Whilst not specified, the loop is at the time of Queen Victoria's reign meaning it is between the years of 1837 to 1901.
Nowhere in their sagging and rotted architecture could be found a single straight line. It seemed the only thing keeping them from tipping straight into the water was the tightness with which they were packed; that and the mortar of black-and-green filth that smeared their lower thirds in thick, sludgy strata. On each of their rickety porches, coffinlike boxes stood on end, outhouses, which are contributing to the very filth that held them up. A rickety footbridge spanned the canal. This body of water is known as "Fever Ditch." The foundations of every house were decomposing into mush. Crazy wooden footbridges, some no wider than a board, crisscrossed the canal like a cat’s cradle, and its stinking banks were heaped with trash and crawling with spectral forms at work sifting through it. The only colors were shades of black, yellow, and green, the flag of filth and decay, but black most of all. Black stained every surface, smeared every face, and striped the air in columns that rose from chimneys all around us—and, more ominously, from the smokestacks of factories in the distance, which announced themselves on the minute with industrial booms, deep and primal like war drums, so powerful they shook every window yet unbroken. The factory waste, night soil, and animal carcasses which flow perpetually into it are the source not only of its bewitching odor but also of disease outbreaks so regular you could set your watch to them and so spectacular that this entire area has been dubbed ‘the Capital of Cholera.’ Notable landmarks include St. Rutledge’s Foundlings’ Prison, a forward-thinking institution which jails orphans before they’ve had the opportunity to commit any crimes, thereby saving society enormous cost and trouble; St. Barnabas’ Asylum for Lunatics, Mountebanks, and the Criminally Mischievous, which operates on a voluntary, outpatient basis and is nearly always empty; and Smoking Street, which has been in flames for eighty-seven years due to an underground fire no one’s bothered to extinguish.
The bulged and slumping walls are narrow and the tight spots were greased black by the clothes of those who’d gone before. There was nothing natural here, nothing green, nothing living at all save scurrying vermin and the bloodshot-eyed revenants who lurked behind doorways and under grates in the street. A doorway sinks half below street level. Inside is a dank cellar, just five feet high, lit by the merest breath of sallow gray light, subterranean corridor, discarded animal bones underfoot, a low ceiling, and sleepers shivering on miserable mats of straw. At its far end the passage widened into a room, and in the light of a few grimed windows there knelt a pair of miserable washerwomen, scrubbing laundry in a stinking pool of Ditch water. A walled courtyard common to the backs of several buildings. Waves of fly-blown trash tossed from windows are crested against the walls, and in the center, was a wooden pen in which a skinny boy stood guarding an even skinnier pig. One of the walls is made of mud-bricks.
Doleful Street boasted two undertakers, a medium, a carpenter who worked exclusively with “repurposed coffinwood,” a troupe of professional funeral-wailers who did weekend duty as a barbershop quartet, and a tax accountant. Attenuated Avenue was just fifty feet long and had only one business: two men selling snacks from a basket on a sled. One man sells boiled cat's meat. Oozing Street was oddly cheerful, with flower boxes hanging from windowsills and houses painted bright colors; even the slaughterhouse that anchored it was an inviting robin’s-egg blue.
The paint on a zone of buildings was singed away, and farther along the windows had blackened and burst. The roofs were caving and the walls coming down. The junction with Smoking Street, only their bones were left—a chaos of timbers charred and leaning, embers glowing in the ash like tiny hearts beating their last. Wulfurous smoke rose from deep cracks that fissured the pavement. Fire-stripped trees loomed like scarecrows over the ruins. Drifts of ash flowed down the street, a foot deep in places.
The air outside is a toxic-looking yellowish soup. The pavement on Periwinkle Street gave way to mud and the houses to shabby, sagging flats. Periwinkle's cul-de-sac is seedy. One house's windows are blackened out.
Library of Souls Edit
Devil's Acre is the setting of most of the chapters in Library of Souls. Sharon took Jacob Portman, Emma Bloom, and Addison MacHenry to Devil's Acre while they were looking for Caul and the rest of the peculiars in Library of Souls. It houses the Wights' Fortress.
- The actual population is seven thousand two hundred and six, but the official population is zero.
- The area’s main exports are smelted iron slag, bone meal, and misery.
- A popular fashion trend in Devil’s Acre were stolen wigs hung from belt loops.
- There are more thief passageways, murder tunnels, and illegal dens in Devil’s Acre than anywhere in the world.