Ryan Murphy’s new thriller series, The Watcher, is the most-watched series on Netflix for the second week in a row, with 148.2M hours viewed. But maybe you didn’t realize it’s based on a TRUE STORY.
The real-life story revolves around a married couple named Derek and Maria Broaddus who purchased a home in Westfield, New Jersey in 2014. Bobby Cannavale and Naomi Watts star as the couple in the terrifying series. But unlike the series, the real-life Broaddus family never actually moved in to the home after they bought it. They started renovations 3 days after closing and got a letter soon after. It was addressed to “The New Owner,” and read:
“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,” the first letter began, per The Cut. “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.” They reached out to the previous owners who had lived there for 23 years before they received a letter. The Broaddus’ got four letters total and they decided to sell before ever moving in. The problem was, they couldn’t in good conscience sell without disclosing the threatening letters, which naturally scared buyers away.
In 2019, they finally sold 657 Boulevard when they sold the home for approximately $959,000, according to Zillow.