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Who is The Watcher?

Ryan Murphy, the mastermind behind American Horror Story, has a scary new horror series on Netflix but who was The Watcher and what did they want?

Nora (Naomi Watts) and Dean Brannock (Bobby Cannavale) in The Watcher

Who is The WatcherAs 2022 draws to a close and the darkness of winter starts to creep in, TV viewers are looking to the small screen for comfort. But they won’t find any in Ryan Murphy’s terrifying new horror series The Watcher.

Based on a nightmarish true story, the Netflix series tells the story of Nora (Naomi Watts) and Dean Brannock (Bobby Cannavale), a married couple who find their dream home in 657 Boulevard, Westfield, New Jersey. Soon after settling in, though, they start to receive letters signed by a strange stalker calling himself The Watcher.

This bizarre figure claims he’s part of an intergenerational group who’ve watched 657 Boulevard for years. The Watcher doesn’t stop at letters, though, and as his campaign of terror heats up, the Brannocks slowly descend into paranoia. But who is The Watcher? How much of this pant-shittingly (Editor: not a word) scary story is true? And what happened to the real-life Brannocks? Warning spoilers ahead for The Watcher TV series.

Who is The Watcher?

The series never reveals the identity of The Watcher; however, the show leaves just enough clues for you to form a pretty creepy theory. We know The Watcher was using the secret passages under 657 Boulevard, which it was implied the home’s previous owner John Graff (Joe Mantello), knew about and used.

Of course, you might think Graff can’t be The Watcher because he killed his entire family during a paranoid breakdown after he started receiving letters from the mysterious stalker, but that brings us to our creepy theory.

At the end of the series, we see Dean and Nora, despite being driven out of 657 Boulevard, are still obsessed with the house, standing outside it and watching. Could the identity of The Watcher pass from owner to owner? Each one driving out the last as they try and solve the mystery. Murphy’s series does not answer this, but it’s a creepy possibility.

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Who was The Watcher in real-life

Like in the show, the identity of The Watcher was never discovered. In real life, the family targeted by the mysterious stranger were the Broadduses, and they believed the letters were coming from their neighbour Michael Langford.

Langford was cleared as a suspect, and suspicion fell on other families in the neighbourhood. The Broadduses themselves were also accused of fabricating the story in order to get out of buying 657 Boulevard. However, as of 2022, the true identity of The Watcher remains a mystery.

If you love things that go bump in the night, check out our list of the best horror movies, or if you fancy something a bit ‘wetter’, we have a guide to the greatest slasher movies.