Netflix's 'The Watcher' Is Inspired by a Real House in New Jersey

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Haunted houses are the real deal, but they aren't all creaky staircases, unruly ghosts, and cobwebs. Netflix's latest binge watch, ‌The Watcher‌, is all about a seemingly haunted house and the unknowing family who just moved in. However, the creepiest part is that the show is loosely based on a true story, and the house exists in real life.


Before we dive into the details of the physical house, here's a little background if you aren't familiar with the tale. The inspiration for the show stems from the Broaddus family who purchased the stunning home in Westfield, New Jersey back in 2014. The crew immediately began receiving threatening and ominous letters signed by someone who called themself "The Watcher." The notes sent the family into psychological chaos as they feared their safety, and while the show takes the story to a new level of terrifying, the true events are haunting enough.

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The real house is located at 657 Boulevard in Westfield, New Jersey. Just looking at the exterior, it's clear that this house is what young families dream of. Unlike the Netflix adaptation in which the family remains in the house, the real Broaddus family never actually moved in officially as they valued their safety. They stayed with relatives of Maria Broaddus while renting out the home. With the residence up on the market again five years later in 2019 and word about the letters circulating, the family had to drastically lower the selling price from the $1.4 million they bought it for, according to an article in ‌Entertainment Weekly‌. It ended up selling for $959,000.


Built in 1905, the home is located in an affluent neighborhood in New Jersey, with six bedrooms and four bathrooms, as mentioned in the official Zillow listing. The house also boasts four fireplaces and two porches.

One of the primary plot lines in the show (in relation to the physical structure) includes the dumbwaiter, a small lift used to transport heavy loads between levels of the home, as the young son discovers a neighbor hiding in it. While his father wants to get rid of the appliance all together, he receives pushback from the local preservation society due to its rich past. The show brought attention to the gadget and had "watchers" of the show questioning what exactly a dumbwaiter is, but the tool actually has a bit of a dark history you may not have known about.


The home in New Jersey is currently owned by the anonymous buyer from 2019, so if you're thinking of paying the house a visit, just know that someone actually does live there.

Spoiler alert: The Watcher has never been caught and it has not been confirmed if the new residents have received any threatening letters.



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