The Watcher True Story: Did the Scary New Netflix Show Event Really Happen?

Possible software for “The Watcher” follows.

Between “Dahmer” and “The Watcher,” Netflix’s recent wave of true-crime shows is getting a lot of attention. After all, there’s just something incredibly chilling about watching real-life cases unfold. As someone who has no tolerance for horror and still remembers being appalled when a middle school teacher made my class watch Disney’s “The Watcher in the Woods” (I probably spent half of the movie hiding from it). in the bathroom – too much for classroom movies. fun), true crime offers its own startling addition: the knowledge that onscreen events can happen to any person. anyone.

But while Jeffrey Dahmer’s murders have been retold time and again (though admittedly this time has a particularly poor taste, with the Netflix series featuring unsettling renditions of the cast members). family members were not informed), “The Watcher” is based on a relatively unknown case: the stalking and harassment of the Broaddus family (renamed Brannock on the show). Not only does unfamiliarity bring a new level of discomfort, but it also raises a big question: just what percentage of Netflix’s shows are true?

The viewers in real life are really scary


Both the real-life Broaddus family and their fictional partners, Brannocks, have been through a considerable test thanks to their new home. Both the Broaddus and Brannock families receive letters signed by “The Watcher,” a mysterious figure who claims to have watched their new home, 657 Boulevard, for years. But in real lifethe first letter is somewhat friendly – if also ridiculously startling:

Dear new neighbor at 657 Boulevard, Allow me to welcome you to the neighborhood. How did you end up here? Does 657 Boulevard call you with its force inside? 657 Avenue has been my family’s subject for decades now, and as it neared its 110th birthday, I was given the responsibility of watching and awaiting its second appearance. … Do you know the history of the house? Do you know what lies within the walls of 657 Avenue? Why you’re here? I will find out.

Over time, the letters became increasingly threatening. The Watcher is happy that the Broaddus family has three children – “young blood” – and promises that “Once I know their names, I will call them and draw them as well. [sic] I. “Understandably, the family is in deep trouble. The police got involved and David Broaddus launched his own investigation. At first, The Watcher simply mocked him. But when the story caught on Initially receiving much media attention, the letters became more threatening:

“It could be a car accident. It could be a fire. It could be something as simple as a minor illness that never seems to go away but knocks you down. [sic] sick day in and day out. Possibly the mysterious death of a pet. Loved ones suddenly die. Planes and cars and bicycles collide. Broken bone. “

Family is their own


The letters the Broaddus family received were undeniably horrifying, but the lack of a response left chills even more chilling. Both the Broaddus and Brannock families reached out to the police, but they were of no help (when David Broaddus visited the police, he was often advised to just go home). In fact the police didn’t even bother to interview some of Broaddus’ neighbors in their search for Followers. Similarly, when a saliva sample was found on the envelope, the police checked it to match the neighbor voluntarily providing a DNA sample but refused the family’s offer to pay out of pocket for a genealogical test. forensic medicine.

Like their fictional counterparts, the Broaddus family did Hire a private detective (and to be fair, the real-life investigator helped identify a few threats in the area, including two registered sex offenders). However, while fictional female detective Theodora Birch (Noma Dumezweni) has completely dived into the case and even sacrificed her own reputation to bring peace to her family, the Broaddus family seems to be on its own. overcome many burdens of investigation.

Netflix Gets Some Great Creative Freedoms


“The Watcher” may sound extremely true to the Broaddus family challenge, but Netflix made a few changes when it came to adapting the story. The most important difference was at the request of the Broaddus . family: traumatized by the ordeal, they stipulate that the on-screen family must have a different and not directly similar surname (this may be why Brannocks only had two children despite the fact that Broadduses are). have three children).

That being said, Netflix also made a few plot adjustments: although the Broaddus family is too shaken by the whole ordeal to move into their new home (and understandably so), the Brannocks have moved in – a decision that easily presents terrifying interactions with neighbor. Similarly, Brannocks paid 657 Boulevard more than Broadduses did: the house cost $3,200,000 in the show but only $1,350,000 in real life. Unfortunately, however, the film’s ambiguous ending wasn’t what creators Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan had in mind. To this day, the real-life Watcher’s identity remains a mystery.

“The Watcher” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Continue reading: 12 Shows like strangers that you definitely need to go live

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