It was in June of 1964 that the Broaddus family moved into their newly purchased home at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey. It was also just days after moving n that they began receiving disturbing letters delivered to their new home. These unsetting letters were sent by a person who was signing the correspondence as “The Watcher”.
The disturbing letters from the "The Watcher" reportedly included phrases like: "My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time."
"Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them to me. I asked the (prior owners) to bring me young blood,".
Dearest new neighbor at 657 Boulevard,
Allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood.
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 couple, feared for their lives and that of their three children, and were petrified to move in to the six-bedroom house due to alleged threats the letters contained such as "allow me to watch you and track you as you move through the house.
657 Boulevard is anxious for you to move in. It has been years and years since the young blood ruled the hallways of the house. Have you found all of the secrets it holds yet? 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. It is far away from the rest of the house. If you were upstairs you would never hear them scream.
Will they sleep in the attic? Or will you all sleep on the second floor? Who has the bedrooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in. It will help me to know who is in which bedroom. Then I can plan better.
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 have been in control of 657 Boulevard for the better part of two decades now. 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! Greed is what brought the past three families to 657 Boulevard and now it has brought you to me.
Have a happy moving in day. You know I will be watching.
Maria and Derek Broaddus filed a suit claiming that John and Andres Woods, the previous homeowners, had knowledge that the property was being stalked by "The Watcher" and failed to disclose it to them. However, Judge Camille M. Kenny dismissed the charges, stating he was in no position to “enforce a burden on future sellers on what they need to disclose to buyers.” The entire ordeal was picked up by the media and named the "Westfield Watcher".
The house is crying from all of the pain it is going through. You have changed it and made it so fancy. You are stealing it’s [sic] history. It cries for the past and what used to be in the time when I roamed it’s [sic] halls. The 1960s were a good time for 657 Boulevard when I ran from room to room imagining the life with the rich occupants there. The house was full of life and young blood. Then it got old and so did my father. But he kept watching until the day he died. And now I watch and wait for the day when the young blood will be mine again.
The letters continued and the Broaddus’ were completely at their wits end. The town of Westfield is bucolic and they so loved the new house, but they were in constant fear of The Watcher.
657 Boulevard is turning on me. It is coming after me. I don’t understand why. What spell did you cast on it? It used to be my friend and now it is my enemy. I am in charge of 657 Boulevard. It is not in charge of me. I will fend off its bad things and wait for it to become good again. It will not punish me. I will rise again. I will be patient and wait for this to pass and for you to bring the young blood back to me. 657 Boulevard needs young blood. It needs you. Come back. Let the young blood play again like I once did. Let the young blood sleep in 657 Boulevard. Stop changing it and let it alone.
Eventually the Broaddus left the home. However, the story doesn’t end there. It is here where the ordeal takes on a bizarre twist.
Derek Broaddus admitted in a story he gave to New York Magazine, that last Christmas Eve he stuffed the stockings of former neighbors with sinister notes of his own. Derek recounts in the magazine article that several neighbors who had been vocal in criticizing the family received hand delivered messages accusing them of speculating inaccurately about the Broaddus family.
The hand-written letters were written in a creepy style reminiscent of The Watchers and were signed "Friends of the Broaddus Family."
Broaddus said he wasn't proud of his actions, but it felt driven to his wit's end, fed up with watching silently as people threw accusations at his family based on "practically nothing."
"The Broaddus family took a brave and truthful stand as they would not sell this house without a full disclosure of the letters they receive," said Lee M. Levitt, the Broaddus family's attorney. "We continue to believe it is critical for all N.J. homeowners to know the truth about the houses they purchase."
The Union County Prosecutor's Office and Westfield Police Department reported that an investigation into this matter remains active.
Last month, the Westfield Watcher passed the Jersey Devil as the New Jersey's top urban legend, according to the website Thrillist.