The White Witch of Rose Hall
Located in Montego Bay, Jamaica, is a beautiful Jamaican
Georgian style mansion known as Rose Hall. However, Rose Hall is not so much
famous for its architecture as it is for the legend that surrounds it.
According to legend, and to local reports, the mansion is haunted Annie Palmer,
the “white witch” who supposedly murdered her three husbands and tortured the
many slaves who worked on the plantation.
Rose Hall was built in the 1770s and soon after became the
property of John Palmer. Rose Hall also featured an adjoining sugar cane
plantation known as Palmyra. During this time, about 250 African Slaves were
forced to live and work at the plantation.
Legend has it that Annie was born in England, but later
moved to Haiti with her mother and father when she was around age ten. After her
parents died of yellow fever, Annie was adopted by a nanny who taught her
voodoo and witchcraft. Later on, Annie moved to Jamaica where she married John
Palmer. It is said that she was looking for someone who was wealthy, and that
she had used magic to get John to fall in love with her. Soon after her
marriage, Annie poisoned John in order to gain control of the plantation.
However, she did not remain single for long; she quickly married her second
husband who was an English planter. Once again, she murdered this husband (this
time by stabbing him to death), only to marry a third time. This third marriage
ended like her other two, with Annie strangling her third husband to death with
the help of one of her many slave “lovers”, Takoo.
Other than being known for murdering her husbands, Annie
Palmer was also known for her cruelty towards the plantations slaves. Annie was
feared by all, as she was known to use voodoo magic. She was even known to
murder slave infants so that she could use their bones for black magic. Slaves
who were unfortunate enough to get in her path were whipped, tortured, and put
to death. It is also said that she had a torture chamber in the basement of the
house for her own amusement. Annie would also force slave men to have romantic
relations with her. Eventually, one of these slave lovers, named Takoo,
murdered her after Annie murdered his granddaughter. After she died, the slaves
still feared that she would use her powers from the spirit realm to attack
them. Therefore she was buried in a tomb behind the house, and a voodoo ritual
was attempted to keep her locked inside. However, the ritual was not completed
and Annie’s spirit has been free to roam ever since.
Despite the fact that the legend is almost entirely false
(there was an Annie Palmer, but she did not murder her husband or torture the
slaves), there are still reports of hauntings at the plantation. Footsteps can
be heard walking down the stairs and running hurriedly from the main hall to
the back entrance , tapping can be heard on the walls and whispers can be heard
in the dungeon. People have heard the cries of infants and old music. Annie
herself is also seen on a giant black horse in a green velvet dress. Supposedly
she will chase visitors with a whip. During the homes renovations in the 60s, workmen
reported having tools being moved or hidden on them, only to reappear exactly
where they were originally left, or in an odd inaccessible place. Others heard
their name being called by an unseen presence. Workers would also find that the
floors they had refurbished the day before would be dirtied over night with
what looked like blood stains.