The Real Watcher of Westfield
Sometimes, real life is far more frightening than fiction.
As a man who makes his bread and butter writing about cryptids gone wild, I don’t often get the chance to delve into the things that truly give me the willies. I’m talking about flesh and blood crazies. Like what’s going on right now in a quaint New Jersey suburb.
Back in the summer of 2015, a disturbing headline hit the news. A family (Derek and Maria Broaddus) had just moved into their million dollar home in Westfield, New Jersey. We’re talking dream house. Except the dream quickly degenerated into a nightmare. Not long after moving in, the family started finding cryptic and threatening notes from someone who called himself (or herself) The Watcher. Here’s an example of one of The Watcher’s letters :
“I am pleased to know your names now and the name of the young blood you have brought me.”
The Watcher claimed to be part of a long line of Watchers, all of them keeping a close eye on the inhabitants of that particular house. In fact, today’s current Watcher is a self-proclaimed third generation stalker.
It got so strange, the family was forced to abandon their home. How could some strange notes make the Broadduses abandon their house within weeks? Consider if you found this in your home :
“Have they found what is in the walls yet? In time they will.”
“Will the young bloods play in the basement?
“Who has the bedrooms facing the street? I’ll know as soon as you move in. It will help me to know who is in which bedroom then I can plan better.”
This isn’t a questionable haunting like the Amityville Horror. The dread is real. To this day, no one knows who is leaving the notes. Theories range from someone in the neighborhood, possibly an older person judging by their handwriting. A disgruntled former potential buyer who lost their bid to the Broadduses. Or the Broaddus family themselves, looking to make a fast buck.I don’t know. To me, if you can afford a million dollar home, you’re not desperate for money.
Derek and Maria Broaddus tried to get permission to raze the beautiful house and construct a new one but was turned down. They are too afraid to live in it.
It’s been rented out since earlier this year, and new, even more sinister notes have turned up for the tenants. It seems that no matter who lives within the house’s walls, the terror will continue.
Somewhere out there, The Watcher keeps on watching.
A movie has been made very loosely based on this true to life horror called The Watcher. It’s on Netflix if you want to give it a…well, watch.
My take on things is presented in WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, available from Sinister Grin Press. Only in my version, the family can’t run from the house, nor can they hide.
New Release Day : WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING
I’m so excited to share this with all my Hellions. My first release of 2017, and premier book with Sinister Grin Press, WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, is available today! I know many of you ordered the limited edition hardcover, which will be delivered in April. But if you can’t wait that long, you can now grab an ebook or trade paperback.
The early reviews have been fantastic.
“Had me conjuring the spirit of McDowell’s classic, The Elementals… until it curved and curved again. I liked everything about this novel from cover to close. With climbing suspense, gut-wrenching twists, and a high-octane finish, We Are Always Watching is horror at its finest. With much of the year still to go, Shea’s novel will nevertheless place him among the best of 2017.” — Jason Parent, author of Seeing Evil and What Hides Within
“I’ve been a fan of Shea’s books for a short while now, but this one is easily his best. He digs a bit deeper here to generate some old-school chills. Hunter Shea is at the top of his game with this one.” — Michael Patrick Hicks, uber reviewer and author of Convergence and Emergence
Don’t Miss Out -Limited Edition Pre-Orders Selling Fast
I just wanted to share the wicked cool signature page art for my upcoming limited edition hardcover, WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING. Artist Zach McCain knocked it out of the park again. Now you’ll get to see what poor West Ridley had to look at every time he lay in his bed.
Make sure you’re one of the lucky ones to own a very special copy of this beautifully designed book. The folks at Sinister Grin Press are simply amazing.
About the book…
They’ve watched over the house for generations…
The move from New York to the decrepit Pennsylvania farmhouse is as bad as West Ridley thought it would be. His father’s crippling vertigo only seems to get worse, and even with his mother working herself to the bone, they’re out of money and options.
Grandpa Abraham is a drunk bastard and the living embodiment of the long neglected farmhouse. He claims the place is haunted. Ghosts roam the hall at night and their muffled cries fill the silence of warm, summer nights.
On the ceiling above West’s bed are the words WE SEE YOU. In a house plagued by death and mysterious visitations, West realizes something beyond the fiction of his favorite horror books has to be faced.
