Does the Real Monster House Lurk in Mayville, Wisconsin?
People often ask, “What is Monster House based on?”
It’s reasonable to assume the small towns of America are full of evil, dilapidated houses that eat people. I mean, just look at them. Totally probable. But there is only one town that holds the title as the real life home of the Monster House, and that is Mayville, Wisconsin.
That’s right, the 2006 animated film Monster House, about a house possessed by the spirit of an angry dead circus freak show performer, takes place right here in Wisconsin in the year 1983.
The original screenplay was co-written by Rob Schrab, who was born and raised in Mayville.
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Over the years, Schrab has directed multiple episodes of the series Community, worked as a writer and producer for three seasons of The Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central, co-directed the 12th season of Mystery Science Theater 3000, wrote 2 episodes of Creepshow on Shudder (he even directed one of them) and wrote an episode for season 5 of Rick and Morty about Morty falling in love with a Captain Planet-like heroine who is enslaved by the now adult owners of the power rings used to summon her.
But that success really all started with Monster House.
“This is like my first big thing,” Schrab said once in an interview, “and to grow up in a little town like Mayville, Wisconsin, and be eight years old and telling people, ‘I’m going to make movies like Spielberg,’ and to have a movie that’s produced by Spielberg, and then Roger Ebert says, ‘oh, this is like my favorite animated movie of the year,’ that’s great! People wanted to see three kids fight a monster house across the street, and they loved it.”
But is there really a monster house in Mayville that Schrab based it on?
Well, there is an Oak Street there, so next time you’re in the area, take a drive down that street and see if any of the homes try to eat you.
Mayville was also the setting of a real life crop circle incident with a rare eyewitness in 2003.
Schrab has done much of his work, including the Monster House screenplay, with Rick and Morty co-creator (and Milwaukee native) Dan Harmon. They met while attending the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.