It sounds like the stuff of horror movies. But for one couple, this was real life. The buyers thought they had purchased their dream house. But instead, they say, they’ve been living a nightmare.
They bought the home in 2014 for $1.3 million. Soon after, they received a letter from someone calling himself the “Watcher”—a creepy-sounding character and possible prankster. After receiving the first of a series of threatening letters, the couple and their three children decided not to move in.
One of the letters states: “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time. Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested? Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them to me.” According to NJ.com, police are investigating the letters.
Too scared to move in, the owners put the home on the market in 2015, and then again in 2016, as we reported. And now it’s baaaack. With no takers and right in time for Halloween, the home has been relisted with a slight price cut.
The owners went one step further—suing the people who sold them the house, claiming that they knew about the Watcher and did not disclose the information. The previous owners deny the claim and say the Watcher is fictitious. However, news around the haunted home popped up again in February, when the current owners claimed to have received a fourth letter from the Watcher.
Given that the house hasn’t yet sold, there are steps the owners can take. “I would take a very strong, no-nonsense approach,” says Randall Bell of Landmark Research Group, who specializes in real estate damage economics. He advises the sellers to stand strong in the face of the spooky story.
“I would send a message that you are actively looking for the criminal behind this behavior in an effort to expose and prosecute them,” he says. “On top of that, I would make sure that the house has the proper security that any house should have” to capture images of anyone coming near the house.
The person brave enough to buy the home will get a place that’s frighteningly nice. The classic six-bedroom home features wood floors, decorative inlay, window seats, a dining room with coffered ceiling, a chef’s kitchen with breakfast bar, plus built-ins, wainscoting, and leaded-glass windows.
The family room is graced with a fireplace that opens to a sun porch, and there’s a newly finished basement, two porches, and four fireplaces. The master bedroom contains an updated bath, and the third floor houses additional bedrooms and a newer bath with a skylight.
This isn’t the first home to come with a spooky backstory. The “Amityville Horror” house was one of the most popular listings of 2016 on realtor.com®; it was listed for $850,00 and sold after five months. The real-life home in Amityville, NY, has a grisly murder-filled past, which spawned a best-selling novel and multiple movies. Apparently the notoriety didn’t scare off an eventual buyer.
Another home with a ghoulish past, in Dunsmuir, CA, was the setting for the best-selling book “The Mortician’s Wife” and housed a mortuary. After being on and off the market for two years and a scary 88% price drop, the home has found a buyer.
Will a price slice be enough for a buyer to stare down the Watcher? We’ll keep an eye on it…
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