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The Watcher: Here's Where You Can Find The House In Real Life

Ryan Murphy has refined his brand through his explorations of complex true crime stories. Judging from the "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" backlash, it's debatable if he's been entirely successful. But he had an easier time with his Netflix limited series, "The Watcher." The true story of one New Jersey family's horrifying experience served only as inspiration for Murphy's series. This gave the "American Horror Story" co-creator leeway to tell a creepy tale and invent when necessary.

The terrifying true story of "The Watcher" is just as mysterious as it appears onscreen. When affluent Derek and Maria Broaddus were looking for a new home for their family, their sights landed on 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey. But after purchasing the $1 million home, their dream suddenly turned into a nightmare when they started receiving threatening letters from an alleged neighbor, identified only as The Watcher. The Cut chronicled the events, publishing many of the disturbing letters the family received in which The Watcher claimed to be the rightful owner of the house and vowed to someday return.

Although Murphy's fictionalized version of events utilized a different location for filming, the house at the center of the disturbing tale still stands at 657 Boulevard.

The 657 Boulevard mystery continues

The identity of The Watcher is never revealed — in reality or at the end of "The Watcher" Season 1. However, the Broadduses eventually found the peace they desperately needed. The flurry of letters was so disconcerting that it discouraged them from ever officially moving in. Consumed with anxiety, they were careful not to endanger their children, who The Watcher threatened. But getting out of the house wouldn't be so easy. While the Broadduses continued to pay their steep mortgage payments, not many buyers were interested.

​​"The deal was that, if you were going to put an offer in on the house, you had to go down to the attorney's office and look at [all of the evidence], so you knew what really happened before we went into a hard contract," real estate agent David Barbosa explained to Entertainment Weekly. It would eventually take five years for the Broadduses to find a new buyer. The Cut reported in a follow-up that a family bought 657 Boulevard in 2019 for $959,000, a significant loss to the original buyers. But now they could finally close the chapter of terror in their lives.

"We wish you nothing but the peace and quiet that we once dreamed of in this house," the Broadduses wrote to the new occupants. As of the writing of the article, no new letters have appeared, offering a sense of closure. Or as much as they are likely to get.