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First look at terrifying new Netflix series The Watcher based on shocking true story

Ali Condon

| Last updated 

First look at terrifying new Netflix series The Watcher based on shocking true story

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Just in time for Halloween, Netflix has dropped in with a brand spanking new collection of spine-chilling shows - but they're definitely not for the faint of heart.

Among the streaming giant's new releases is limited drama series The Watcher, which is based on a horrifying true story.

Check out the trailer here... if you think you can handle it.


The new series, based on a real story about a family taunted by an anonymous stalker, has been brought to Netflix by Ryan Murphy, who you might know as the mind behind American Horror Story, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and, well, Glee.

His latest project, The Watcher, tells the story of married couple Dean (Bobby Cannavale) and Nora Brannock (Naomi Watts), who have just purchased their dream family home in the idyllic suburb of Westfield, New Jersey.

After forking out a hefty million on the gorgeous house, they soon realise that there's something off about their new neighbourhood.

For starters, there's their eccentric older neighbour Pearl (Mia Farrow) and her brother Jasper (Terry Kinney), who sneaks into the Brannock’s house and hides in their dumbwaiter.

Then there's Karen (Jennifer Coolidge), a real estate agent and an old acquaintance of Nora’s, who makes the family feel like they don’t really belong. And on top of that, there's their nosy neighbours Mitch (Richard Kind) and Mo (Margo Martindale), who don’t seem to understand property lines.

The new limited series is based on a true story. Credit: Netflix
The new limited series is based on a true story. Credit: Netflix

Things quickly go from uncomfortable to utterly horrifying when the Brannocks start receiving ominous letters from an anonymous sender who calls themselves 'The Watcher'.

What makes this hair-raising series ten times more unsettling is that it's based on the true story of the infamous 'Watcher' house in New Jersey.

The real story is of the Broaddus family, who secured their dream Dutch colonial six-bedroom home in Westfield, New Jersey for an eye-watering $1.4million before they were forced to abandon it when threatening letters started to arrive.

The ominous letters warned the couple that their home and their young children were constantly under surveillance by 'The Watcher.'

One letter had read: "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," The Cut reports.

Another excerpt from the letters reads: "You have children. I have seen them. So far I think there are three that I have counted'” then the threatening: “Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me."

Derek and Maria Broaddus were so distressed by the letters that they never moved in.

The Watcher is a Ryan Murphy creation. Credit: Netflix
The Watcher is a Ryan Murphy creation. Credit: Netflix

Eventually, after years of trying, the couple finally managed to resell the house - at a substantial loss - though they never did find out who was behind the anonymous letters.

The Watcher comes to Netflix on 13 October.

Topics: Netflix, TV And Film

Ali Condon
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