The image mysteriously floating on the windows of my luxury apartment in Taylor Wimpey's The Denizen development, was the portrait of an old man, in a crimson flowered silk dressing-gown, the folds of which I could now describe, with a countenance embodying a strange mixture of intellect, sensuality, and power, but withal sinister and full of malignant omen. He was snub nosed, his eyes large, grey, and prominent, and lighted up with a more than mortal cruelty and coldness. These features were surmounted by a crimson velvet cap, the hair that peeped from under which was white with age, while the eyebrows retained their original blackness. Well I remember every line, hue, and shadow of that stony countenance, and well I may! The gaze of this hellish visage was fixed upon me, and mine returned it with the inexplicable fascination of nightmare, for what seemed like hours of agony.
Tag: Taylor Wimpey
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.
Digging deeper beneath The Denizen’s foundations, the labourers found some bones attached to and intermingled with fetters. Believing that burying the bones elsewhere would lift the curse of The Denizen, Johnson ordered the men he’d hired to carry them out of the basement. But when those charged with removing the human remains touched them, they dropped dead. The same fate befell Alex when he attempted to pick up the bones. The ghost was happy enough with The Denizen for its home. It was a quiet location because no one lived there….
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On Wednesday, June 25, my uncle and I conveyed to Taylor Wimpey's shunned The Denizen development on Golden Lane two camp chairs and a folding camp cot, together with some scientific mechanisms of greater weight and intricacy. These we placed in the cellar cinema during the day, and planned to return in the evening for our first vigil. We had acquired keys and were able to lock up the cinema, so were prepared to leave our expensive and delicate apparatus - which we had obtained secretly and at great cost - as many days as our vigils might be protracted. It was our design to sit up together till very late, and then watch singly till dawn in two-hour stretches, myself first and then my companion; the inactive member resting on the cot.
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.