Creator Charles Addams' real home embodied the creepy Addams Family aesthetic
The cartoonist's house featured quaint touches, like a wall of crossbows, a snake's head frozen in a glass ball, a human thigh bone.
In The Addams Family episode "Art and the Addams Family," Grandmama proves so shockingly bad at painting that Gomez locks up a Pablo Picasso imposter in their basement until the painter can help the old lady improve.
Although this is just one funny premise in the show's run, the art in the Addams' home is no small part of the show. It turns the house into a character itself. There's so much personality in every beautiful specimen in Gomez and Morticia's collection. Between all the taxidermy and weaponry adorning surfaces and walls, the mansion is carpeted in ornate rugs and gleaming with priceless antiques.
You should know that all this style mirrored the home of the mastermind behind The Addams Family, cartoonist Charles Addams.
Addams liked to describe himself as a "normal American boy," but how many blue-jeaned boys do you know that grew up to want to kick their feet up after a hard day's work on an embalming table? When Addams found the unique piece of funeral home furniture, he had to have it, cutting a piece of glace to lay over the wicker in-set where a body would be laid, so he could set it in front of his couch.
"But [through the glass] you can still see some of the stains from the 'old fluids,'" Addams told The Charlotte Observer in 1981.
Those who knew him recognized his eye for art wasn't sick or twisted, just imbued with his unique sense of humor.
"He was very easygoing," Charles’ widow, Tee Addams, told The San Bernardino Sun in 1991. "He was one of the most gentle, sweet guys, even-tempered, wonderfully humored. He had this sort of funny, wry outlook on life."
She said he also had a collection of medieval armor and so many crossbows, they filled an entire wall.
"I'm sort of an escapist," Charles told the Observer. "I lost myself in arms and armor. I like to live in the past."
As a kid, Charles wasn't scared of the bogeyman. He was claustrophobic and hated being in small, enclosed spaces. It makes sense then, why Charles would eventually choose to live in a big home, full of the sorts of strange things that fascinated him, like the bogeyman.
He told the Observer some of the most unusual items in his collection included a stuffed piranha, two snake skins, a snake's head frozen in a glass ball, and… a human thigh bone.
Perhaps the bone was for his dog? Charles was persuaded to take in a pet he called Alice B. Curr because he found humor in her personality.
"They told me that this dog hated children and I said, 'Great. I'll take it,'" Charles joked.
Like the Addams, their creator also liked medieval weaponry, especially heavy items welded with heart and craftsmanship. In his house, he had not one, but two maces, and three swords.
When Charles started drawing the Addams family cartoons, it began with not characters named Morticia and Gomez — those names would come later with the TV series — but with a concept. He drew a vampire wife with a doting husband who looked like Peter Lorre. He didn't create the couple to make a statement, but because he genuinely loved their love.
You see, it's no coincidence that Charles would've felt right at home walking into this particular couple's creepy mansion. He drew the Addams family to be the neighbors he always wanted to live next door.
"They were the type of people I like — people I would be comfortable with," Charles said.