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Chilling true story behind Netflix's terrifying new horror series The Watcher

Shola Lee

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| Last updated 

Chilling true story behind Netflix's terrifying new horror series The Watcher

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

If you thought that Netflix was done dropping terrifying stories, you're in for a shock.

The streaming service's latest haunt, The Watcher, takes a look at the real-life story of a New Jersey family taunted by letters from a mysterious person watching their new home.

And if that wasn't enough to send chills down your spine, the fact that it was based on a true story might.

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Creepy king Ryan Murphy is behind the new series and given his work on American Horror StoryMonster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and, well, Glee, it's pretty clear you're in for a terrifying ride.

The Netflix show focuses on the story of Dean (Bobby Cannavale) and Nora Brannock (Naomi Watts), who have just purchased their dream family home in the idyllic suburb of Westfield, New Jersey.

However, the family is soon shocked by the scary letters they receive from someone watching the house.

And, it turns out, this part of the new series really happened.

Back in 2014, Derek and Maria Broaddus bought 657 Boulevard in Westfield.

The Watcher is Ryan Murphy's newest series. Credit: Netflix
The Watcher is Ryan Murphy's newest series. Credit: Netflix

It was their dream home, with an abundance of space and a beautiful exterior, there was just one problem: The Watcher.

You see, when the couple moved in they received a letter addressed to 'The New Owner.'

In the letter, a person who identifies themselves as The Watcher says that they will be looking over the house, in time for its 'second coming', which doesn't exactly scream home-sweet-home to us.

Still, the family shared their experience in The Cut and published one of the letters, which read: "Dearest new neighbour at 657 Boulevard, Allow me to welcome you to the neighbourhood.

"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."

Enough to make your hair stand on end, right?

Another letter 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 show is based on a real life story. Credit: Netflix
The show is based on a real life story. Credit: Netflix

Well, the letters kept coming, and over time The Watcher correctly began to identify the couple's children.

The family got the police, investigators, and even an ex-FBI agent involved but nothing came up.

After the Westfield police department's investigation led nowhere, the case was taken on by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, which started from scratch, The Cut reports. This time, they investigated a DNA sample, obtained from the underside of one of the envelopes the family received. It apparently belonged to a woman, and in December 2018 the prosecutor’s office went around the neighbourhood asking everyone to voluntarily submit a DNA sample for comparison.

All but two residents are said to have cooperated, one of which was a 'close neighbourhood' of 657 Boulevard, and who at one point was considered a suspect. However, the prosecutor’s office did not elaborate further, and the case remains open.

Understandably freaked out, the family put the house up for sale and in 2019 sold it for $400,000 less than they'd bought it for – we'd argue that was the right decision.

You can stream The Watcher on Netflix now.

Topics: TV And Film, Netflix

Shola Lee
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