August 12, 2019 11:49 am
Updated: August 12, 2019 11:56 am

Family haunted by ‘The Watcher’ sells dream home at a loss

WATCH: The owners of a New Jersey home haunted by a creepy letter-writer have been trying to sell it publicly since 2016.


The nightmare at 657 Boulevard is finally over for Derek and Maria Broaddus — but there’s no telling what’s in store for the people who bought their former dream house at a heavy discount.

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The Broadduses have spent the last five years trying to avoid a mysterious, unidentified stalker known only as “The Watcher,” who has sent them several threatening letters since they bought a gorgeous century home in Westfield, N.J., for $1.35 million. The Broadduses reported the letters to police and never moved in because they were so afraid of this individual.

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A listing on the real estate site Zillow shows the Broadduses have been trying to sell the home since February 2015. They’ve dropped the price several times since then, and ultimately found a buyer on July 2 for $959,000 — a loss of nearly $400,000.

The sale ends a long legal battle and personal nightmare for the Broadduses, who have been trying for years to escape the scrutiny of “The Watcher.”

This photo shows the home Derek and Maria Broaddus were scared away from because of creepy letters from a stalker, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Westfield, N.J.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

Their nightmare began just a few days after they bought the home in 2014, when they found an anonymous letter left at the door.

“Allow me to welcome you to the neighbourhood,” the letter began, according to an in-depth feature in New York Magazine. “Did 657 Boulevard call to you with its force within?”

The letter-writer claimed to be part of a long line of men charged with “watching and waiting” for the century home’s “second coming.”

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“Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard?” the letter said.

The first letter ended with the message: “Let the party begin,” and was signed “The Watcher.”

A few weeks later, the stalker sent another letter to criticize the couple for “flooding” the home with contractors, before asking about their three children.

“I have seen them,” the Watcher wrote, according to New York Magazine. “Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me.”

In this June 25, 2015, file photo, a newspaper rests on the driveway of the home of Derek and Maria Broaddus in Westfield, N.J.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

The Broadduses reported the letters to police, but no suspects were ever identified. They tried to sue the home’s former owners, but court records show they failed to convince a judge that the previous owners knew about the Watcher. They unsuccessfully sued the town to demolish the home. They even set up security cameras and hired a former FBI agent to investigate their neighbours, to no avail.

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The home’s new owners, Andrew and Allison Carr, declined to speak to the New York Times and on Friday.

The Broadduses can finally leave the home behind, although they won’t be able to escape the story. Netflix bought the rights to adapt it late last year, Deadline reports.

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Lee Levitt, who represented the Broadduses in their lawsuit against the former owners, says he is happy to hear about the sale.

“I hope this nightmare is behind them,” he told “I look forward to the Netflix version.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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