The Watcher house is the setting for the increasingly creepy events that unfold in Netflix’s new drama and fans might well be wondering where it is in real life.
For anyone who doesn’t know what The Watcher is based on, the Netflix mystery drama is the latest in the line of unmissable (not to mention disturbing) true crime dramas, following from the likes of The Staircase and The Walk-In. Starring Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale as Nora and Dean Brannock, fictional characters inspired by Maria and Derek Broaddus, the show follows them as they purchase their dream home only for it to become known as The Watcher house.
So-named because of the ever more unnerving anonymous letters they’ve received from someone known only as The Watcher, the real-life Maria and Derek spent years trying to work out who was tormenting them.
But where is The Watcher house, who owns it now and did they ever catch The Watcher? We reveal what you need to know as the menacing Netflix drama arrives...
*Warning: spoilers ahead*
Where is The Watcher house?
For anyone who’s immediately found themselves racing through The Watcher from the moment it was released on Netflix on October 13, then you might just be wondering where is The Watcher house? This home is the focus of some downright disturbing goings on in both real-life and the new drama series and it’s located in Union County, New Jersey in the United States.
The Watcher house’s now infamous address is 657 Boulevard in Westfield, NJ and the spacious property seems to have it all - six bedrooms perfect for a loving family, a Dutch colonial revival design, and commutable proximity to New York. In 2014 this picturesque property was snapped up by couple Derek and Maria Broaddus only for the campaign of terror initiated by an anonymous stalker known only as The Watcher to turn this dream home into a living nightmare.
Who owns The Watcher house now?
Unwilling to live in The Watcher house after the letters from their unknown stalker began to get more and more intense, Derek and Maria tried to sell the property, but the rumors surrounding the torment they’d been receiving put people off to say the least. Instead, they rented it out, though according to Today (opens in new tab) their tenant later received another chilling Watcher letter in 2017.
This reportedly listed multiple forms of revenge that The Watcher was willing to exact upon them and, supposedly including car accidents and loved ones suddenly passing away. It’s thought that the Broaddus family were unable to secure a sale for many years, though the publication reports that in 2019 their luck finally changed.
The Watcher house is believed to have been sold to a couple in July 2019, as suggested by a deed that is said to have been filed with the Union County clerk’s office. Although reports have claimed that Derek and Maria originally paid over $1 million for The Watcher house, it was alleged that they sold it for much less.
Apparently confirming the sale of The Watcher house to Today Home, real estate agent, Beth Sullivan of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said that the new homeowners would like to remain anonymous. Given the history associated with the property and how well-known The Watcher letters are now, it is perhaps completely understandable that they would like to retain their privacy as they settled into their new home.
What happened in The Watcher House?
If you’re yet to dive into the depths of the murky mystery that is Netflix’s The Watcher or the real-life story that inspired it, then the creepy goings-on began just three days after Derek and Maria began to start moving their things into their new home. A letter arrived claiming that the Broadduses and their house were under surveillance - and that this voyeurism had been going on for many, many years before when The Watcher house was occupied by other families.
As reported by The Sun (opens in new tab) back in 2018, this first letter reportedly read, “Dearest new neighbor....allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood. 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,” it concluded.
If that wasn’t already scary enough, things were about to get a whole lot more intimidating and terrifying for Derek and Maria. A few weeks later she’s understood to have received a second letter directly addressed to her and her husband. Asking if the movers had “found what is in the walls” yet, the publication reports that the letter went on to mention the couple’s children.
Although The Watcher made it clear he knew their children’s birth order and names, he called them “young blood” that he claimed the Broadduses had “brought” to him.
The letters continued and The Watcher began to taunt the couple with the mystery surrounding their identity. The Sun adds that another letter told Derek and Maria “maybe I am one” when discussing the many cars driving by, the many people strolling by and the people living nearby.
Ultimately, the letters caused the Broadduses to decide against fully moving into The Watcher house, as it is now colloquially known.
Was The Watcher ever caught?
Thriller fans will be used to seeing the culprits caught and there’s nothing quite like the resolution of a whodunnit, whether a show is based on one of the best thriller books or is in some way inspired by real-life events. From the satisfying conclusion of the Karen Pirie ending to the Sherwood ending, this is what we’re used to - but sadly The Watcher has still not been caught, even after all these years.
After receiving the letters Derek and Maria Broaddus naturally notified the police who investigated the threatening notes. However, no firm conclusion was ever drawn about who The Watcher is. According to The Cut (opens in new tab), the letters were found to have been processed in the US Postal Service’s New Jersey distribution center, suggesting that The Watcher could have lived reasonably locally.
The Broadduses also employed a private investigator but by the end of 2014, Derek and Maria were still no further to finding out who had been tormenting them and over the years their neighbors and even they themselves had come under suspicion at one time or another.
So whilst we don't know who The Watcher, now you know what happened in and where The Watcher house is, you might just be tempted to see these sinister real-events unfold in the new show.
All episodes of The Watcher are available to watch on Netflix now.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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