Posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 by Hoai-Tran Bui
Nestled at the intersection of Elm Street and Dudley Ave., in an quiet suburban street in Westfield, New Jersey, is the house that inspired Charles Addams to create the looming, gothic Addams Family Mansion. There’s nothing very remarkable about this house, with its white wood paneling and quaint turn-of-the-century shutters. In fact, it’s as painfully normal. But stare a little longer, and maybe you can see it through Charles Addams eyes: the wood turns a deep black, the shutters slowly become more dilapidated, and a dark cloud casts a shadow over the house.
“This is the house,” longtime Charles Addams expert Ron MacCloskey declared to the group of journalists attending the Westfield junket for the upcoming animated The Addams Family movie. It’s one of several houses that allegedly provided the inspiration for the looming, Gothic mansion seen in The Addams Family TV shows, movies, and comics. “Charles Addams has said he has never drawn the Addams family the same twice. So every cartoon is a little bit different for what the family house looks like,” MacCloskey said.
The house /Film saw with the group of journalists, which we could not enter due to it being private property, was part of a short tour of Charles Addams’ old haunts in Westfield, New Jersey, which is holding its second annual AddamsFest this October. The town had only recently begun to embrace the legacy of this famous cartoonist who was born and raised in the small New Jersey town approximately 20 miles from New York City. But upon the unearthing of a skeletal chalk drawing in a wooden shack (affectionately named “Dudley Addams” after the street it was found), Westfield is becoming significantly creepier and kookier.