One night in June 2014, Derek Broaddus had just finished an evening of painting at his new home in Westfield, New Jersey, when he went outside to check the mail. Derek and his wife, Maria, had closed on the six-bedroom house at 657 Boulevard three days earlier and were doing some renovations before they moved in, so there wasn’t much in the mail except a few bills and a white, card-shaped envelope. It was addressed in thick, clunky handwriting to “The New Owner,” and the typed note inside began warmly:
Dearest new neighbor at 657 Boulevard,
Allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood.
But as Derek kept reading the letter from his new neighbor, it took a turn. “How did you end up here?” the writer asked. “Did 657 Boulevard call to you with its force within?” The letter went on:
657 Boulevard has been the subject of my family for decades now and as it approaches its 110th birthday, I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming. 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.
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.
The envelope had no return address. “Who am I?” the person wrote. “There are hundreds and hundreds of cars that drive by 657 Boulevard each day. Maybe I am in one. Look at all the windows you can see from 657 Boulevard. Maybe I am in one. Look out any of the many windows in 657 Boulevard at all the people who stroll by each day. Maybe I am one.” The letter concluded with a suggestion that this message would not be the last — “Welcome my friends, welcome. Let the party begin” — followed by a signature typed in a cursive font: “The Watcher.”
Okay, what the fuck? New Jersey, you’re trash. Add this article to the long list of reasons of why not to live in Jersey. Not only do you have to worry about terrible traffic and the overall disgusting smell that hits you when you cross into the state, now you’ve got to worry about the fucking Watcher? The fact that this family didn’t move across the country after that first letter is bananas. I don’t even want to see a car driving down my street without its lights on at night. These people had to deal with some demented Jersey trash watching their every move? I mean, the guy is so fucked up that he decided to give himself a nickname straight out of the Chamber of Secrets. The only option in this situation is to burn the house down and enter witness protection. New Jersey…confirmed still the worst.
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