Who Is the Watcher? The Unsolved True Story Behind Netflix's The Watcher, Explained

The Watcher True Story Explained
PHOTO BY Youtube/Netflix

(SPOT.ph) We all love a secret admirer. However, to paraphrase a life lesson espoused by How I Met Your Mother's Ted Mosby, it's only cute if the secret admirer were a "Dobler," a charming John Cusack-type figure. If the secret admirer were instead a "Dahmer," well... you've seen the Netflix series.

As it so happens, Dahmer - Monster's creator Ryan Murphy has a new series on Netflix that explores this very type of secret admirer: a creepy one. The seven-episode series The Watcher follows the Nora (Naomi Watts) and Dean Braddock (Bobby Cannavale), a married couple with two kids, who finally move into their dream home in New Jersey, only to find out it's stalked by a mysterious figure simply known as "the Watcher."

This isn't a "What if?" scenario—for one: different Watcher—as the events depicted on the show truly happened in real life, which opens up a whole host of questions. Who is the Watcher? Were they ever caught? Will people ever learn to close their damn curtains?! We break down the answers to most of these questions.


Also read: Disturbing Documentary Alert: New Series Exposes Drug Rumors and Death Threats Behind Barney Kids Show

Is Netflix's The Watcher a True Story?

The plot of Netflix's The Watcher is indeed based on a true story that was published in the New York Magazine in 2018. Specific names and addresses were changed for the dramatized streaming series, of course. In real life, "Nora and Dean Braddock" are Maria and Derek Broaddus, a couple who moved into their dream New Jersey house in June 2014, only to receive a letter from the mysterious "Watcher" a few days later.

Is the Watcher a True Story
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Netflix
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The real-life Watcher sent only a total of four letters to the Broadduses. The first of which came just after the couple first moved in. It read, "Dearest new neighbor at 657 Boulevard, allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood," before the Watcher claimed that they were part of a family that watched the house for generations and that there was something hidden within the walls of the house (spoiler: there wasn't).

As the months passed on, the Watcher sent two other letters that scolded their imposition of renovations on the house and that threatened to kidnap their children. Major red flag alert? The Broadduses thought so too. They ultimately never moved into the house and put it back on the market merely six months after closing the deal on the property.

However, they weren't able to sell the house due to being completely candid to potential buyers about the anonymous threatening letters. A couple years later, they were able to rent out the house. This seemingly led to them receiving the fourth and final letter, which taunted their inability to figure out the identity of the Watcher. The letter read, "You wonder who The Watcher is? Turn around idiots."


In July 2019, the Broadduses were able to finally sell the initially U.S. $1.4 million property for U.S. $959,360, reports Bloomberg.

Also read: Hidden Horror Gem: Refugee Couple Tries to Find Home in a Haunted House in This Netflix Title

Who Is the Watcher?

Now, we arrive at the question of the series. Like the rest of us, you probably spent the entire series trying to figure out which among the neighbors and characters would be revealed to be the Watcher. Unfortunately, real life rarely provides so simple and direct an answer.

The identity of the Watcher was never discovered. According to the same New York Magazine feature, the authorities suspected a number of the residents of the neighborhood, but never gathered strong evidence to pinpoint any particular person. Fellow neighbors even came to suspect the Broadduses themselves for being behind their own "haunting" in search for attention and a movie deal. Typical Marites backstabbing gossip things. 

Who Is the Watcher Netflix
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Netflix

While the series doesn't give any definitive answers by the end of its nearly eight-hour long runtime, perhaps what the story was trying to tell us was that the true Watcher were the friends we made along the way. Maybe. 

Also read: Who Is the Killer? The Strange Ending of Mr. Harrigan's Phone, Explained


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