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White Witch of Rose Hall

Updated on October 7, 2015

Rose Hall is a mansion on a vast sugar plantation in Jamaica built in 1770. It's famous for legends of underground tunnels, bloodstains and hauntings. The White Witch of Jamaica, as she later came to be known, was Annie Palmer who moved to the plantation to marry the wealthy estate owner John Palmer in 1820. There is little evidence to support the legend except ghostly faces appearing in photographs taken by tourists. However, it is an interesting story.

Annie was raised in Haiti and was fascinated with voodoo. She was widely feared as a black magician. It would prove to be an unfortunate turn of events for her new husband and slaves working the sugar cane fields.

Tales of the horrific murders she committed continue to instill fear in Jamaican children and those still at the plantation. Annie was a petite, beautiful woman, standing only 4 feet 11 inches high. It is said she greatly missed Paris, and found life on the island to be dull and hard. It’s not known whether that was the reason she became a murderess.

In any case, it’s believed she had an abnormal sexual appetite and after becoming sexually dissatisfied with her husband, killed him and began sleeping with the slaves. Surprisingly, the sudden death of her husband was never investigated.

In order to keep her lovers quiet she killed them or ordered other slaves to do it. It didn’t take long for the servants to figure out if the mistress of the house began eyeing them, their days were numbered. Whether, they rejected her attention or submitted to her sexual demands they were doomed to death. When Annie tired of a lover, she would have him murdered and buried in an unmarked grave. The same fate awaited those who were caught trying to escape. As her dastardly reputation spread she became known as the White Witch.

Annie ruled her empire with an iron fist. Any offense, real or imagined, resulted in whippings, torture or execution. Many of the slaves practiced voodoo. Annie’s obsession with the art made her force them to teach her everything they knew about it. She was particularly interested in human sacrifice, especially infants whose bones she used in practicing black magic.

Annie married two more times, both of who met the same demise as the first. Of course, she acquired their fortunes as well. It is thought these two unfortunate men must have been foreigners not familiar with Annie's reputation.

Legend has it Annie cast a voodoo hex on a servant girl who caught the eye of one of her lovers. However, Annie killed the young man that same night, instead of toying with him for a while. The servant girl was grief-stricken. The girl’s grandfather was filled with rage and later strangled Annie to death. Her body was buried in an above ground coffin using Voodoo rituals and markings. This supposedly would keep Annie’s sprit from roaming the property. Apparently, it wasn’t done correctly because many reports have been made about the White Witch's spirit and those of the slaves she murdered continuing to haunt the house and grounds.

New tenants attempting to move into Rose Hall mysteriously fled stating the place was haunted. However, in 1965, another couple bought the house and made it into a museum. And as expected, visitors and employees have reported hearing men scream, doors slam and a host of other unexplained phenomena as well.

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      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

      JY, I've heard Annie Palmer's story before, but didn't pay nearly as much attention as I did when I read it here. Your way of bringing it was more interesting, lol.

      A very dark and interesting history of Annie and Rose Hall. I'm thinking I'd rather read about it than experience it. :)

      On a final note, since today is my much loved USMC's birthday, Semper Fi and many thanks from Texas!

    • JY3502 profile image
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      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Semper Fi right back atcha sweety!

    • T-Parker profile image

      T-Parker 5 years ago from Greater Toronto Area

      I hadn't ever heard this story before, but I enjoyed reading it! Thanks!

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      Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

      Great story. Thanks for writing it.

    • JY3502 profile image
      Author

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Anytime I run across something I feel is interesting, I know others will also find it interesting...so I write about it. Thanks for the comments T-Parker and Hubert.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 5 years ago

      Actually, I know the property very well. Anne is buried in the back under stones and you'll always find a bottle pushed into the stones to capture her spirit.

      Obeah is far more powerful than Voodoo.

      Obeah is practiced in Jamaica

    • JY3502 profile image
      Author

      John Young 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      qeyler, I don't believe in any of this stuff. I just write and report on it.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 5 years ago

      There's a lot of myth around Annie Palmer. From the house one can see the palm trees underwhich she was to have buried her husbands and there is a secret passage from the house to the sea...some distance away.

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      kat 14 months ago

      This is all shit, made up by white people to mislead black people. It is just unfortunate that my white ex-husband took me here to build fear in me and mock my love of God. Lucky for me, my mother never gave birth to no fool and he is now on bail for his crimes against me. whitch craft is just human beings doing evil things.

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      jy3502 14 months ago

      I tend to agree, but like I said, I just tell what others have said. Either way it makes for interesting reading.

    • qeyler profile image

      qeyler 14 months ago

      Dear Kat...I live in Jamaica. I have been to Rose Hall...there are the legends, there is the tunnel, and it leads to the shore. I know this, because I went through it, years ago.

      If you go to Annie's grave you will always find bottles, with the mouth pushed in to catch her spirit.

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