For those of you planning to visit Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St. James Montego Bay over the next few weeks, there is one Jamaican attraction you won’t want to miss – the Rose Hall Great House. In anticipation of Halloween, forget visiting a make-believe haunted house, this eerie mansion set on a beautiful plantation is said to be haunted with real ghosts.
The Rose Hall Great House became famous as a result of the reputation of Annie Palmer, an 18th century woman known as the “White Witch of Rose Hall”. As the legend has it, Annie earned this title because of her vast knowledge in the art of Voodoo, murdering her three husbands and cruelty towards the slaves under her employment.
While very little is known about Annie’s early days at Rose Hall, it is said that she was feared by the slaves who lived on and worked the plantation. She ruled with an iron fist and often ordered public whippings, torture or even death upon the slaves who would defy her.
Her first husband, John Plamer was murdered early in their marriage. Soon after, Annie began to take slaves as her lovers and then killed them off as soon as they would bore her. Over the years, she also married two other wealthy men, both of whom met an early demise, and she acquired their wealth in the process.
Annie finally met her match in 1831, when a freed slave managed to kill her with black magic at the cost of his own life. The slaves planned a special voodoo burial to ensure she would not rise and walk the plantation again. However they must have failed to complete the ritual properly as the “White Witch” is said to still roam the estate today.
In fact, it isn’t only Annie’s spirit that haunts Rose Hall. Countless others, perhaps those of the murdered slaves, also find residence there. There are reportedly sounds of babies crying, tapping on the walls, whispering voices in the dungeon and invisible footsteps. Lights also often switch on and off and old ballroom music can often be heard.
If you’d like to set up a tour to Rose Hall Great House, stop by our activities desk at Secrets Wild Orchid or Secrets St. James and one of our staff members would be happy to help you. Happy Halloween!