The Unexplained: Who is the Westfield Watcher?

Some believe that the Dutch Colonial Watcher House at 657 Boulevard in Westfield may be the scariest house in New Jersey. Photo:

The couple was starting to panic, especially when The Watcher mentioned that he had been paying attention to their children. 

There is a case that reminds me a lot of the Circleville Letters incident—that incident is so chilling and spooky that I refuse to ever write about it.  The Circleville letters give off vibes of such pure evil, that I am leery to put the facts on paper.  I will write about similar Watcher House events instead.  It is very frightening, I must admit.

In 2014, the Broaddus family found their dream house.  Maria had grown up in that same neighborhood of Westfield, New Jersey.  Her childhood house was just a few blocks away.  On the other hand, her husband Derek had grown up in Maine and was from the working class.  He had achieved much for his age and was a senior vice-president for an insurance firm.  His job was in Manhattan.

Most residents felt safe in the affluent community of Westfield.  It had a small-town feeling and was a forty-five-minute drive from the bustle of NYC.

Derek and Maria were so excited to be able to close on the house.  When they did, they hired some contractors to make changes to the house in an effort to customize it to their tastes and family life.

It was a done deal.  They got ready to move in—then it happened.  They got their first note in the mail.  It was signed, The Watcher, and had no return address.  There could be no mistake that the writer of the note had been watching their comings and goings like a hawk.  No activity had gone unnoticed.  The writer had taken on the persona of the house at 657 Boulevard.  The house was not happy with all the construction going on.  It was changing the house’s history and character.

The ominous letter was simply addressed to The New Owners.  The envelope was addressed in thick letters, but the body of the letter was typed.

Sara Marie Hogg

The writer of the letter made it clear that many members of his family had watched the house—his grandfather, his father, and now himself.  They were its guardians.

The house was built in 1905 and was a Dutch Colonial beauty.

The couple was starting to panic, especially when The Watcher mentioned that he had been paying attention to their children.  He knew their names, ages, and activities.

The couple contacted the police and then they contacted the previous owners who had lived in the house for 23 years.  The previous owners admitted getting one letter from The Watcher, and they threw it in the trash.

The police told the Broaddus family not to mention anything to any neighbors as they would be considering them all possible suspects.

The second letter was more disturbing and it warned the couple not to let the children play in the basement as their screams could not be heard upstairs.

The police felt The Watcher might be a man with schizophrenia that lived close by.  His family swore that he would not do anything like that.  Moreover, when DNA was extracted from the envelope seal, it was found to be the DNA of a woman.

The letters kept coming and got creepier and creepier.  The Broaddus family enlisted the help of several professionals to investigate.  They included esteemed former FBI agents and a security firm.  They even hired a former member of Sha Na Na who was a forensic linguist—to analyze language patterns in the letters.  Nothing came from these expensive efforts.

Among the many sinister things The Watcher said was this:

All of the windows and doors in 657 Boulevard allow me to watch you and track you as you move through the house.  Who am I?  I am The Watcher and I have been in control of 657 Boulevard for the better part of two decades, now…… I pass by many times a day.  657 Boulevard is my job, my life, and my obsession.

After six months, Derek and Maria Broaddus put their $1.4 million house on the market.  They did not want to risk the safety of their children.  All sales of the house fell through after the existence of The Watcher was disclosed.  They finally sold it at a $440,000 loss in 2019.  On a bright note, their tragic story was picked up for a Netflix production.

One of the final messages they got from The Watcher was this:  You want to know who The Watcher is?  Turn around, you idiots!

I will be watching, myself, to see if any new owners of 657 Boulevard get letters from The Watcher. 

Who is The Watcher?

Please click HERE to find Curious Indeed, Sara Marie Hogg’s collection of true stories about the bizarre and unexplained, on Amazon.

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