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Creepy Family

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These families are not like the others: they range from friendly monsters to real psychopaths, and sometimes friendly psychopaths. Well, families tend to have things in common. Members tend to look, behave and act similarly, whether because of genetics or upbringing, a family normally has traditions, internal rules, shared hobbies and a whole microculture. This is what happens when the family is unusual.

The two most well-known examples are The Munsters and The Addams Family. Both sitcoms ran from 1964 to 1966 and shared a basic premise; a family that scared people, and both were not only amazingly successful but also had a strong impact in popular culture. Other than that they had a key difference: the Munsters are monsters acting like humans, the Addamses are (ostensibly) humans acting like monsters.

A case of It Runs in the Family and very often a behavior that identifies The Clan, most of the cases show a Nuclear Family albeit often with cases of Nephewism and, ironically, in most examples they are not Dysfunctional Families. Nonhuman examples often involve a Monster Mash via Random Species Offspring. Sometimes overlaps with Quirky Household, when it's an entire village, it's a case of Halloweentown. Contrast with The Family That Slays Together for the horror version, not to be confused with Creepy Uncle.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The Addams Family was originally a series of single-panel cartoons from The New Yorker drawn by cartoonist Charles Addams.
  • The Bojeffries Saga is a homage to The Addams Family and The Munsters, set in a working-class English city.
  • "A Little Stranger!": As the only one of her trio, the Old Witch has an origin story. She is not only the daughter of a vampire mother and a werewolf father, but she was conceived after they were killed and rose up from their graves as a zombie-vampire and a zombie-werewolf. According to the Old Witch, her family (as well as the cemetery community she grew up in) is very loving.

    Film — Animated 
  • Several of the monsters in Hotel Transylvania have their families, most notably Dracula and the Wolf Man.
  • The Suicide Shop (an adaptation of the novel The Suicide Shop - see below) has the Tuvache family. The latest owners of the titular Suicide Shop, an old family business selling the means to end their life to depressed people, they are formed of Mishima Tuvache (a Gomez Addams-expy obsessed with seppuku), Lucrèce Tuvache (a Big Beautiful Woman who will sell you poisons with a smile) and their pale, morbid, depressed children, Marilyn and Vincent. The gloomy atmosphere of the family is however disrupted when the third child is born: Alan, a colorful, cheerful, goofy and constantly-smiling little boy.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Addams Family had a movie in the 1990s known by the same name, The Addams Family, that was critically and financially successful, thus producing a sequel, Addams Family Values. Both centered on Uncle Fester to some degree, and the children as the secondary plot. The second one wasn't as successful commercially, so a third movie was never made. A Made-for-TV Movie was made, The Addams Family Reunion, but is generally considered much inferior in quality to the previous ones.
  • Rob Zombie did a kind of remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with House of 1000 Corpses and the Firefly family, with more comedic overtones, yet still a family of violent, murderous psychopaths.
  • The Monster Club is an Anthology Film with Vincent Price and John Carradine which deals with a hybrid from a monster family know as Shadmock constantly speaking about his relations, a kid who discovers that his father is a vampire and a town comprised of ghouls.
  • The Munsters had two movies with the original cast (except Pat Priest), Munsters Go Home and The Munsters' Revenge. Other made-for-TV movies with new casts proliferated during the 1980s and 1990s with mixed results.
  • Wang Fam, a Filipino horror-comedy about a family of aswangs.

  • Ray Bradbury wrote several short stories about the Elliotts, a family of supernatural creatures with special abilities. It comprises all sorts of bizarre creatures: ghosts, never-explicitely-named pale nightly bloodsuckers, a werewolf, a witch able to see through other people's eyes, and Uncle Einar who is a very big man with very big wings.
  • Costa Rican writer Daniel Gonzalez Chaves in his children's novel Leonor; aventuras fantasticas has a creepy family; the Quintrala del Osario, the family of main character Leonor (a pale, thin, scary-looking Goth girl) which includes her father, a greenish incredible tall man; her mother, an attractive, yet eccentric, Gothic-looking woman, and her grandmother, that looks like the classic hag. They also live in a haunted house and her father has a factory of knives. They are all friendly people never-the-less.
  • H. P. Lovecraft was a big fan of this trope, he uses it frequently; the Marsh family in The Shadow Over Innsmouth, the Whateley in The Dunwich Horror, the Potters in Witch's Hollow, etc. Horror in Lovecraft's work was very often related to families and bloodlines.
  • The Suicide Shop gives us the Tuvache family, the owners of the titular suicide shop (a business family selling the ways to off yourself in an awful dystopian future). All named after famous people who killed themselves, they disdain things such as joy and optimism and encourage in their house and clientele depression, self-hatred and morbidity (resulting in a strange form of abusive parenting played for dark laughs). Mishima is the shop owner who sees death as a business and has a true love for seppuku, while his wife Lucrèce cooks the poisons they sell and uses famous suicides as bedtime stories. Their son Vincent is a severely anorexic Mad Artist with a head wrapped in bandages due to his violent and painful chronic headaches, while their daughter Marilyn is an overweight and depressed teenager constantly wallowing in the sorrow of being ugly, useless and alone. The Tuvaches being the Tuvaches, they see Marilyn as an average teenager and treat Vincent as a fantastic genius. But all will change when the third child, Alan, proves to be a cheerful and merry little boy that tries his hardest to bring laugh and smiles around him.
  • The Pagham-on-Sea series by C. M. Rosens, which includes The Crows and 13th, has a complex, inbred Half-Human Hybrid Eldritch Abomination family, and focuses on one particular branch of them (the Porters). The family is a cross between an English The Addams Family and Firefly Trilogy, with middle-class aspirations. The family members range from Obliviously Evil to I Just Want to Be Normal to fully embracing their monstrous natures. Ricky Porter is an Anti-Villain cannibal who has tendrils coming out of the back of his head and can transform into an eldritch god, and can see the future. Wes Porter is a Millionaire Playboy Anti-Hero who drives people insane because his image can never be captured or remembered, and his absence in people's heads drives them to dark, desperate deeds to try and recall what he looks like; Katy Porter is a teenage girl who transforms into a vengeful devouring god, an example of The Poorly Chosen One and It Sucks to Be the Chosen One. Other family members appear in the main series and its related short stories/novellas, with various roles and mutations.

