Denizen of the Dead is a protest against property speculation and a new take on the genre of haunted house horror fiction — in which investors’ ghosts homes really are haunted and those who buy them come to horrible ends. The book itself is a talisman that defends our communities against developers and it also features Spell Series by the w.o.n.d.e.r. coven. The symbols of this living spell are a lock and key designed to dismantle the neoliberal project and overdevelopment as represented by Clarendon Court — a block of 99 luxury flats on Golden Lane in London EC1 that replaced 110 social housing units for key workers and with absolutely no social or affordable housing on site. All the stories in the anthology are set in this ‘City fringe’ safety deposit box in the sky, which is nearing completion and should be ready for ghost flat owners to take ‘possession’ of within a few weeks.
We are in a three-bedroom flat in Taylor Wimpey’s The Denizen development. We aren’t far from the ancient heart of the City of London, although we are outside the original city wall, and those selling the flats rather bamboozled investors about The Denizen’s actual location. We have chosen this luxury apartment block for our ghost hunt because it has a truly terrible history. Since it was built last year there are records of no less than thirty suicides in or from it, and there may well have been more.