Toward the end of June, the attention of the entire Eastern Seaboard was briefly captured by The Watcher, a real or phantasmagoric entity responsible for sending creepy as hell notes to the recently-minted owners of a $1.3 million Westfield, NJ home.

"Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?" the notes ask. "Have you found all the secrets it holds." The new owners, who have three young children, promptly GTFO.

Police were unable to identify the source of the notes, and a once-enthralled media grudgingly slunk back to blogging about wasted ice cream truck drivers and synchronized puking children.

But today is a new day. The case, once thought dead, has been revived! We received a call from one Bill Shaffer, a former resident of the accursed home, who wanted to correct an inaccuracy in our previous reporting—or rather, the reporting of, who assembled a timeline of the previous owners. The Shaffers, it implied, lived there from around 1955 to 1990, when it was bought by the most recent previous owners. Or so we thought.

Shaffer, who is 72, lived in The Watcher house from 1955, when he was in junior high school, until he went to college. His family sold it in 1963, but not because it was being spied upon by a malevolent voyeur—it was simply too big.

As for his thoughts on The Watcher: "I think it's all just a farce," he sniffed. "Somebody's mad at someone about something, or somebody's in over their head. I don't know what's going on. Nobody's been watching that house for a hundred years! The whole thing's absurd."

Shaffer surmises that "someone is mad" over the hefty price of the house, which was bought by Shaffer's family for the bargain price of $23,000. (The business of the home changing hands for a dollar was simply a method of concealing the actual price from the public, he contends.)

Did anything scary ever happen in the house? Did Shaffer ever feel anything—a presence, a pair of eyes on the back of his neck, an icy hand around his throat?

"No. Never," Shaffer said. "It was a great house growing up. We had lots of parties there and had a good time. It was the greatest house in the world. I'd love to still own it," he said.

But surely not enough to send letters...

Shaffer got what I was hinting at and laughed. "No, and not for a million three." He currently lives near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and has not lived in Westfield since 1964.

Or at least, that's what he says...

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