Anxiety persists here long after the horror of relegation has dissipated.
A self-inflicted "fear factor" is growing with each home game that passes without a win, according to the West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce.
West Ham have managed only five league victories on home soil in the past 16 months and after a last-minute defeat by Cardiff on the opening day of the Championship season they once again spurned precious points in front of their frustrated supporters.
Adam Clayton struck for Leeds in the 90th minute, planting a rebound from Jonathan Howson's drive into the bottom corner of the net. It was a fitting finish to a colourful contest, earning a draw that Leeds deserved but which Allardyce scorned. "It's two points thrown away and it just puts a fear factor in everybody before the next home game," he said. "Everybody around the stadium is going to start getting edgy and nervous, the players will and that makes life much more difficult for us to win a game.
"When you're in control of two games of football [against Cardiff and Leeds] you just need to see the games out in the opposition half. But we've shown a lack of understanding at that stage of the game and a lack of professionalism."
In a contest riddled with contentious penalty appeals, Max Gradel's failure to score the only spot-kick that was awarded could have been ruinous for Leeds. The Ivorian dragged his tame effort wide in the first half, with Leeds already trailing to an early Carlton Cole volley.
Gradel's attacking talents had attracted Allardyce in the summer, though Leeds refused to part with their player of last season for the £2.5m West Ham offered. Allardyce may reconsider the need for such a spry player on the evidence of this match but much will depend on his ability to retain Scott Parker. He will accept only a sizeable fee for the England international and has labelled QPR's £4m midweek bid as "ridiculous".
Cole, another whose future remains uncertain, gave West Ham the lead from close range in the sixth minute after the Leeds goalkeeper, Andrew Lonergan, had tipped successive headers over the bar from Cole and James Tomkins. After such a good start West Ham needlessly allowed Leeds to settle and Matt Taylor presented the visitors with their penalty when he stifled a cross with his right arm.
The home side appealed heartily for penalties of their own, first when Tomkins's shirt was tugged and again following an injudicious challenge by Aidy White on Cole; White looked at fault as he bundled Cole to the floor with the striker through on goal but the referee did not see it that way.
"Two 'majors' have gone against us today," said Allardyce. "It's disappointing when you see the referee not do what he's paid to do. It's a part of why we've not won but not the ultimate part."
Leeds, whose start to the season has been sluggish, began the second half with renewed vigour and had another strong appeal for a penalty denied when Parker's sliding tackle brought White to the turf. If Parker made contact with the ball it was all but impossible to see, leaving the visiting fans incensed.
Leeds earned their first equaliser in the 59th minute – a goal fashioned through stealth and skill. Andy Keogh's cute back-heel fed Robert Snodgrass, whose incisive cross was drilled home by Ross McCormack from close range. But parity did not last long; within three minutes Patrick Kisnorbo had blasted into his own net.
Leeds remained lively to the last and were rewarded with their second equaliser. "We showed great attitude and great resilience," said their manager, Simon Grayson, praising what he termed a "justifiable" draw.
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