While binge-watching The Watcher on Netflix, viewers will definitely have one burning question: What the hell happened to that house?
The Ryan Murphy-created television show is based on a real-life incident in Westfield, New Jersey in 2014 involving a family that moved there and was soon tormented by a letter-writer posing as a watcher who went by the name of The Watcher.
The terror the Broaddus family went through is fictionalized in the series, but the house is actually very real. Here is some information about it.
Netflix's The Watcher
Netflix released The Watcher on October 13! This new television show is based on the true tale of a family whose plans to move into their ideal home were derailed when they started receiving threatening letters from an unidentified stalker known only as “The Watcher.”
The Broaddus family in Westfield, New Jersey began to get alarming messages from a shady stalker not long after purchasing 657 Boulevard in June 2014.
The terrified family started looking for assistance from the police, private detectives, and FBI agents as soon as they realized who was sending the letters. The Broaddus family ultimately sold the home in 2019 for $959,360, around $400,000 less than what they paid for it, however the culprit was never discovered.
Where Exactly is the Watcher House?
Located at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, a largely upper middle class area of New Jersey, lies the now infamous Watcher House.
What Makes the Watcher House So Dreadful?
The Broadduses started renovating the house nearly right away after they bought it. Fortunately, they hadn't moved out of their previous home completely because soon after the papers were signed, Derek Broaddus‘ husband received a letter in the mail. The writer of this letter identified them self only as “The Watcher.”
They were one Watcher among many generations assigned with keeping watch over the house, according to the author. The letters contained very detailed references to Derek, his wife Maria, and their children even referring to them by name which is creepy enough.
Police inquiries, forgery allegations, and efforts to sell the house drove the Broaddusses insane as more letters continued to arrive.
Who Now Resides in the Watcher's Home?
No one would buy the building from Derek and Maria because of the ongoing letters. In 2015, they were able to rent the house to a family, but the letters that featured threats against Derek and Maria's life kept coming. The Broaddus family eventually sold the home in 2019 for $959,000.
We wish you nothing but the calm and quiet that we once imagined in this home, Derek and Maria wrote in a note that was given to the new owners along with a photograph of The Watcher's handwriting. The Watcher has yet to write any letters to the property's present owners.
Have the Watcher's Letters Reached the New Owners?
The Broaddus family asked their real estate lawyer to send the new owners a note once the sale was finalized, wishing them well in their new residence. It read, “We wish you nothing but the quiet and peace we once dreamed of in this home.”
In case any fresh letters were sent, they also sent a snapshot of The Watcher's handwriting so they could identify it. No new letters have been sent to 657 Boulevard‘s new owners.
Given that the new owners were locals, some have questioned whether the Broaddus family's story was taken seriously in their community. Of course, they have stated in interviews that what they have encountered is real.