The Watcher is probably the worst thing that's happened to the Broadduses, the family forced to flee their recently purchased, $1.3 million Westfield, New Jersey home. But for everyone else not on receiving end of an onslaught of creepy letters from an anonymous voyeur, it's sure been a fascinating ride. (Coming soon to a theater near you?)
It's also probably the best thing to happen to the traffic at NJ.com in years, so it makes sense that they'd take the time to chronicle the history of the house from 1905, the year it was built. A few highlights for those who savor the sensation of crawling skin:
William H. Davies—later to become Westfield's mayor—bought the place for a buck in 1913. The Watcher is named such for his/its penchant for "watching" the home and its inhabitants, and stated in one of the ominous missives that he's been spying upon the house since 1920. Could the watcher be tied to Davies? Did the Watcher watch Davies? Who knows! Davies moved out in 1947, but not before it was struck by lightning in 1932, which caused some structural damage to the roof. He sold the house to his son and daughter-in-law for the same amount he bought it ($1).
Selling a spacious home to one's son for $1 is one thing, but the pair eventually sold it to Dillard and Mary Bird in 1951 for...another dollar. In keeping with this decidedly bizarre tradition, the Birds turned it over for another $1 to the Bakeses in 1953. In 1955, they handed it off to the Shaffers, for...guess? Correct—$1. One dollar is roughly the equivalent of $8.79 today.
The home remained in the hands of the Shaffers until 1990, when it was bought by the Woods. The Woods were the owners who sold it to the Broaddus family for a cool $1.3 million, and are now facing a lawsuit for failing to disclose that the place is being surveilled by a psychopath/murder ghost.
What the hell? Is the Watcher a relative of Davies? Is the Watcher a woman? Was this whole thing a ploy from a jealous neighbor who wants the place for cheaper (like, say, a dollar?), or is this place doomed?