I don’t think title insurance covers this

Abandoned house

Who knows, what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

NJ home buyers sue sellers for failing to warn them of “The Watcher”

The bizarre case of ‘The Watcher’ has taken a dramatic twist, with the previous owners of the house disclosing that they too received an anonymous letter just days before they sold the home.

The $1.35 million house in suburban New Jersey has now been empty for two years, while the current and former owners are locked in a legal dispute over it.

The new owners claim the sellers knew but never told them about the bizarre stalker, who called themselves [sic]  The Watcher.

But now the sellers have hit back, calling the allegations untrue – but also disclosing that they too received an unsigned letter, although they say it was not ‘threatening’.

The mystery started in June 2014, when Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the six-bed, 3.5 bath family home in Westfield, from John and Andrea Woods.

A year later they sued the Woods, who had retired to Massachusetts, claiming that within weeks of the house sale closing, they had received three threatening letters, signed ‘The Watcher’.

The Broaddusses claimed they had received a letter saying: ‘I have be [sic] put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming; my grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s.

‘It is now my time; Why are you here? I will find out; Now that they have it to flaunt it, they pay the price…’

It went on: ‘I asked the Woods to bring me young blood.’

One of the other three letters said: ‘Who am I? I am the Watcher and have been in control of [the home] for the better part of two decades now.

‘The Woods family turned it over to you it was their time to move on and kindly sold it when I asked them to.’

The Broaddusses had demanded triple damages – the cost of the house, plus the renovations they had paid for – but the Woods are now counter-suing, saying that they deserve compensated for the damages to their reputation.

I don’t think I’d want to move in either.

UPDATE: The plot thickens: Reader ChillKitty sends along this link to a Gothamist article that debunks the new owners’ claims or, at least, casts them in  different light. The couple has had 10 mortgages over 12 years, never performed the renovations they claim as  part of their damages, and, curiously, waited a year after receiving the first letter before filing suit, even though they claim they were so frightened to receive it that they never moved in.

It’s a nightmare, alright, but for the sellers, not the buyers.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “I don’t think title insurance covers this

  1. Anonymous

    Don’t some buyers out a clause in the P&S requiring seller to disclose any known phenomena regarding the house including murders or other issues? How common are clauses like that? I know I’ve never included anything like that in any properties I’ve bought but perhaps I should — I wouldn’t want to buy any property that had a strange history. For example, I wonder who lives in the Moxley home on Belle Haven — I wouldn’t want to live where a murder had been committed (or in a house being stalked by a watcher for that matter!)

    • anon

      There are websites dedicated to pinpointing houses with previously known strange history. You can even search a database to see if anyone died in the house you intend to buy. My memory says this story made headline news when the sellers made it known. All the the buyers had to do was google that address and The Watcher story would have come up. The house is unsellable now and probably should be torn down. Who pays for all that is up to the courts to decide.

      • Anonymous

        Any info on what the database is called? I’d like to check it out.

        • Anonymous

          Never mind. It’s called “diedinhouse.com”. For $11 they’ll tell you if there are any records of someone dying in your house, but the records only go back to the 1980s.

  2. Greenwich Gal

    Sounds like a future book deal and movie script to me!

  3. All Democrats?
    Will Suetemall be all their Lawyer after he loses?

  4. weakleyhollow

    This is, dare I say, unreal.

  5. Chillkitty

    http://gothamist.com/2015/07/31/the_watcher.php

    This article published last year debunks the story (not completely, but logically anyway).

  6. Anonymous

    Looks like the property values on the entire street are now blown.

  7. Riverside Dog Walker

    Assuming this was legit and the property was re-listed, I would make a low ball offer, and if successful, buy two protection trained German Shepherds upon moving in. Problem solved, except for the dog’s shedding.