Dark secrets are buried deep, and there are Guardians who want to keep it that way. No matter where they go or what they do, West and his family know one thing…they are always watching.
Cover Reveal : WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING
I’m beyond excited to not only share the brilliant cover art for my upcoming novel with Sinister Grin, but also show you the progression of the art and how it came to be in artist Zach McCain’s own words! WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING is a chilling tale of isolation and deep, dark family secrets set on a withering Pennsylvania farm. Here’s the official Sinister Grin press release and a rare behind the scenes peek into how book covers are born.
Last month, Sinister Grin Press was very excited to announce our publishing deal with the best selling and fan favorite author Hunter Shea. This is the first time Sinister will publish work by Shea, and as well, we are honored to publish his first limited edition! In January 2017, we’ll start the year off in horrific style by making WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING available in a hardcover Limited Collector’s Edition. We’ll be offering the paperback and e-book versions a few months later.
Today we are anxious to reveal the cover for WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING by Hunter Shea, with art and design by the amazing Zach McCain!
Here are some of Zach’s thoughts on his artistic progression and thoughts when making the cover…..
The direction I got for this cover was very simple and straightforward: A run down farmhouse with a yard overgrown with weeds and the shadow of a person stretching out towards the house. At first I didn’t think there was much I could with this and it reminded me of many covers I had seen from small press horror publishers years ago.
I started drawing the house straight on and large on the page. Something about this started to look boring to me and I found myself struggling to continue.
At this point I decided to start completely over. This time I would draw the house from an angle and looking slightly up at it. And I decided to make it much smaller.
I felt much better about it after making the changes and quickly finished the pencil drawing portion of the cover.
I was still concerned about it looking like so many other similar covers that I had seen of a spooky house so I decided to give it a harder edge. More “Texas Chainsaw” and less “Haunted Hill.”
The final step was adding the text. It ended up being way better than I had originally expected it would. I’ve found that if you aren’t “feeling it” then it is better to scrap it and start completely over than to continue with something that you aren’t confident with.
At Sinister Grin Press, we love how it turned out. Watch for more news to come on ordering the limited edition from our website. And as always, we welcome your visit to our site and your patronage. We hope to make 2017 our best year yet and continue to produce quality “horror that’ll carve a smile on your face.”
Big Announcement -New Deal With Sinister Grin Press!
I’m so happy to let the world know that I’ve joined the Sinister Grin Press family. My first novel with Sinister Grin,WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING, will come out as a limited edition hardcover, followed by ebook and trade paperback in early, 2017. For those that remember, I started writing this book last fall for my editor Don D’Auria and Samhain. We all know how things went there. I couldn’t have found a better publisher to take on this unsettling mystery on a remote Pennsylvania farm.
Here’s the official press release. I’ll share cover art and more as we get closer to the big date.
Hunter Shea Signs Deal for First Hardcover Limited Edition with Sinister Grin Press
Austin, Texas—Sinister Grin Press is pleased to announce it will partner with acclaimed horror author Hunter Shea for his first limited edition hard cover collector novel, We are Always Watching. It is categorized as horror with elements of paranormal mystery. It should be available in January of 2017 through order on the Sinister Grin website. After the order period for the collector edition, it will also be available in paperback and e-book.
“I’m thrilled to find a new home at Sinister Grin Press, which has a stellar reputation for publishing top quality horror,” Shea said. “They have an amazing team who are true fans of the genre. I can’t wait to see the finished product for my first limited edition hardcover. That’s one to tick off the bucket list. Get ready for a whole new chapter!”
The team at Sinister Grin Press is looking forward to launching 2017 with We are Always Watching. “We are very excited to work with an author of his caliber as we are always striving to publish some of the best horror available in today’s market,” said Matt Worthington, co-owner and operating officer of Sinister Grin Press.
Shea is a best-selling author of 15 novels and novellas and a few short stories across multiple publishers. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world.
Sinister Grin Press continually works to give horror readers books that they can proudly spend their money on. It’s horror that’ll carve a smile on your face. To learn more about Sinister Grin Press, and to receive updates on books available or upcoming, please join us at sinistergrinpress.com or sign up for the newsletter.