‘The Watcher’ House Left Neighbors Shaken Up For Years: ‘It Was Freaky’

‘The Watcher’ House Left Neighbors Shaken Up For Years: ‘It Was Freaky’ Netflix

While the family in the infamous “Watcher” house in Westfield, New Jersey was terrorized by living there, so were the neighbors in the area. Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the six-bedroom property in June 2014 for $1.3 million. However, their dream home soon turned into a nightmare for them and everyone around them.

  1. The Netflix series around the harrowing mystery has renewed interest in the case. Only days after purchasing the house, the Broaddus’ received a mysterious note from someone who called themselves “The Watcher.” The notes continued throughout the time they lived in the house. However, the story faded from public memory until Netflix released “The Watcher” in October 2022.
  2. Neighbors still don’t understand what happened at the “Watcher” house. It was a mystery that has never been solved. Who wrote the notes and why? As Ralph Bencivenga, 54, an owner of Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe in Westfield, told the NY Post: “It was kind of freaky. If you know Westfield, it’s more of a quiet town, more family oriented. When that story came out, it definitely struck people.”
  3. The notes the Broaddus’ received were terrifying, to say the least. A 2018 New York Magazine article about the house and family covered the story. In the piece, the couple revealed they received a letter addressed to “The New Owner” upon purchase. The person who wrote it said they were the one in charge of watching the house. In further letters, he pointed out personal details about the couple and their kids and said they wanted “young blood” in the house. The watcher also claimed that the house was “the subject of my family for decades.” Unsurprisingly, the Broaddus’ put the house on the market in 2016, less than two years after they bought it.
  4. Neighbors gossiped about the “Watcher” house for ages. “There was always talk about the house. I’m sure people decided to move out at least out of that area,” Bencivenga recalled. The story broke in 2015 and immediately put residents on edge. “That area where it happened is a really beautiful area. It’s not too far from schools. It was a weird situation.” Neighbors weren’t shocked that the house took a long time to sell as a result. “Nobody wanted to live in the house. My son’s friend lived there for two years, and my son used to go there and hang out. He never noticed anything,” Bencivenga added. “He knew about ‘The Watcher,’ but it didn’t phase him. They just needed a rental in Westfield and that was their only choice.”
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
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