Imagine you work hard and buy your dream house and a random creep decides to terrorize you with strange letters to the point that you can’t even move in. That’s what happened to the Broaddus family. In 2014, Derek and Maria Broaddus brought a house in Westfield, New Jersey for around 1.4 million dollars. It was located on 657 Boulevard. Before they decided to move in, they found a letter addressed to “the new owner in their mail box. The letter read,
“Dearest new neighbour at 657 Boulevard, allow me to welcome you to the neighbourhood. 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.“
The writer seemed to have noticed minute details including the workers doing renovations and the children playing. The letter continued.
“You have children. I have seen them. So far I think there are three that I have counted. Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Better for me. Was your old house too small for the growing family? Or was it greed to bring me your children? Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them too [sic] me”.
Of course the couple was shocked and wondered who the writer was. Was it a troll? A psychopathic stalker? What was on the letter only lead to further confusion.
“Who am I?” There are hundreds and hundreds of cars that drive by 657 Boulevard each day. Maybe I am in one. Look at all the windows you can see from 657 Boulevard. Maybe I am in one. “Welcome my friends, welcome. Let the party begin” Signed by “The Watcher”.
The couple told the police about the strange letter and contacted the previous owners, the Woods as well because the letter included a part that said; “I asked the Woods to bring me young blood and it looks like they listened.”. The Woods replied saying they didn’t receive anything strange for 23 years except a strange note from someone calling themselves “The Watcher” recently which they threw away thinking it was a prank. The police told the two families to keep the letters a secret because almost everyone in the neighbourhood is now a suspect.
Two weeks later, a second letter arrived. This letter was more strange because it was directly addressed to the Broaddus’s (with incorrect spelling) and included the children’s nicknames as well.
“Will the young blood play in the basement? Or are they too afraid to go down there alone. I would [be] very afraid if I were them…. If you were upstairs, you would never hear them scream… The Woods family turned it over to you. It was their time to move on and kindly sold it when I asked them to. I pass by many times a day. 657 Boulevard is my job, my life, my obsession. And now you are too Braddus family. Welcome to the product of your greed!“
The couple decided not to bring their children to the house for their own safety. Few weeks later, a third letter arrived, which said, “Where have you gone to?” ….657 Boulevard is missing you.”
The police were heavily involved in the investigation from doing handwriting tests, DNA tests to interviewing the neighbours, yet no significant lead. Westfield, New Jersey is a premium neighbourhood, said to be one of the safest in the United States. The watcher points it out as well “You made it if you lived on the Boulevard”. Due to the high value of real estate in the area, one can assume that there could have been some neighbourhood politics coming to play as well. At first, the couple wondered if the writer was someone who had made a failed bid to buy the house, but that theory was quickly dismissed.
The Langford family that lived two doors down were a bit odd as well. One of their adult sons Michael was said to be “kind of a Boo Radley character.” The Langford house was next to the porch and the family had lived there since the 1960s. This can make sense because the watcher said that his family has been watching the house for decades. When questioned however, they denied knowing anything and there wasn’t solid evidence to back up the suspicions. Investigators had eventually conducted a DNA analysis on one of the envelopes and determined that the DNA belonged to a woman. A private investigator hired by the couple kept a close eye on Michael’s sister, who was a real estate agent, but her DNA did not match with that on the envelope. Not long after, the prosecutor’s office gave Derek and Maria some unexpected news: They wouldn’t say why or how, but they had ruled out the Langfords as suspects.
The couple started having nightmares and soon decided to sell the house, but it was no easy task. Rumours began to spread around about the watcher. They lowered the price and disclosed the information about the letters to prospective buyers. They also filed a lawsuit against the Woodses for not informing them of the letter they received which was later dismissed. Some residents accused the couple of orchestrating a hoax, which the Broadduses have denied. The couple were eventually able to rent the house, which made the watcher send another letter stating; “657 Boulevard survived your attempted assault and stood strong with its army of supporters… All hail the watcher… Maybe a car accident, maybe a fire… you are despised by the house and the watcher won”
In 2019 however, the family was able to sell the house for approximately $959,000, according to an online real estate database, a major loss for the couple. Maybe the watcher got what he wanted, maybe not. Nevertheless, the mystery remains. Who knows, the watcher might even read this article alongside the articles written about him on and have a good laugh. The internet is a crazy place, thus, for anyone interested there are many online platforms digging deeper into this eerie case of the watcher analyzing all the possible theories. Until it gets solved, it is the watcher who will have the last laugh.
– Rtr Kavindi Gunawardena
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