The Must Watch Series “The Watcher”: True Story Behind the Show


Erin Lynch, Staff writer

Netflix’s Original Series, “The Watcher,” did not fail to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.  “The Watcher” follows the Barannock family, a middle class American family moving into their suburban dream home. But, shortly after settling in, the dream began to unfold into their worst nightmare when a series of suspicious letters began threatening the family, signed by someone calling themselves, “The Watcher”.  There is not one dull moment of this series and it grabs your attention almost instantaneously for the opening shot states, “Based on a True Story.” 

Yes, this seemingly fictional, yet suspenseful, plot seems straight out of a horror movie.  The series is based on the true story of the Broaddus family who began to receive the first of many spine-chilling letters prior to moving into their $1.3 million dream home in 2014. In the first eerie letter signed by “The Watcher” he or she welcomed the family to the neighborhood. Within the next few sentences came an array of unsettling questions including, “Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Boulevard? Why are you here? I will find out.”  The Watcher talked about their own identity and teases the Broadduses hinting that they are being stalked by one of the thousands of cars that drives by their home. The Watcher said he or she could be outside one of the many windows of 657 Boulevard. The Watcher writes about the Broadus children as well and even states, “Once I know their names I will call them and draw them to me.”  Although the new owners had still not moved into the new home due to renovations, they had received a second letter promptly after the first. The writer knew about the renovations and even asked “Have they (workers renovating the house) found what is in the walls yet? In time they will.” On top of this the orchestrator of these strange letters makes note of just how close he or she was to 657 Boulevard. The watcher  mentions they were able to spot an easel on the front porch and hear Maria Broaddus using her children’s names. The watcher even named all the children and referred to them as “young blood.” They also made it clear within the letters that they are committed to watching the family. 

The family did not end up moving into the home. Eventually, the Broadduses began to rent out the home, where one last letter was sent addressing the owners and signed by The Watcher. In the letter they propose the idea that the Broadduses have actually interacted with The Watcher. The writer stated, “Maybe you even spoken to me, one of the so called neighbors who has no idea who The Watcher could be. Or, maybe you do know and are too scared to tell anyone. Good move.” Five years later after no more known letters, the Broaddus family put the house on the market for $999,000. A young family purchased the home for $959,000. This means the Broadduses lost about $400,000 on a house they never even lived in.

The Netflix series, “The Watcher” is loosely based on the true story. For example, the Brannocks receive the mysterious notes after they had already moved and experience the terror while living in the house. Nonetheless, the series does line up with one more fact – to this day The Watcher case remains unsolved.