Is Westfield 657 Boulevard a Real House? Who Resides There?
Is Westfield 657 Boulevard a Real House: In the Netflix original series “The Watcher,” Dean and Nora Brannock (Bobby Cannavale and Naomi Watts) spend all of their savings to buy their dream home at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey.
But as soon as they settle down, they begin to get unsettling messages from someone identifying themselves as “the Watcher.” The Watcher claims that their family has been keeping watch over 657 Boulevard for generations in the letters, which include extremely detailed descriptions of the address.
They called the two young children of Dean and Nora “young blood.” A true crime television show called “The Watcher” is based on the experiences of a real family. Here is what you need to know if you’re wondering whether the house from the show is real.
Is The Home at 657 Boulevard Real?
The Watcher is based on a 2018 piece by Reeves Wiedeman that appeared in The Cut of New York magazine. The article provides a thorough explanation of what actually occurred from the perspective of the family that was actually stalked. Instead of the two kids that the Brannucks have in the show, Derek and Maria Broaddus have three. The Rye home at 1 Warriston Lane served as a stand-in for 657 Boulevard during the filming of the Netflix miniseries, which was shot in Westchester County, New York.
657 Boulevard is a charming 4,000 square foot mansion with six bedrooms and four baths that was built in 1905. Weideman claimed that 657 Boulevard “may have been the nicest mansion on the block.” The Woodses, the previous owners, sold the property to the Broadduses in 2014 for more than $1.35 million. The house was never actually occupied by them. The first letter came when they were staying with Maria’s parents throughout the restoration.
The family received a total of three letters. They approached law enforcement, but the investigation was fruitless, and the Watcher is still evading capture. Derek and Maria made the decision to relist the house about six months after they had bought it. At first, they demanded more money than they had paid in an effort to get paid back for the home improvements they had made. Unfortunately, they were responsible for the letters’ story becoming widely known.
In 2019, 657 Boulevard was ultimately sold for $959,000, resulting in a loss for the Broaddus family of more than $400,000.
Background of Boulevard
With their three children, Maria and Derek Broaddus were preparing to move into 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey, in June 2014. Due to its proximity to Maria’s childhood home, its roomy layout, and its position in the “30th Safest City in the U.S.,” 657 Boulevard was seen as the Broadduses’ ideal home.
Three days after the sale was finalized, a letter with “thick, clumsy letters” addressed to “The New Owner” showed up in their mailbox. The penned letter stated: “Permit me to extend a warm welcome to you as our newest neighbor at 657 Boulevard. What brought you here? Did 657 Boulevard make a strong internal call to you? My family has been interested in 657 Boulevard for many years, and as it gets close to turning 110, I’ve been given the responsibility of keeping an eye out for its second coming. In the 1920s, my grandfather kept watch over the house, and in the 1960s, it was my father. Now is my moment.
Every day, countless numbers of vehicles pass along 657 Boulevard. Maybe I belong to one. From 657 Boulevard, have a look at all the windows that are visible. Maybe I belong to one. View the daily parade of pedestrians outside any of the many windows at 657 Boulevard.
I might be one of them. You’re a parent. I’ve witnessed them. As of right now, I believe I have counted three. Do you need to bring in all the fresh blood I asked for? improved for me. Was your previous home inadequate for the expanding family? Or did you bring me your kids out of greed? I’ll call to them and lure them to me once I know their names.” The author then added a cursive signature that read “The Watcher.”
The Broaddus family contacted the house’s previous owners, John and Andrea Woods, after receiving the letter. In their 23 years at 657 Boulevard, the Woods family admitted to the Broaddus family that they had only ever gotten one letter from “The Watcher,” but since it had arrived just days before they left the house, the message was ignored without much thought.
Following their conversation with the Woods family, the two families went to the police and reported what had happened. They were told by the authorities to stay quiet about The Watcher since all of their neighbors were now being investigated.
Details On Boulevard
The Broadduses still hadn’t moved in when a second letter showed up two weeks later. The letter contained details such as their surname (though it was spelled incorrectly), the kids’ birth dates, and their nicknames. It also made mention to their daughter drawing in a porch enclosure and posed the question, “Is she the family artist?”
The correspondence went on to state, “Since the young blood no longer dominated the house’s hallways, many years have passed. Have you uncovered all of its hidden mysteries thus far? Will the youthful blood have fun down there? Or perhaps they’re terrified to walk down there by themselves. If I were them, I would be really terrified. The remainder of the home is far from it.
