Rose Hall Estate - Jamaica's Haunted Mansion

Rose Hall Estate
Jamaica's Haunted Mansion

Today, the property is a luxury resort with two award-winning golf courses and oceanviews not far from Montego Bay, Jamaica. But long with the modern resort facilities, there is Rose Hall Estate, a whitewashed mansion with a darker history that is one of its present day attractions - hauntings.

Rose Hall Estate
Many of the so-called Great Houses - the homes of colonialists - in Jamaica were burned to the ground during the slave rebellions of 1831 to 1838. Rose Hall Estate, somehow, escaped with less damage than most others. Many claim that it is because the mansion was haunted, even before the rebellions came along.

Annie Palmer - The White Witch

According to local legend, the house is haunted by the spirit of one Annie Palmer, also known as the White Witch. The story of Annie's ghost has been growing since her death in the 1830s. She's been the subject of a dozen or more novels, including The White Witch of Rose Hall by H. G. De Lisser, published in 1928.
A Picturesque Tour of Jamaica by James Hakewill, 1778

The mansion dates from 1750. As the story goes, Annie Palmer arrived in Jamaica in the spring of 1820 at the age of 18, having married John Rose Palmer. She had been raised by a nanny after being left an orphan in Haiti. The nanny had taught her the art of voodoo, and some say that Annie had used it to entice Palmer to marry her.

According to the legend, Annie Palmer murdered three husbands and too many of the male slaves she coerced into her bed to count during her decade as mistress of Rose Hall Estate, which was then a plantation. Nowadays, some believe that it was the lead content in her china dishes slowly drove her insane.
Bedroom - Rose Hall Great House by Sarah Ackerman

Finally, one of the slaves she was sexually abusing had enough and murdered her. It was said that he buried her and performed voodoo spells to keep her evil spirit from returning, but the spells weren't done correctly.

Some say the whole story is a myth, and that there never was an Annie Palmer, but many people have reported sightings of the White Witch over the decades.

Nowadays, it's an intriguing stop on a Jamaican vacation.


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