Creepy letters ruin new home for family – What’s with the Watcher?

A very strange story is hot on the web these past few days. A family is suing the former owners of their new house for not disclosing that the home has a “watcher”.

Creepy Letters Ruined NJ Dream Home, Couple Says.

A couple sold their Westfield, N.J., home for $1.3 million but never advertised that the property came with threatening letters from someone who calls himself “The Watcher,” the new buyers claim in court.

As the parents of three children, the plaintiffs say that the bizarre letters they have received from an unknown person fixated on their home has left them too scared to move in.

The first of three letters arrived on June 5, 2014, three days after the closing, and quickly revealed “‘The Watcher’s mentally disturbed fixation and claim to possession and/or ownership of the home,” according to the complaint.

Telling the new buyers that the property “has been the subject of my family for decades,” The Watcher allegedly claimed to have been “put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming.”

The sellers were “so desperate to sell the million dollar home, [they] knowingly and willfully failed to disclose to [them] this disturbing letter,” knowing “the materiality of such disclosure and the very high likelihood if not absolute certainty that such disclosure would defeat the transaction,” according to the complaint.

The letters have been quite extreme. At least one letter seem to threaten to harm the family by saying “it will help me to know who is in which bedroom, then I can plan better.” The plaintiffs are seeking damages for fraud and breach of contract. The story first appeared on Courthouse News (linked above) but is now widespread all over media. I’ve read lots of the various piece and none really give good information. The police say they have done an investigation and have no arrests. There is little given out to the public. Thinking out loud here: many MANY questions come to mind:

The letters do seem to contain threats. They were delivered via US Mail? Doesn’t that give us some lead or extra teeth to pursue this case? Did the old owners get more than one such letter? If it just started with the new owners, that is really suspicious.

Has anyone looked into the deed or history of the house? That is mentioned nowhere.

Does this owner or the previous ones have any instances where someone would seek revenge with such a prank?

What do the neighbors know? It’s not even clear what the past owners knew. Did they never call police? If they truly failed to disclose this as an issue, it might be bad for them. The laws of New Jersey may require such disclosure. But perhaps they didn’t think it was a big deal.

There are SO many gaps in this story, it reads more like a movie than a true story. We can’t make heads or tales from it. Although it could be that due to the legal action that no one is allowed to talk about it. However, making such a story public is a good way to find whomever is doing this. Crowd source your investigations. However, that does mean a frenzy of the curious descends upon it. Well, too late now…

watched house

It will be interesting to hear a follow up to this story. The info we are given is too sparse to make any conclusions. Keep watching. Here, keep watching HERE.

  14 comments for “Creepy letters ruin new home for family – What’s with the Watcher?

  1. Ian
    June 25, 2015 at 11:27 AM

    I found this story fascinating, I suppose because there were so few details.
    My first thought was that it would be very difficult to prove that the old owners had received a threat and/or had prior knowledge.
    My second thought was: If somebody is going to spend $1.3 million on their dream home, I think they could afford a decent security system, with video surveillance cameras, live monitoring, the whole nine yards. That stuff isn’t all that expensive these days.
    I’d be comfortable with a good security system and a machete under my mattress. But that’s just me.

  2. Christina
    June 25, 2015 at 12:50 PM

    I grew up just 5 miles from here. Once I read the scant article, I decided to take a closer look at the deed information since the house looked a bit familiar and I also wanted to see if in the deed records had any family names that were perhaps friends, or acquaintances of mine. (Westfield is a VERY SMALL town, BTW) Of course, in that search, you have address, selling price, and names of sellers, buyers.
    First, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the county deed records go back online all the way to 1977, pretty impressive!
    Here is what I found:
    House was not one that I thought I recognized, nor did it ever belong to anyone I knew or knew the names of.
    The new owners did pay $1.5 mill for it. But the previous owners address listed was out of state, in Massachusetts. They’d owned the house since 1990. I didn’t do further digging since I wasn’t that interested in following the trail much further.
    Knowing the area and people, I agree that a prank is the most likely answer. Hopefully, the police will be able to put things together and get this resolved.

  3. One Eyed Jack
    June 25, 2015 at 5:48 PM

    Don’t rule out movie viral campaign.

