Freaky Friday – The New Jersey Watcher

Menacing By Michael Summers. Who granted use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). His street photography is great do check out his website Canonsnapper. He has a wonderful eye for composition and his choice of black and white compliments it well.

Menacing By Michael Summers. Who granted use under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). His street photography is great do check out his website Canonsnapper. He has a wonderful eye for composition and his choice of black and white compliments it well.

Imagine you have finally saved enough and found your dream house for you family. That’s where Derek and Maria Broaddus were in June of 2014 when they purchased their dream home for $1.6 million in Westfield, New Jersey. Before they moved in a letter came explaining the house came with more… it came with a stalker who was at least the third generation stalker of this particular home. He thanked them for new blood and asked by name where each child would have a bedroom. They never moved in but that didn’t stop the letters or their problems.

Let’s face it for whatever reasons, for good or bad, we have given up much to be watched.  What I look at on the internet dictates what ads I see, what icons I get, and so on.  I carry a tracker with me all the time in my phone.  The always open mics of Alexis or Siri give opportunities for us to always be listened to and what we say to them is saved on file at their owners.  I’ve listened to mine on Google.  The ever present selfie cam leaves us ready to be watched.  Mine are covered with post its,  I look horrid in the morning.  We’ve become more comfortable with being watched and the potential of being watched.  Yet it gets creepy when they write to tell you they are watching and call your children ‘new blood’.

This case is second to the case of the Watcher there have been 4 letters now.   The letters asks about the children often.  The writer tells the family the Watcher has controlled the house for 20 years taking over from his father who started in the 1960 who took over his father that started in the 1920.  The Watcher asks if they found what is the walls yet… but assures them they will.

The last letter arrived days after they finally rented the home in February of this year.  The contents of the later letters have not been released but in a court brief filed in the law suit between the family and the previous owners it is stated the letter was “specific threats and more derogatory and sinister than the previous letters.”

Needless to say buying the home and not ever touching it has put a financial burden on the family they have tried to rent the home but until this February it seems no one else wants to be the ‘new blood’ either.  However the current renter has stated he has no issues or letters.  They have been involved in a suit against the previous owners for not giving a full disclosure about the house.  Which brings up the issue – where does one disclose the property comes with a stalker?  But the question might be moot as the previous owners said they knew nothing about this and never received any letters.

As the lawsuit is taking years, the family thought to get rid of the object of the stalking – the house by razing it.  They proposed to raze the home and place two in its stead.  Thinking that having two would not just replace one with another.  The town council nixed the idea as the area is zoned for one single family home per lot. It was an idea but who’s to stay it would just give the Watcher two families to watch.

Just why the Watcher watches isn’t clear.  There are references to the grandfather Watcher having some claim to the land, possibly.  Yet investigation of that lead put the family descendants of the owner in the 1920s else where and unable to watch as the Watcher does from indication in undisclosed letters.  Now if that 1920s person beat out someone else to the land in some manner I could find no record of it and might be lost to history or only in local lore known only by those who are now elderly that might remember oh yeah Mr. X got the land/house but boy Mr. Y really wanted it and was pissed feeling wronged.  Though that has never surfaced if such a community memory exists.

We are left with who is the Watcher?

First theory – There is not Watcher it’s a hoax by the family to get out of the purchase of a home they don’t want or is beyond their means.  I’d discount that second part as they’ve carried the house for three years and from what I could find are not in arrears.  So did they buy the home and then after all was said and done decided they didn’t want it.  If so why you concoct this hoax to get out of it instead of just putting the home on the market?

Second theory – Still a hoax but done for attention and Hollywood ideas like the Amityville Horror.  So they bought the house to do this to get a made for tv movie or book.  If so why not move in and up the ante to make a better story.  So far we have a family that got creepy threatening letters, didn’t move into the home, finally got a renter, and is bogged down in litigation.  Not riveting stuff even for an OWN feature.

Third theory – There is a Watcher but it’s not what it claims to be.  Instead some twisted mind chose this house for some reason and started terrorizing the new owners.  So the previous owners are telling the truth when they say they had nothing to disclose because it’s not been decades just years, just the new family.  Why would this happen?  Someone with a vendetta against the family for some reason.  Someone with a sick mind and just wanted to make life miserable.  Some group that did it for shits and giggles.

Fourth theory – It’s all legit in the letters and the Watcher is like an evil version of the Poe Toaster stalking the same home for generations. Some long forgotten slight in the 1910s set the Watchers on this path. The previous owners hid the fact and got away from it having kept the odd issues a secret or maybe never taking it seriously.

Fifth theory – This is mine but it reminds me of a case where a woman stalked herself.  There are cases where a person with mental illness stalked themselves.  One was a fractured personality case.  There are others where it is suspected such as in Cindy James and the Morgan Ingram case where the stalkers were thought to be in the minds of the victims and families.  In this case could it be that one family member for whatever reason possibly mental illness stalks themselves and their family by mail?

Over all I have nothing but gut on this one but I lean to the third one.  I think this is the most likely.  Someone for some reason is putting this family and the previous owners through this.  But that’s just my take.



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