So many creepy houses falsely claimed to have inspired The Addams Family mansion
Charles Addams swore he didn’t base the house on ANY of them.
In The Addams Family episode "Gomez, the People’s Choice," the Addams Family mansion gets valued at a rate way lower than Gomez or Morticia expected.
Seeing their home as the most elegant on the market, Gomez tries to raise his property’s value, but every effort he takes only sets the price tag lower.
Frustrated with the incompetent city, Gomez has no choice but to run for mayor so that his beautiful mansion can be valued as the treasure that it is.
Today, the Addams Family mansion is one of the most iconic homes in pop culture, but the TV location where it was filmed has since been demolished.
Its place in our memories has become one of the few ways to revisit the TV home.
But perhaps you’ve found yourself in a small town in America, gazing at a spooky old Victorian mansion and wondering if quite possibly it served as inspiration for The Addams Family mansion?
You wouldn’t be the first person to mistake a dilapidated house for TV history.
But according to Charles Addams, there was no house that inspired the Addams Family mansion.
And yet, that didn’t stop people from falsely claiming their own town’s mansion was the legitimate muse.
In the 2010 book The Addams Family: An Evilution by Charles Addams — posthumously compiled writings by the Addams Family creator— Addams said that many cities claim to be the destination with a mansion that inspired the famous TV family home. He could cite ones he knew of in Key West, Spokane, and Rhinebeck.
One of the most well-known mansions posing as Addams Family history is in Philadelphia.
In 1993, Knight-Ridder News Service reported that the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion claimed to have inspired the Addams Family mansion, hanging a poster from the TV show in the house and staking its claim.
"Who’s to argue?" wrote the reporter, discussing the 134-year-old mansion with 14 rooms as a serious potential muse. Simply because Addams had graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, they said it "could very well have been inspired by the Maxwell manor."
But while the Philly mansion’s claims seem dubious at best, in Addams’ hometown in New Jersey, neighbors have spent decades debating which house they know Charles Addams knew of that could’ve inspired the Addams Family mansion.
A popular choice is a mansion that joined the property of Charles Addams’ childhood home.
One of Charles’ childhood friends Dick Bouton told Gannett News Service in 1991 that he and Charles used to sneak into the house and draw "ghoulish sketches" on the walls.
"We loved all old houses and we loved that one particularly," Bouton said. "Its architecture was just calculated to appeal to a small boy."
Addams himself spoke of this house, but only as a childhood playground and never as a source of inspiration.
"It was a big old house, probably built in the 1890s and irresistible," Addams said. "And it kind of adjoined my family’s property and was a house I always wanted to investigate and did."
This wasn’t the only old Victorian mansion in town, though, and other neighbors thought that a different house that Addams would’ve passed on his way to high school physically looks more like the Addams Family mansion.
As we noted at the start of this story, Addams has repeatedly said that everyone’s wrong, and no real house exists that inspired the Addams Family mansion.
Instead, Addams took his fascination with old houses from exploring those mansions as a kid and became obsessed with architecture as he got older.
He befriended an editor of The New York Times Home Design and Entertaining section, and she gave him access to an incredible archive of images of home trends spanning decades.
He used these image archives to create the Addams Family mansion of his dreams, including all the glorious detail of the home’s interior. It’s said in Evilution that Addams would spend hours staring at pages and pages of furniture, turrets, windows, grillwork, roofs, all of it inspiring his mansion’s aesthetic appeal.