Rose Hall Great House
Rose Hall Plantation Montego Bay, Jamaica
Tel: 1 (876) 953-2323
Rose Hall was once the home of Annie Palmer—a woman the locals feared in her day. Even today, her legend is used to scare children across the island of Jamaica, and she is best-known as “The White Witch of Rose Hall.”
Built in 1770 on Montego Bay, Rose Hall Plantation was an island paradise— though only for those who lived in luxury within the house. For the slaves who worked the sugar cane plantation, Rose Hall could sometimes be deadly.
Annie Palmer was born Annie Mae Patterson in the early 1800s and grew up in Haiti. She had a Haitian nanny who taught her voodoo from a young age. When Annie was 10, her parents died under mysterious circumstances, and her nanny raised her until she was 18. Ever ambitious, Annie wanted wealth and wanted it quickly—she came to Jamaica and enchanted local plantation owner John Palmer. They were soon married, and Annie became mistress of the plantation. But Annie was hungry for more excitement and had gotten bored with her husband. She demanded that some of the slave men come to her bedroom so she could have her way with them. When she grew tired of these lovers, she would have them killed so they couldn’t tell anyone else. According to the legend, Annie’s husband died mysteriously one evening, and Annie inherited everything. She married twice more, and again, two more husbands died. Each time, she acquired more wealth. And all the while, she brought slaves into the Great House for her pleasure before having them dispatched when she grew tired of them.
The other slaves were suspicious, but they didn’t say anything publicly out of fear of the White Witch. According to Beverly Gordon, a native Jamaican and the current manager of the Rose Hall Great House, Annie Palmer not only beat the slaves in daylight but she also brought them back to the mansion for further torture. Gordon said, “Where the ladies’ and gentlemen’s rooms are now, that’s what she used as her dungeon, and those two pits went 16 feet down. That’s where she kept the slaves if they were caught trying to run away from the property. She would get them there, throw them in the pit, and then leave them there to die without food or water, no medical attention whatsoever. She was gruesome, awful.”
In 1971, a group of psychics came to Rose Hall to try and trap the spirit of Annie Palmer. Gordon said, “They tried to raise Annie, and she was giving them a hard time. She came out of the tomb, they were trying to get her back in, and they could not. On her tomb, they placed three crosses on three sides. They wanted to trap her spirit back inside the tomb and they could not, so they did not put the fourth cross on. They just left that side open.”
Today there are ghostly phenomena in every corner of Rose Hall. People report hearing doors slam on their own, and men’s screams echo through the chambers and hallways. Apparitions have been sighted and even photographed throughout the building, but especially in the bedrooms.