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Rose Hall - Haunted House in Jamaica

Updated on November 3, 2013

I had the chance to visit Rose Hall In Montego Bay, Jamaica on honeymoon while waiting for our flight time to arrive, and it was one of the more interesting side adventures of the trip.  Rose Hall "Great" House is supposed to be haunted by the previous owner named Annie Palmer.  I did come away from the tour feeling a bit as if I had visited an eerie place with strange energy.  It could have been that the tour guide did a good job, but the house just has that feeling.  I took many pictures of it while there, and I hope a few of them in this hub help to convey that vibe.  One tidbit that only adds to the aura of mystery surrounding the house and these ghost stories is the pictures that previous visitors have taken and sent back.  Inside the basement-slash-dungeon of the house in what is now a gift shop area there are several photos and letters sent by former "guests" who have visited and taken the tour.  The common thread of these is a single mirror located in one of the bedrooms.  Several people have noticed shadowy figures and images in the photos of this mirror that they did not see when taking the picture.  I'll include my photo of the mirror below, but alas, there is no ghost captured in mine.

A picture depicting the terrible condition the Great House was found in by the British.
A picture depicting the terrible condition the Great House was found in by the British.

Rose Hall and the Great House were once part of a very large sugar plantation in the built in the 18th century. To this day this building is the largest "Great" House in the Caribbean. Annie Palmer was born in France, and it is said that she moved to the island of Jamaica to be the wife of the most powerful sugar plantation owner. The details of her early life on the plantation are fuzzy, but the legend is clear when it comes to Annie's demeanor. She is said to have been extremely cruel to the point of evil and earned the moniker "The White Witch" possibly because she also learned Voodoo from the slaves living on the plantation and practiced regularly according to legend.

The infamous mirror. I did not see a ghost, unfortunately...fortunately?
The infamous mirror. I did not see a ghost, unfortunately...fortunately?

Annie murdered her first husband in his sleep. She also had a habit of turning her affections toward slaves at times. She would toy with them for a time, and ultimately have the other slaves carry out a murder. She would them bury them in unmarked graves. There are tales of her cruelty that also describe much pain and torture that were carried out in the basement dungeon of the Great House. She learned much Voodoo from the slaves who wanted to remain on Annie's good side, and she even went so far, it is said, as to practice human sacrifice. This included infants whose bones were used in black magic rituals and supposedly gave her longer life. She took two more husbands even though her legend was famous on the island, and even across the oceans where the pirates who often took refuge in Jamaica left Annie and her fortune alone. Of course she ultimately murdered her other two husbands in their sleep as well as an unknown number of slaves.

Eventually, one of the slaves who was a powerful practitioner of Voodoo and black magic risked his own life and that of others to kill the White Witch. He succeeded at the cost of his own life, but other slaves were in on the plan and had assisted in preparing a special grave site. They entombed Annie's body and performed a ritual which was supposed to keep her spirit imprisoned within her crypt, but an apparent error in carrying it out was made. It is said that Annie's ghost regularly haunts the grounds and the Great House. As stated in the opening of this article, there are even visitors and reporters who have written about and photographed their evidence of her appearances. It was truly an eerie place.

I am including a picture from the Rose Hall website that was also displayed inside during the tour that shows the horrible condition the house was in when the island of Jamaica was under British control. It was restored some time later, and is now a container for some very impressive Victorian artifacts and décor. I will let the photos I took speak for themselves. And, unfortunately, I am no photographer, so hopefully you enjoy them.

Annie Palmer's crypt. Notice the cross applied on the end. Apparently not all crosses were put on correctly failing to seal in the spirit of the White Witch.
Annie Palmer's crypt. Notice the cross applied on the end. Apparently not all crosses were put on correctly failing to seal in the spirit of the White Witch.
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