Saturday Video: The White Witch of Rose Hall, Jamaica
Located about 10 miles east of my usual address in Montego Bay, Rose Hall dates back to the 1770’s and represents one of the finest, fully-restored examples of Georgian-era (1714-1830) construction in the Caribbean. Impressive, though it may be for its architecture, period furniture, art and other treasures, the main attraction at Rose Hall is undoubtedly the White Witch, aka: Annie Palmer, who lived here in the 1800’s.
Annie’s legend varies slightly depending on who’s telling it, but most agree that she was short (about 4-ft, 11-in), sexy, lustful and a murderous voodoo priestess. An account of her tyrannical ways supposedly found in a journal kept by one of her slaves states that Annie poisoned one husband, stabbed another, then strangled a third. In rubbing out the second guy, she even poured boiling oil into his ears – I’m guessing he wasn’t a good listener…
Her predisposition toward murder was not, however, confined to her husbands. She also had a habit of killing her slaves after forcing them to succumb to her lustful ways. Apparently, she’d let her lovers live until she got bored with them.
Hell definitely had no fury like Annie.
Eventually, Annie was herself murdered and buried near the Great House. One story states that a voodoo ritual was supposed to be followed that would keep her spirit entombed forever, but that was botched. Another version has it that she was buried in an unmarked grave by a neighboring plantation owner whose slaves placed three crosses on three sides of her grave to contain her… but kept the fourth side open in case her spirit wanted to roam.
And roam she does, at least according to many visitors to Rose Hall. Some even claim to have captured her likeness in photos!
Whether or not you believe the legend of the White Witch, Rose Hall Great House is definitely worth a visit whenever you’re in MoBay… especially if you happen to be there next Sunday.