Visitors to Jamaica looking to get a little spooked should check out the Great House at Rose Hall plantation. Widely regarded as the most extravagant and famous of Jamaica’s great plantation houses, Rose Hall’s Great House also sports a chilling mythology.
The tale begins with Annie Palmer, who moved to Rose Hall when she was married to plantation owner John Palmer in 1820. Over the course of the next decade, her husband and two subsequent spouses died mysteriously. It was rumored that Annie Palmer was a practitioner of Voodoo (called “Obeah” in Jamaica) and would take paramours from the population of plantation slaves, only to “dispatch” of her lovers when she became bored. Her dalliances with the devil were blamed for curses and all manner of evil that befell the plantation population. One of her lovers supposedly killed her during the slave uprisings in the 1830’s, and her ghost is alleged to haunt the house.
The Annie Palmer myth has been the subject of several novels, the most famous of which was H.G. de Lisser’s White Witch of Rose Hall. But even if intrigue and voodoo magic don’t appeal to you, the Rose Hall Great House is a spectacle on its own. Meticulously refurbished in the 1970’s, Rose Hall features ornate detailing and European antiques, Mahogany floors and all the trappings of 19th century wealthy plantation life. Owners have also added a bar and restaurant for visitors to relax and enjoy the plush surroundings. Other attractions include tours lead by character actors who detail the house’s history and ghostly reputation. Rose Hall is just one of many things to do in Montego Bay, Jamaica.