It looks like Halloween is coming a bit early this year courtesy of mega-producers Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan and their new show “The Watcher,” which is set to hit Netflix at some point this fall. Based upon a series of chilling but true events surrounding a handsome Dutch Colonial located at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, N.J., the tale is almost too bizarre to be believed!
As the story, which was covered in detail by an extensive 2018 feature in The Cut, goes, in June 2014 Derek Broaddus, a senior vice president at a Manhattan insurance agency, and his wife, Maria, purchased their dream house (pictured below), a picturesque six-bedroom, four-bath, 3,869-square-foot residence situated on a hilly green plot in affluent Westfield for $1.35 million. The couple planned to move into the idyllic three-story 1905 structure with their three young children following a renovation project. But their dream dwelling quickly turned into the stuff of nightmares when Derek found a letter in the mailbox of his new home just three days after the close of escrow. The typed missive stated, “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 it 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 note was ominously signed “The Watcher.” (Shudder!)
Within two weeks, a second message had arrived, this one mentioning the three Broaddus children by their nicknames along with the query, “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.” (Again, shudder!) A third communication turned up a few weeks later, as equally foreboding as its predecessors.