The Family and the House
The Broaddus Family had bought their dream home in 2014. The family – Derek, Maria, and their two children – were looking forward to moving into the new six-bedroom abode, but were patiently awaiting construction to finish. The construction was simple, spruce-up things. The family was making sure that the house was in peak shape before they moved in. The father, Derek, was working alongside contractors to finish the projects. This is why he was alone at the house when strange letters began showing up in the mailbox. The envelopes were labeled in clunky, unnatural handwriting. The letter themselves were typed.
The Letters and the Author
The letters are, if you’ll excuse my language, batshit-crazy-bizarre. I won’t clog this article up with the full text, but you can read the full letters here. The gist of the letters is that someone (a history of someones) is watching the house. The Writer claims their grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and their father took over watching the house in the 1960s. It seems generational – every 40 years, the torch is passed on. The letters focus on the kids – claiming the house wants “young blood,” startlingly revealing that the author knows the Broadus Kids’s names, and promising to watch them and eventually call to the children.
In addition to the creepy kid fixation, the letters claim there is something in the walls, but I can’t find anything saying that the family or any consequent occupants have looked for it. I mean…how could you not tear the house apart after your creepy mystery stalking claims there’s something in your walls? I would be all over that with a wall scanner. Or a sledgehammer.
The letters seem to range from the Author claiming cool control – stating that they made the previous occupants “move on” and sell the house – to unhinged ranting. Most of the anger seems to center on greed. The fact that the Broadduses were changing the house sent the Author into rabid diatribes about how greedy they were, and how their greed led them to the house in the first place. The letters also claim the Broadduses changing the house has somehow turned the house against the Author – that they somehow “cast a spell” on it to make it turn against them because they are “in charge” of the house. The same letter claims that the house somehow suffers without the “young blood” sleeping there.
So now that we’ve gone over the bizarre content of the letters, let’s discuss the author themselves, and who they could be. We can piece together the narrative that the Author has created for themself, whether it’s true or not. Based on what they have said, they have lived in or around the neighborhood – at least during their childhood (mentioning running through its halls, and mentioning the house aged as their father did). Their family has deep roots in the area (my father and his father before him). They knew the previous owners of the home (allegedly convincing them to sell it and move).
The Author mentions that the Broadduses need to turn around in order to figure out their identity. To me, this could be one of three things. First, they are a neighbor. Second, the Author is someone they knew prior to moving – look behind them could mean look into the past, rather than physically looking back. Third, it could mean nothing – another “clue” to muddy the waters, or a way to make the Broaddus family more paranoid and fearful.
The final letter was sent to the person who was renting the house from the Broaddus family. The letter read: “Loved ones suddenly die,” it said. “You are despised by the house. And The Watcher won.” There has been no further correspondence from the Author.
There are a few main theories that I would like to explore in this section. They range from ridiculous to probable. As always, this is all just speculation and my opinion. Let’s start off with the most unbelievable of the theories: the Boogeyman paid a visit.
The idea that the Watcher is a malevolent entity tied to the house is definitely appealing to the horror movie fan in me (Sinister ring any bells?), but I don’t think it’s reasonable in this situation. There are no other signs besides the letters and their insider knowledge. If there were any other signs of a haunting (unexplained noises, cold spots, things being moved, etc) or of an infestation (damage to religious nightmares, unusual nightmares, shadow people, sulfuric smell, etc), then maybe I would give this theory more credence. As of right now, it just seems like a lot of people on the lookout for the scariest option with very little evidence to back the story up. And to put it bluntly – I want to believe in all things supernatural. I do believe in ghosts and spirits, but that’s a story for another post. This theory just doesn’t work for me.
Could it be a cult? I haven’t seen this theory spoken of, which is surprising. Usually, the internet is all of the chance to discuss the salaciousness of cults and devil worship. The fixation and the continued discussion of being pulled to the house by “young blood” seems like great fodder for this theory, but I’m hesitant to say it’s even possible. Despite what the Satanic Panic would have you believe, Satanists are nonviolent as a rule. Ritual sacrifices are rare. Unless the fixation is completely mental and the Author is somehow delusional, I don’t see this as a possibility. With that being said, though, I definitely do think it could be someone who is mentally unwell. Delusions and compulsions can be very strong motivators.
But it’s worth saying that fixation does not necessarily stem from mental illness. Perhaps someone in the neighborhood is bitter about all the construction on the house, the showy vision of wealth the Broadduses were creating. Maybe someone had grand plans for the house, plans that were dashed when the Broadduses bought the house. The other prospective buyers have been ruled out as being involved, but maybe this person had not yet officially expressed interest. The letters hint that the Author knows the neighborhood and was able to enter the house in the 1960s. Plus, the letter mocks the Broadduses for not being able to figure out the Author’s identity: “You wonder who The Watcher is? Turn around idiots.” It absolutely could be a red herring, though.
The next theory is one that I could potentially buy into. The family has not been the most credible source of information throughout this whole thing – could they be involved? I don’t think the initial letters – the one to the neighbor and the prior family – came from the Broadduses, but I do think they could have had a hand in the later ones. I can see a few reasons they would play into this weird chain of events. Maybe they liked the attention. Maybe they were in it for the money offered for interviews and the rights to the story. Maybe they regretted spending so much money on the house. Besides, three years after they bought the house, Derek Broaddus sent anonymous letters to his neighbors. These letters allegedly referenced instances of domestic terrorism and were sogjed as “friends of the Broaddus family.” He specifically targeted neighbors that had been critical of the family, and did not inform his wife of this plan. He has fully admitted to writing these letters as a rash reaction to a decision to disallow the demolition of the house.
I really can’t wrap my head around what this could be. As much as I’d like to believe some supernatural being or creepy stalker is at work here, it just doesn’t seem plausible. The only situation I can see as even remotely possible is some sort of neighborhood feud. They were mad at the previous family for moving out for some reason, and then they were mad that the Broadduses had the audacity to bring construction into the quiet neighborhood. I just can’t see it being another scenario.