The Broaddus family was sure they'd found their dream home when they bought a sprawling historic house in 2014. Little did they know that this seemingly perfect Westfield, NJ, house also came with a house stalker. An entity known as the Watcher haunts this home, and has sent letter after letter containing creepy threats to residents. Even more frightening, this Watcher speaks about himself as if he's some paranormal entity, or even the house itself, leading to theories that he is not even a real person, but a malicious spirit or creature.
There have been haunted places in New Jersey before, but the Watcher stands out among them as more than just an urban legend. Police have been involved, though they have found nothing, and the letters keep coming. For the family that moved in there, it has been like a real life nightmare ever since they got the first letter.
But what do these letters say? Who or what is the Watcher? Why won't locals talk about it? There are more questions than answers, but no matter how you look at it, the Westfield Watcher house is more of a nightmare home than a dream home.
On November 13, 2018, The Cut released some of the most unnerving excerpts from the letters the Broadduses received. According to some of the notes, the sender was approaching their "110th birthday" back in 2014, and they were not happy with the Broadduses' decision to renovate the home, saying "Tsk, tsk, tsk... bad move. You don't want to make 657 Boulevard unhappy."
The Watcher also said that "all of the windows and doors in 657 Boulevard allow me to watch you and track you as I move through the house," and said that they were always watching the home: "I pass by many times a day. 657 Boulevard is my job, my life, my obsession."
Other excerpts reveal what we've already known about the Watcher - they are possessed by the notion of "young blood" and filling the house with it, and they fixate on death, musing how the new owners could pass:
Maybe a car accident. Maybe a fire. Maybe something as simple as a mild illness that never seems to go away but makes you fell sick day after day after day after day after day. Maybe the mysterious death of a pet. Loved ones suddenly die. Planes and cars and bicycles crash. Bones break.
The Westfield "Watcher" house, as it has come to be known, was built in 1906, and was originally purchased for a dollar. Throughout the years, it has been inhabited by a mayor and struck by lightning. Also, it may be home to some sort of strange sinister presence. We know this because owners of the house have received letters, threatening and menacing in nature, and the letters have been coming for decades. While much of the news about this house has happened in the last few years, the recorded trouble actually started in the 1990s. We don't know exactly when the first letter came, or what it said, but we know that the previous owners of the house, the Woods, received a letter from someone claiming to be a "watcher," and that the letters have continued since then.
So, what exactly did these letters say that was so chilling? When the Watcher first identified himself to the Broaddus family, he also gave a bit of background as to why he was observing the house. He said that he had been waiting for a new family, and that the Woods had sold the house when he had asked them to. He also said that he was in charge of the house, and that it was something that ran in the family. Previous generations had watched the house, and now, for the past two decades, the honor had fallen to him. In particular, the note stated:
"(The house) has been the subject of my family for decades. I have be (sic) 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."
Initially, it sounds like the house is being stalked by a creepy person obsessed with whoever lives there. However, many points in the Watcher's letters indicate that he may not be human at all. In the letters sent to the residents, the Watcher often referred to himself as the address of the house itself. He also spoke of a "second coming" of the house, as if it was alive, and has even warned "You don’t want to make 657 Boulevard unhappy." He also speaks as if he is in the walls, or running from room to room, as if he is a ghost that lives in the house even now. It has been suggested that the Watcher may be the spirit of a local murderer named John List, or a previous owner who has died and come back to haunt the pace. However, the Watcher is able to send tangible letters, so whoever and whatever they are is likely tangible as well.