Dwelling the suburban dream turned a residing nightmare for neighbors residing close by “The Watcher” residence at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey.
The seemingly idyllic city outdoors of Manhattan has been riddled with information vans and unrest ever since Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the large six-bedroom home for $1.3 million in June, 2014. Days after transferring in, they obtained their first harrowing observe signed, “The Watcher.”
Their haunted home story is the premise for the brand new Netflix present with the identical title, however in actual life, neighbors have been shaken up for years, and lots of are nonetheless questioning what actually occurred, residents say.
“It was sort of freaky. If you recognize Westfield, it’s extra of a quiet city, extra household oriented. When that story got here out, it undoubtedly struck individuals,” Ralph Bencivenga, 54, an proprietor at Bovella’s Pastry Shoppe in Westfield, who has been a lifelong resident working lower than a mile from “The Watcher,” home instructed The Submit.
The house was the topic of the 2018 New York Journal story detailing The Broaddus’ harrowing residence shopping for expertise in 2014 once they obtained a letter addressed to “The New Proprietor” with the nameless scribe claiming he was accountable for watching the house.
Every letter included private particulars concerning the homeowners, their residence and their kids and that they wished the home full of “younger blood.” The Watcher additionally wrote that the house had been “the topic of my household for many years” and that they have been ready for its “second coming.”
“How did you find yourself right here?” the author requested within the first letter to the household. “Did 657 Boulevard name to you with its power inside?”
“657 Boulevard has been the topic of my household for many years now and because it approaches its a hundred and tenth birthday, I’ve been put accountable for watching and ready for its second coming,” the nameless creator wrote in a single letter, claiming their grandfather watched the home within the Nineteen Twenties, and their father watched within the Sixties.
“It’s now my time. Have you learnt the historical past of the home? Have you learnt what lies inside the partitions of 657 Boulevard? Why are you right here? I’ll discover out.”
Bencivenga mentioned the information unfold like wildfire within the city, and the allegations didn’t sit effectively with residents, a lot of whom have been younger households.
“There was at all times speak about the home. I’m certain individuals determined to maneuver out not less than out of that space,” Bencivenga mentioned, recalling the 2015 investigation. “That space the place it occurred is a very stunning space. It’s not too removed from faculties. It was a bizarre scenario.”
The Westfield police division performed a prolonged investigation, with the Broadduses hiring a retired NYPD officer, forensic linguist and a former FBI agent to trace down any suspects, nonetheless, they by no means had any leads or proof and no helpful info was pulled after checking the envelopes for fingerprints, according to New York Magazine.
Bencivenga recalled the house being a tough promote after the Broadduses moved out, noting that his son’s buddy’s household rented the house in 2020.
“No one wished to stay in the home. My son’s buddy lived there for 2 years, and my son used to go there and hang around. He by no means seen something. He knew about ‘The Watcher,’ nevertheless it didn’t section him. They only wanted a rental in Westfield and that was their solely alternative,” Bencivenga mentioned.
One other resident, Kimberly Sorrentino, who has lived on The Boulevard for 30 years instructed The U.S. Sun she “critically contemplated” shopping for the Broaddus household’s residence when it went up on the market. Whereas different residents instructed the outlet they underwent voluntary DNA testing through the investigation into the thriller missives.
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