Residents of Westfield, New Jersey, are being haunted by tourists stopping through town to check out the real-life home featured in the new Netflix mystery series “The Watcher.”
The series, which premiered on the streaming giant on Oct. 13, is based on the true story — or local legend — of a family that moved into the home in question at 657 Boulevard in 2014 and started receiving threatening letters signed “The Watcher.”
“I just thought I would come because of how interesting the story was,” Pradeep Soni of Franklin, New Jersey — about a 25-minute drive from Westfield — told NJ.com. “The house is nice though. It’s not creepy or anything.”
Visitors who have stopped by the home for a close-up look told the outlet that police vehicles have been stationed outside the property. Locals have made it clear that the visitors creating a line of cars through the neighborhood to see the residence are not welcome.
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“We are all concerned for the family living there now and their neighbors,” resident Trish Dulinski told NJ.com. “I cannot imagine how long it will be before people lose interest so the neighborhood can go back to normal, nor can I imagine how much mail the poor current owners will receive from crackpots all over the world.”
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Locals also say the show’s portrayal of the historic, 18th-century neighborhood and home are inaccurate.
“Nothing like that has ever happened in colonial Westfield, and I know the boulevard. I know the house. It just seems a little bizarre to me,” one Westfield resident told FOX 5 New York.
The show has a total of seven episodes and became a quick Halloween-season hit.
“Ominous letters. Strange neighbors. Sinister threats. A family moves into their suburban dream home, only to discover they’ve inherited a nightmare,” the show’s description on the Netflix website reads.
When a new family moved into the home in 2019, the letters stopped coming, according to FOX 5. Police were unable to solve the 2014 letter case, and it has remained a mystery ever since.