The Lawsuit The Broaddus Family Filed Against The Watcher House's Previous Owners

Being stalked is one of the worst experiences a homeowner could possibly have, as the Broaddus family knows all too well. As The Cut explains, the incident first began in June 2014. Derek Broaddus, the father of the family, checked the mail one evening after house painting and found a disturbing letter that started with, "Dearest new neighbor at 657 Boulevard/allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood." The letter, written by someone going by "The Watcher," continued with, "My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time." 

Understandably, this caused intense paranoia and depression within the Broaddus family. They continued to receive a series of letters from the anonymous person, with some even threatening the lives of their children. As CNN says, the family owned the house but chose not to live in it out of fear. And though the house was eventually sold, the family also filed a lawsuit against the previous homeowners. 

What happened to the family and house?

The Broaddus family had purchased the house for $1.4 million but ended up selling it for $959,000 back in 2019 (via Today). The stalker situation was so bad that they were willing to take an enormous loss just for their own personal safety. According to the letters, The Watcher knew private details about the family, such as their names, who their children were, and even their everyday activities at the house. 

As the days chugged onward, The Watcher wrote even more disturbing things, such as (per Today), "Will the young blood play in the basement? Or are they too afraid to go down there alone. I would (be) very afraid if I were them. It is far away from the rest of the house. If you were upstairs, you would never hear them scream." According to ABC7 New York, both Andrew and Allison Carr now currently own the house, though it's unclear whether The Watcher has sent them any disturbing letters. 

What happened with Broaddus' lawsuit?

The story of The Watcher didn't end with the Broaddus family selling the house. On top of the story being turned into a show called "The Watcher" by Netflix, the family actually filed a lawsuit against the previous homeowners, John and Andrea Woods. As Gawker explains, the lawsuit was filed back in 2015, a year after the incident occurred. The Broaddus family accused the prior homeowners of not disclosing information about The Watcher or their alleged letters before the house sale. 

According to, the case was eventually thrown out in 2017. The Superior Court Judge dismissed the case because there wasn't any evidence that John and Andrea Woods hid knowledge of The Watcher. According to the lawyer of the Woods, Richard Kaplow, there is also no state law requiring a homeowner to disclose information about bad neighbors (unlike physical damage or other tangible details about the property itself, which legally must be disclosed). The Woods also accused the Broaddus family of ruining the 1905 house with numerous renovations and making false claims about their reputation. As of today, the mystery of The Watcher remains unsolved.