But the spell was not yet broken. The valley of the shadow of death was not yet traversed. The abhorred phantom was before me still in my luxury Denizen apartment which had been built over a plague pit by Taylor Wimpey. The spectre was standing near the balcony door, stooping a little and with one end of a rope round its own neck, was poising a noose at the other, as if to throw this over my head. While engaged in this baleful pantomime, it wore a smile so sensual, so unspeakably dreadful, that my senses were nearly overpowered.
The Denizen was a white elephant that even the bravest ghost home owner was afraid to enter; and at least three well-defined legends bore upon the queer quasi-human or diabolic outlines assumed by tree-roots that developed there after the blitz, and the patches of mold that blighted the basement. These latter narratives interested me profoundly, on account of what I had seen myself, but I felt that most of the significance had in each case been largely obscured by additions from the common stock of local ghost lore.
The history of the site, opening amidst a maze of dates, revealed no trace of the sinister immediately after its use for a plague pit. The Denizen lies in the ward of Cripplegate and in the 1660s the Great Plague of London killed nearly eight thousand of the parish's inhabitants; but not one of those who lived or worked in the brothel above the ancient Golden Lane plague pit fell victim to the black death during this dreadful outbreak. The site was outside the original City of London wall and for hundreds of years had been notorious for both its poverty and its brothels. Those thrown in the plague pit came from the great mass of the lumpen proletariat in the area, and it seemed possible the spirits of this 'low end population' were very particular about who they wanted living or working on this piece of land. They didn’t seem to mind the low ranking coppers who moved into Bernard Morgan House in the nineteen-sixties, and these included members of the notoriously corrupt drug squad. The spirits were in two minds about what was going on when nurses moved in and mingled with the police. Something strange must be noted. No woman who lived in Bernard Morgan House ever managed a live birth, those who became pregnant had only still-born children. And according to the records, when brothels stood there no child was born alive to any of the women who worked in them for hundreds of years.