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.
Tag: Hong Kong
The Denizen was brand spanking new and as attractive as a desert, nobody was living there. Po looked around the Cripplegate and Bunhill neighbourhoods the day after his arrival and found the area he'd moved to was littered with ghost home developments. An endless parade of empty apartment buildings towered above social housing that had been built for local proletarians. Canaletto Tower, The Atlas, 250 City Road and The Lexicon, were all impressively inhuman in their height and scale. The Denizen may not have been as tall as these monuments to unbridled capitalism but it was still impressive and prevented sunlight from reaching dozens of council flats, two schools and Fortune Street Park. It more than held its own against the overpriced empty apartments in places like Dance Square, The Eagle, Eagle Point, Fable Apartments, The Featherstone and The Bezier Building.
We have now arrived at March 24. It was a day of curious experiences for Meng: a windy, noisy day, which filled The Denizen and Fortune Street Park with a restless impression. As Meng stood by the fence and looked into the park, he felt as if an endless procession of unseen people were sweeping past him on the wind, borne effortlessly and aimlessly, vainly striving to stop themselves, to catch at something that might arrest their flight and bring them once again into contact with the living world of which they had formed a part.
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 Denizen was - and for that matter still is - designed to repel the attention of the curious. Generically designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris in the bland contemporary style favoured by developers hoping to get rich from investment flats that will never be lived in, there was absolutely nothing of interest about the block beyond the reprehensible political manoeuvering and money-grabbing that led to it being built. 110 social housing flats for key workers had been replaced with 99 ghost homes for investors with no on site social or affordable housing, not a single flat, not one! The new building was much taller than the old one and between September and March blocked all afternoon sun from the neighbouring and heavily used Fortune Street Park. In short the entire development was a disaster for local people. And that is before factoring in that the malevolent spirits living beneath it were disturbed by the construction of the development and angry about it...
Mutti disapproved of Hermann’s away weekends in London to explore what she referred to as the scene. The point of an investment was that it remained empty and was not for the owner’s benefit, other than accumulation of profit. Mutti seemed incapable of grasping that prices were in fact going down. Maybe she was right; it was considered bad luck to stay in such apartments. Many Deni-zen owners preferred when in town to stay at the Thistle City Barbican at a hundred and forty quid a night rather than risk misfortune.
I scrolled through to the end of the very long and angry screed without bothering to read it word for word. I decided not to look at dozens of other unopened messages with headers such as: The Denizen Really Sucks, Taylor Wimpey Ripped Me Off, Taylor Wimpey Unfinished Estates Shoddy Workmanship & Crumbling Homes, If This Is A Luxury Apartment Then I’m The Queen Of Sheba, and The Denizen’s Feng Shui Is Killing Me. I wanted to die during orgasm but the daily flood of complaints from my fellow ghost home owners were a depressing distraction from my erotic fantasies.
Junkies became a problem around here a little bit before The Denizen was built. There used to be a police section house where your luxury apartment now stands and when that had coppers living in it, the junkies stayed away. But as soon as the old bill went the junkies took over. They use the telephone box just outside The Denizen as a shooting gallery. We’ve been trying to get the phone box removed. It's known locally as The Cripplegate Shooting Gallery. There's a huge problem with both used needles and human excrement.