Haunted House stories get a lot of coverage worldwide, but a majority of them seem to be concentrated in America.

Some of the world’s most elaborately haunted manors and mansions, and even simple mid-town houses, are in America.

One place people would never expect to find a haunted house is in the tropics.

Jamaica has its share of haunted history.

From slave trades to colonization, the island best known for bringing reggae and tropical bliss to the western world has had the same rocky history as any modern nation.

And from that history, it has come to host many of its takes on strange and ghostly tales.

One of which is the legend of the White Witch on the grounds of Rose Hall in Montego Bay.

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10 /10 Pre-Haunting Estate

The Rose Hall Great House, an elaborate and high-end mansion in Jamaica’s Montego Bay, was not owned by any native person to Jamaica but the daughter of immigrant settlers.

The house overlooked a sugar plantation that was worked on by slaves back in the 18th and 19th centuries.

As a Georgia-style plantation house, it also had Georgia-style rules regarding safety for the slaves: virtually none.


9 /10 Minding The Manor

The legends of the Rose Hall’s haunting did not start immediately.

The house was built in the 1770s by Fulke Rose, for whom it was named after, but later changed hands to one John Palmer in the 1800s.

Mr. Palmer owned and operated the plantation without incident until he met and married a young woman named Annie, a white girl born and raised in Haiti one day.

8 /10 The Mistress Of The Manor

Not much is known about Annie Palmer’s life before meeting John and taking his name. What is known, though it is minor, is extremely important.

Her parents moved to Haiti, assumedly to be closer to crops, but died of yellow fever when she was just 10. From then, she was entrusted to her nanny to raise her.

Her nanny just so happened to be a practicing Voodoo priestess – the real kind, a traditional Haitian witch, who inundated young Annie with the dark arts and practices, warping her morals in the process.

Once Annie turned 18, her nanny died, assumedly of natural causes, and she sought a goodly husband to take care of her.

7 /10 Marital Issues

Annie and John’s relationship seemed to sour immediately, as she became dissatisfied with him and began taking on slaves as her lovers. One night, she was caught in bed with a slave by her husband. John beat her, and soon after, he died. Allegedly, he was strangled to death by Annie herself. That left the estate to Annie to rule and manage.

6 /10 The White Witch

Annie was a cruel landlady. Whatever standards the slaves lived under before, she made them worse in a powerful way.

She arranged bear traps in the field to catch any slaves that might try to run free, used ornate and painful collars to keep them chained, and if any slave – man, woman, or even child – so much as spill a drop from a bucket she would send them to the dungeon under the manor for torture and death.

And even in that time, she still took on lovers whom she threatened to control with voodoo magic, rites, and practices known and feared by the native people she commanded.

5 /10 Witchy Woman

Annie couldn’t just be a single woman owning land and running a business in the 1800s; it just wasn’t done.

So she remarried, brought on other rich, fine young men, and slowly killed them.

She remarried twice, but the entire time it was clear she was the only person in control as she freely did what she wanted to her slaves and willingly killed her husbands, assumedly for their inheritance.

Over this time, she also had several children, famously painted within a portrait that hangs in the manor to this day—a picture with eyes that might follow you around the room.

4 /10 The Turnabout

In 1821, things reached a breaking point between Annie and one of her favored slave lovers, a man known as Takoo.

Finally fed up with being reigned by the terror of the White Witch, which was what all the slaves called her at that point, he used his privilege to come and go from the basement dungeon to sneak up to her room and strangle her to death in her bed.

That was the end of Annie Palmer, but only the beginning of her haunting.

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3 /10 Burnt Out

The legend ends with the slaves ransacking the manor that held them captive and burying Annie a short distance away before burning it down.

The mansion was later restored, and Annie’s body was given a semi-proper burial in a stone coffin. The coffin was marked with crosses on each side, except for one so her spirit could leave to wander.

It may have been done intentionally – or might have washed off due to some witchy-powers so Annie could keep an eye on the manor forever.


2 /10 The Legend Of Rose Hall

After all this history and tragedy, it’s important to note that very little of it has been proven as fact. There was a Palmer ownership of the Rose Hall, and it did have a downstairs area where slaves were kept.

But the fires rendered much historical evidence to ashes. An Annie Palmer did exist at the time but had no relation to Rose Hall and wasn’t the woman described.

There was also Rosa Palmer, the original mistress of Rose Hall, who was very virtuous and kind.


1 /10 Great House Tours

The Great House has since been reclaimed and reconstructed and now stands as a museum to the legend of Annie Palmer and the history of Jamaican slave plantations as a whole.

Many guests to the manor claim to have some ghostly encounter on their tours, from the painting with moving eyes to eerie presences scattered throughout the home, and even sightings of a woman in red with a sinister expression waiting down the hall and disappearing without a trace. 

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