Netflix's new horror series is based on a terrifying true story
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When moving into a new home, you want to feel safe, secure, and like you've got a bit of privacy. The true story behind Netflix's terrifying new series looks into what happens when you get the exact opposite.
Set to be released on Netflix on 13 October, The Watcher comes from the creator of American Horror Story and features a wealth of familiar faces including Bobby Cannavale, Naomi Watts and Jennifer Coolidge.
It tells the story of a family who start receiving eerie letters after they move into a beautiful suburban home, written by someone who calls themselves The Watcher and who describes the home as their 'obsession'.
It's creepy enough as a fictional series, but the story of The Watcher is made all the more terrifying due to the fact it's based on very real events.
It began in 2014, when parents Derek and Maria Broaddus decided to buy their $1.35 million dream home so they could move in with their three young children. The couple set about doing renovations before they actually moved in, but just days after closing on their house they received a letter in a white envelope addressed to 'The New Owner'.
The letter, signed by The Watcher, claimed the house had been 'the subject of [his] family for decades now' and that he had been in charge of 'watching and waiting for its second coming'.
They wrote: "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 owners of the home claimed the writer mentioned details they could have only really known by overhearing them near the house, and the writer described having 'counted' their three children.
They add: “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."
"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... I pass by many times a day. 657 Boulevard is my job, my life, my obsession. And now you are too Broaddus family. Welcome to the product of your greed!"
Terrified by the letters, the Broaddus family contacted police and hired a forensic linguist to try and determine who was writing the letters.
The story spurned many theories about who could be responsible, but a firm conclusion has never been reached. In 2019, the family sold the house without ever having moved in, losing about $400,000 in the process.