They would never shout if you were upstairs. Will they spend the night up there? Or are you all planning to spend the night upstairs? Whose bedrooms are on the streetside? As soon as you move in, I’ll be informed. Knowing who is in which bedroom will be useful. Then I can better plan.” When Maria and Derek stopped bringing their kids over to the house after receiving this letter, they put an end to their plans to move there, which resulted in a third letter “What place have you been? You are missed at 657 Boulevard.”
There were still no leads a year after the investigation began. The Broaddus family was under stress as a result, and Derek developed depression and Maria had post-traumatic stress disorder. Both of them suffered from paranoia. The Broadduses decided to sell the house six months after the letters arrived, but they were unable to do so because of the stories surrounding 657 Boulevard.
The Broadduses also made an attempt to file a lawsuit against the Woods family for failing to disclose the threatening letter they had received. The judge, however, dismissed the case because there was no proof that they had concealed the letter on purpose or that they actually thought it posed a threat. The mansion quickly became the focus of a “media frenzy” as a result of this drawing media attention.
The Broadduses also thought about offering the property to a developer who could demolish it and divide it into two plots. It couldn’t be done since the plots would all be three feet too tiny for the required size of the neighborhood. The courts unanimously rejected the ruling after the Broadduses challenged this to the local planning board, resulting in the single-family status of 657 Boulevard. It was noted that the same board had, in fact, approved the division of another nearby lot in 2018, even though the lot’s requirements were greater than those of the Broadduses.
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Families who had expressed displeasure about the Broadduses’ attempts to divide the property received threatening letters addressed to “Friends of the Broaddus Family” around Christmas 2015.
About two years after the initial letter, in the spring of 2016, the Broadduses located a family ready to rent the house from them, with the caveat that they may cancel if a subsequent letter showed up. A letter addressed to “The disgusting and spiteful Derek and his wench of a wife Maria” arrived at the house within two weeks.
The message continued: “Despite your attempted attack, 657 Boulevard held firm, its army of defenders manning the gates. My Boulevard warriors obeyed my commands exactly. In accordance with my instructions, they accomplished their goal and saved 657 Boulevard’s soul.
Salute to The Watcher! possibly a car crash possibly a fire Perhaps something as straightforward as a minor illness that persists despite your best efforts to recover, making you feel sick constantly. Perhaps a weird pet death. Suddenly, loved ones pass away. Cars, bicycles, and airplanes all crash. Broken bones. The house despises you, and The Watcher prevailed.” Despite being terrified by the letter, the renters consented to stay as long as more cameras were put in place, which they were.
While it was challenging for police to investigate a crime without fingerprints, a digital trail, or a way to pinpoint a suspect at the scene of the crime, they were able to come up with three suspects: a man known as “The Gamer” because of his propensity for playing violent video games as a character named “The Watcher,” Michael Langford because of his propensity to literally “watch” his neighbors, and the Broaddus family themselves because of suspicions of buyer’s remor.
After a bidding war, Netflix acquired the rights to the narrative in 2018. Lifetime had aired the horror film The Watcher in October 2016 in violation of a cease-and-desist order from the Broadduses. 657 Boulevard was eventually sold in July 2019 for about $959,000, or about $400,000 less than the Broadduses paid for it. No reports of letters from The Watcher being sent to the new owners have surfaced to date.
Who Now Resides at 657 Boulevard?
They showed a thorough familiarity with the property in the three letters the genuine Watcher wrote to the Broadduses. “My family has been watching and anticipating the second coming of 657 Boulevard for years, and as it near its 110th birthday, I have been given the responsibility of doing it. In the 1920s, my grandfather kept watch over the house, and in the 1960s, it was my father. Now is my moment. Are you familiar with the house’s past? Do you know what is included within 657 Boulevard’s walls? What brought you here? The Watcher stated in the first letter, “I will investigate.
According to reports, in July 2019, the Broaddus family sold 657 Boulevard to Andrew and Allison Carr. The Broadduses left a message for the new owners for their real estate lawyer after the sale. The note read, “We wish you nothing except the calm and quiet we once dreamed of in this house.” They also gave a photocopy of the Watcher’s handwriting so the new owners would know how to identify it if the stalker ever wrote any further letters. Weideman notes that the Carr family has not yet received a letter of this nature.