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'The Watcher' on Netflix: The chilling real-life story behind new terrifying horror series

'Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard?' read the letter that was sent by the stalker
'The Watcher's production-still from Episode 01 (Eric Liebowitz/Netflix)
'The Watcher's production-still from Episode 01 (Eric Liebowitz/Netflix)

The most horrifying moment for a viewer is probably when a series they are hooked to, turns out to be based on real-life events. Speaking of which, Netflix's new series which fans claim to be 'so good' is actually based on a real-life story

The Netflix series, 'The Watcher' is a  mystery thriller television miniseries created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan. It follows the true story of a married couple who, after moving into their dream home in Westfield, New Jersey, is harassed by letters signed by a stalker named 'The Watcher'. It premiered on October 13, 2022. It is based on a 2018 article for New York's 'The Cut', by Reeves Wiedeman. The series has eight episodes in total that don't exceed more than an hour span thus viewers can't complain that the series is too long. Read more to know what happened in real life. 


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Back in 2014, Derek and Maria Broaddus bought their dream home at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, NJ. But before long, they received a letter addressed to “The New Owner”. Eventually, the family told their story in The Cut and even shared the first letter in its entirety.

It read, "Dearest new neighbor at 657 Boulevard, Allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood. 657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades now and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming. My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I will find out."

Another read,  “Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me. “Was your old house too small for the growing family? Or was it greed to bring me your children? Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them too [sic] me."

The letter continued, "657 Boulevard is anxious for you to move in. It has been years and years since the young blood ruled the hallways of the house. Have you found all of the secrets it holds yet? Will the young blood play in the basement? Or are they too afraid to go down there alone? I would [be] very afraid if I were them. It is far away from the rest of the house. If you were upstairs you would never hear them scream. Will they sleep in the attic? Or will you all sleep on the second floor? Who has the bedrooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in. It will help me to know who is in which bedroom. Then I can plan better. All of the windows and doors in 657 Boulevard allow me to watch you and track you as you move through the house. Who am I? I am the Watcher and have been in control of 657 Boulevard for the better part of two decades now. The Woods family turned it over to you. It was their time to move on and kindly sold it when I asked them to. I pass by many times a day. 657 Boulevard is my job, my life, my obsession. And now you are too Braddus family. Welcome to the product of your greed! Greed is what brought the past three families to 657 Boulevard and now it has brought you to me.

Have a happy moving-in day. You know I will be watching."

It was when 'The Watcher' was able to identify the couple’s children, they got the authorities involved including the FBI but it ain't available to any layman. Eventually, experts were able to test some DNA from one of the letters which led them to believe it was from a woman. Everyone in the locality offered up DNA samples except for two women. However, as of today, the case remains open.

You can stream 'The Watcher' on Netflix now.