The East End of London has seen centuries of poverty, despair and death. For centuries its poor and dispossessed have struggled to survive. Crude hospitals such as the ill-famed Bethlehem Hospital became known as places of terror and insanity for the patients: where Bedlam reigned.
These memories are fading in modern day London, but as Rose Templar, senior midwife at the brand new Bethlehem Maternity discovers, they have not gone.
On the opening day of the unit a young mother commits suicide, plunging to her bloody death in front of the cameras and journalists. The spirit of Bedlam appears to be alive and well in this new hospital. Mothers begin to refuse to birth there. The comments about tainted ground become harder to ignore when Rose, and Rose alone, sees the ghost of the dead woman walking the wards. Every time the ghost appears near a young woman in labour she dies after the birth. Each time the unexpected death is found to be natural. Rose suspects they have been murdered. She turns to her parish priest for help and guidance. As the deaths continue, suspicion and paranoia begin to take hold. Whispers start to fill the wards with doubts about Rose. The demons from her own past are unleashed as she tries to make sense of her suspicions.
Rose struggles to save her career, her sanity and her patients. Is the evil walking the wards at Bedlam supernatural, or human? Is Rose the solution, or the problem?