was disappointed to read that had there been a third season, it would have been in color. That just seems wrong!
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..My 2010 Holiday Gift Guide makes its debut =-.

Beth A November 1, 2010 at 10:56 am

Wow!! Thanks so much for showing us the set again. I miss Morticia. What was it about the Sixties and this fascination for female TV/movie characters who had some fantasy aspect? Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Nanny and the Professor, The Flying Nun, the Munsters, Addams Family, the Girl With Something Extra — also Mary Poppins, and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.

Thank goodness Mary Tyler Moore came along and made normal women appealing again.

Kelly November 1, 2010 at 11:28 am

Awesome post! I didn’t realize it only lasted 2 seasons, too bad because I loved watching this show when I was little (still catch it occasionally on TV.)
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Happy Halloween! =-.

Alycia November 1, 2010 at 11:28 am

Loved this post. I hadn’t remembered all those details… maybe I was more of a Munsters fan? Thanks for the research, it’s nice to go for a stroll down memory lane.
.-= Alycia´s last blog ..E-Decorating – Master Bedroom =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now November 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

As a child watching the reruns on weekday mornings, The Addams Family was just strange. As an adult, I can appreciate the humor! I love Gomez and Morticia together…so interesting that you mentioned how their chemistry would have been shocking on TV back then. :)

I’m hosting a Silhouette Product Giveaway today, and you don’t have to own the machine to use the products…just scissors. ;) Hope you might stop by!
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Silhouette Product Giveaway! =-.

Jackie W. November 1, 2010 at 11:43 am

Twilight wedding scene being filmed in Louisiana :

http://www.susieharrisblog.com/2010/10/twilight-in-house.html

Amanda November 1, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I love all of your trivia! The Addams Family movies were played frequently in my house growing up, so it’s fun to hear these extras. Like, how they named the baby Pubert in the sequel! Hahaha I never knew that that was supposed to be Pugsley’s name. (I actually also bore that nickname during- you guessed it- my pubescent years, so I didn’t think it was so funny at the time, but now I do.)
.-= Amanda´s last blog ..New floors- sneak peek =-.

Luciane at Homebunch.com November 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Julia!

I am just checking out to see if everything is ok with you.. I am missing a new post!
Anybody else missing Julia’s post today? :-)

But I hope you’re enjoying your monday.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

hookedonhouses November 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm

This is my Movie Monday post. You’re not missing anything. I just publish them the night before sometimes. -Julia :-)

Meg November 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Great post! I loved watching reruns of both The Munsters and the Addams Family with my grandpa as a kid :)

the domestic fringe November 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I’m so shocked it only ran for two seasons! I could swear there were years and years worth of episodes. I loved these shows as a kid…the repeats of course. ;-)

-FringeGirl

pollydove November 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

WOW!!! What a timely, fabulous post!!! I had no idea that (1) The Addams family was only on for two seasons, (2) Morticia was married to Aaron Spelling for 10 years, and (3) Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth are playing them on Broadway!!! How PERFECT are they for those parts!!!

Great, informative info Julia! Thanks for this one!
.-= pollydove´s last blog ..The glory of Halloween =-.

Claudia Walsh November 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Hi

My kids and I just started watching this show. We love to renting old shows. Just finished watching Land of the Lost tv show. I also updated my blog to show the basement. Hope you like it.

Take care. Claudia
.-= Claudia Walsh´s last blog ..Its quiet this morning! =-.

Melanie {The Tiny Tudor} November 1, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Frightfully fun post! I always loved the creepy Addam’s Family house.
.-= Melanie {The Tiny Tudor}´s last blog ..My Haunted House =-.

Desiree November 1, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Wow! I uses to love watching this show when I was little! Fun pictures!
.-= Desiree´s last blog ..Seaside Gatherings =-.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com November 1, 2010 at 8:32 pm

What a wacky house :) I have always LOVED this show.
.-= Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com´s last blog ..Yackety-yak- Happy Halloween =-.

Noel November 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm

This has probably been my favorite Halloween blog post of the year! Thank you.

Heidi R November 1, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Great post. The giraffe painting is Gomez’s business partner.
Loved the show.

hookedonhouses November 1, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Thanks, Heidi! -Julia

T. November 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm

For those who subscribe to Netflix, both The Muensters and The Addams Family are available for instant viewing right now.

Pubert? Thank goodness that was changed to Pugsley!!

Maria November 2, 2010 at 3:22 am

Oh I LOVED this show as a kid and this post reminded me my mom once made me a Morticia costume for Halloween. Complete with the stuffed octopus arms around the hem! Thanks Julia for a great post as always.

Maria November 2, 2010 at 3:25 am

Oh and I forgot to add I was a huge Charles Addams cartoon fan — have several of his books. Back in the day this 5 yr old checked them out over and over again from the book mobile.

Susan November 4, 2010 at 12:44 am

Julia, this brought back so many good memories. I loved “Thing” and cousin, It. Wasn’t there a cousin, It? LOL
Can’t believe they tore that house down!!!
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Fall Dining with Feathered Friends- Welcome to the 115th Tablescape Thursday! =-.

Michal July 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

thanks for this, very nice! Thanks for sharing all the details with us!

James August 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Thought I left a comment but it’s not showing up. You might be interested in the website regarding the original Addams House at http://www.21chesterplace.com
Enjoy!

Bohemian Valhalla September 13, 2011 at 1:37 am

One of my all time fav shows and I STILL adore the ooky old house! Too bad the real one was razed and not kept as a Landmark since the show was so wildly popular.

Dawn… The Bohemian

ctrl-z October 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm

There are only 2 seasons, but there are 67 episodes, that is why it seems like more seasons.

Torrie October 20, 2012 at 5:51 am

The episode you made were awesome i like watching them…hope you make more episodes:)

Thank you
TL

jrox October 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm

This was a great house, along with the Munster’s house. Another awesome place was Norman Bates house in Psycho.

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