ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images
Jonathon Dornbush
September 17, 2014 AT 02:36 PM EDT

The Addams Family has appeared in just about every possible form, from cartoons and movies to a recent musical stage show and even a couple of video games. But it’s the 1960s live-action TV series that made the family a household name. On the show’s 50th anniversary, Life takes a look back at its creepy, kooky beginnings.

While hunting for for the perfect Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, and the rest of the Addams clan, the show’s producers saw a number of actors and actresses. Life documented much of the process and has compiled a series of photos both used in the magazine and previously unpublished that chronicle the search. The Addams Family premiered on Sept. 18, 1964; included in Life‘s gallery is the original article published in anticipation of the show’s debut alongside other supernatural hits The Munsters and Bewitched.

Head over to Life to see the gallery full of unknown Morticia and Wednesday Addams hopefuls, and it’ll likely take only a few pictures before the show’s indelible theme song gets stuck in your head yet again.

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