  4. June 25, 2015 at 6:11 PM

    My thoughts exactly.

  5. June 25, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    That sounds unlikely if this is something that’s been going on for years. It seems like the previous owners have also been getting these types of letters but failed (or deliberately chose not) to mention them.

  6. AJ
    June 25, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    The deeds would be interesting to follow. You can see if there is a tragic history to the house. My mother shortly lived in a house that was known in our then small town as being cursed. Every owner suffered some sort of bad luck while living in the house. My grandparents went bankrupt and lost 3 businesses, the original owner/builder died in some tragic way, another owner went bankrupt, the owner after my grandparents was shot and killed by a disgruntled customer, a long with an employee and the current owner, according to the deed trail is having money issues.
    Since the history is available you can search the owners and look for obituaries, etc. See if anything tragic happened. I am not saying that I believe this story, as others have said there are many loopholes, but it’s interesting none the less.

  7. Steve
    June 25, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    “They were delivered via US Mail? Doesn’t that give us some lead or extra teeth to pursue this case?”

    Apparently, the USPS has a program called “Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program” according to a New York Times article. The article also states “in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States — about 160 billion pieces last year. It is not known how long the government saves the images.”

    I keep thinking I’ve learned and matured enough to be SKEPTICAL of stories in the media, especially when they are breaking, a little strange, or come from sources I’m unfamiliar with. I’m still learning.

  8. Chris
    June 26, 2015 at 1:45 AM

    When you buy a property and then change it y0u get weird mail and phone calls.

    Over two decades ago we bought a vacant lot, which had recently been someone’s back yard. So two years later after we moved into the house we built on that lot I got a call asking if I would sell the “vacant lot” we had bought. I explained we did not own a vacant lot. He retorted that I just did not want to sell it. When I related this story to hubby he told I should have told the guy to drive by to find that “vacant lot” (not occupied by a 2500 square foot home).

    Because we did not deal with the landscaping for five years we got letters telling us we could sell our “depressed” house to them for a small fee. Yeah right. After more than twenty years smaller houses with less attributes go for over seven figures (edit to add: we did not know we lived in a million dollar neighborhood!). We are now saving money so we an downsize (seriously, we love this neighborhood and want to buy a smaller house, remodel it to our needs before selling our four bed room house built for kids).

    If I got letters like that, I would have just tossed them in the recycle bin. Either it is someone doing a hoax or some weird attempt to gain on scarce real estate. They seemed to have the police involved. Check the county records for former owners and Google stalk them, but definitely put in some security lighting. Anyway those are always useful.

  9. busterggi (Bob Jase)
    June 26, 2015 at 1:32 PM

    looks like Marvel is sneaking in a film about Uatu.

  10. linda
    June 28, 2015 at 2:26 AM

    I also looked into the public records. Previous owners, the Woods occupied the house along with their children at least one-a son who was also recorded as owner. The owner before them was the mother of Mrs Woods. My theory is this, Mrs Woods father was man of the house, his son in law was man of the house, son of woods is mad he isn’t getting to be man of the house. I think it’s one of the Woods kids trying to get the house back.

  11. linda
    June 28, 2015 at 2:53 AM

    Seth and Floy Bakes sold to Woods BUT Myrtle Makohon is listed as owner as well and that’s Mrs Woods mom. Maybe Mrs Woods didn’t grow up there.

  12. Nick Bucci
    June 28, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    Well, the letters SAY he (or she) has been sending them for years, including sending some to the previous owners. We don’t know if that claim is true. The recent letters may be the only ones and the person is trying to sound scarier by inventing a history. Assuming, of course, the current owners are not behind it for the previously mentioned movie deal or perhaps to set up a lawsuit.

  13. One Eyed Jack
    June 28, 2015 at 8:42 PM

    What is interesting about your story is that it illustrates three facts. 1) People live in houses for many years. 2) Into every life, some rain will fall (sometimes a hurricane). 3) Humans are very good at connecting unrelated events.

  14. Erik Miller
    July 6, 2015 at 6:57 PM

    Even with a system like that, it’s almost impossible to track a letter to a specific person, you could maybe track it to an area of a city, but if that is let’s say lower Manhattan, that isn’t really any clue.

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