    Live-Action TV 

  • The Addams Family Broadway musical with such actors as Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in the original run.

    Video Games 
  • The Goth family, present in almost every iteration of The Sims. They are considered expies of The Addams Family, living in a similarly spooky mansion that is frequently haunted by the ghosts of family members buried in their backyard. The Morticia Addams expy, Bella, has a whole plot revolving around her mysterious disappearance.
  • The bosses from the light gun game Ghoul Panic are a family composed of a vampire (the father), a witch (older daughter), a Frankenstein's monster (younger son, who turns into a huge older version of himself) and a giant dragon (mother and the final boss).


    Western Animation 
  • The Addams Family had two animated series, one in 1973 and one in 1992. Both were produced by Hanna-Barbera.
  • The Gruesomes were the scary, yet friendly, neighbors of The Flintstones. The Gruesomes, much like the Addams, seem to be anatomically normal humans but look and act eccentrically, have a lot of weird animals as pets (including a giant grasshopper) and live in what looks like a haunted house. They were replaced by the Frankenstones (essentially the Frankenstein Monster and his wife with children) in the spin-off series The Flintstone Comedy Show. A similar-looking version of the Gruesomes named the Creepleys appeared in Laff-A-Lympics.
  • A failed TV pilot for an animated series called Mini-Munsters (with the voices of most of the original cast of The Munsters) was produced in the 1970s.
  • Mr. and Mrs. J. Evil Scientist: The Scientists are a family unit of three consisting of a Peter Lorre-like husband, a Vampira-like wife, and their Frankenstein's Monster-like son. They delight in anything creepy, eerie, or spooky and dabble in magic and mad science.
  • Neighbors from Hell is about a family of demons that moves to Earth.
  • The New Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Show: "Who's Minding the Monster?" has the gang helping to babysit a werewolf baby that turns into a wolf when the moon shines. His father was Dracula and his mother a Bride of Frankenstein-like monster.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: "Parents' Day" reveals that Enid was born a witch, her parents are a werewolf and a vampire, and her little brothers are a Pumpkin Person and a Frankenstein's monster.
  • An episode of Popeye and Son has Junior befriend a kid who dresses a lot like Eddie Munster and who is ostracized by other kids (especially Bluto’s son and local bully). The kid turns out to be a werewolf and his family is made up of monsters: his dad is a Dracula-like vampire, his mom is a literal Mummy and his grandpa is the Frankenstein Monster.
  • The Real Ghostbusters had several examples:
    • The ghost family in the very first episode "Ghosts R Us"
    • An Addams family expy in the Mycawbs in episode "Loathe Thy Neighbor" (although the daughter looks more like Marilyn Munster)
    • A family of tourist ghosts in "Transcendental Tourists"
    • A cute baby ghost is searched for by her much more menacing parents in "Baby Spookums"
    • The Grungys, a parody of The Simpsons in "Guess What's Coming to Dinner"
  • The Smurfs (1981) has Tallulah and Selwyn, a couple of married wizards living in a haunted castle with a gargoyle for pet/son.
  • The Toonsylvania segment Night of the Living Fred starred a family of zombies known as the Deadmans.
  • Ugly Americans: Callie's family from her father's side consists of actual demons, and her father is Satan.


Video Example(s):


The Munsters

Herman is Frankenstein's Monster, Lily is a vampire, Grandpa is Dracula, Eddie is a werewolf, and Marilyn is a normal human being.

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