‘The Watcher’ is Netflix’s latest true story tale meant to get you watching | CNN
Netflix has found its sweet spot with freaking us all out. “The Watcher” is no exception.
Here’s what you need to know about the new limited series that is streaming now:
Netflix describes it as “the Brannock family moves into what was supposed to be their suburban dream home, it quickly becomes a living hell.”
“Ominous letters from someone calling themself ‘The Watcher’ are just the beginning as the neighborhood’s sinister secrets come spilling out,” according to the show’s description.
New York Magazine in 2018 published an article titled “The Haunting of a Dream House,” written by Reeves Wiedeman, which told the story of the family of Derek and Maria Broaddus.
The coupled purchased a six-bedroom home in Westfield, New Jersey for $1,355,657 and spent about $100,000 on renovations. After finishing up a day of painting, Derek Reeves went to check the mail and found a letter addressed to “The New Owner.”
“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 letter read in part. “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time.”
“The Watcher” continued to send letters, some of them focused on the family’s three young children, that became increasingly hostile and threatening.
The family went on high alert, contacted the police and even hired a private detective to try and discover the identity of the letter writer. Neighbors were asked to voluntarily submit DNA to compare to that found on one of the envelopes.
Out of fear and caution, they never moved in to the home.
Eight months after purchasing the house, the Broaddus’ put it up for sale. Despite reducing the price multiple times, they were unable to sell it.
They filed suit against the previous owners for failing to alert them to the fact that they, too, had received letters from “The Watcher.”
After a failed attempt to get zoning permission to sell the house to a developer who would have razed it to divide into two lots, the couple sold the house five years after purchasing it for less than they paid.
Where is the family now?
The family still lives in Westfield, according to New York Magazine, just in a smaller house. Derek Broaddus has a Twitter account where he most recently has been posting stories about the Netflix series.
The show stars Bobby Cannavale as Derek Broaddus, and Naomi Watts as his wife, Maria.