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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My Visit to Jamaica's "Haunted" Rose Hall Plantation

Beautiful Jamaican Sunset
Rose Hall

     My husband and myself went to Jamaica for a vacation recently. It was beautiful and the culture and food is amazing. Everyone is so friendly and accommodating.  I strongly recommend going there.  We stayed at Xtabi Resort ("meeting place of the gods) in Negril, Jamaica, on the cliff side overlooking beautiful, hypnotic, turquoise, surprisingly clean water that doesn't look nasty and polluted like our water in Virginia Beach. The restaurant at Xtabi had really great, authentic food.  We had a private cabin that overlooked the water and had caverns underneath of us.  It was an adventure!  We also rented a car to get around.  I strongly recommend this for other people, but not the faint of heart. The driving is crazy there and the roads are rough and holey. But Jamaica is truly beautiful. 

A private cabin at Xtabi

View from the Restaurant

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

     I also recommend taking some Jamaican coffee home. It's the best coffee I've ever had!  We stayed for a week and didn't want to leave! It was paradise, so that alone, is reason enough to go. Since I had written a blog about Jamaica's Haunted Rose Manor and Annie Palmer, the "white witch," who haunts the sugar plantation; I had to visit it while I was there.  It has such an intriguing history.  Rose Hall is located near Montego Bay. It was a beautiful drive from our hotel in Negril, Jamaica.  We passed the famous "Seven Mile Beach" on the way, with it's white sand, and beautiful water where you can see all the way to the bottom.

The beach


7 mile beach

The rock beaches at the resort, with caves in them

     I was already familiar with the history of Rose Hall, especially after researching the Rose Hall blog I had written..  But I wasn't fully prepared for the beautiful plantation, that was once a booming sugar plantation, owned by Annie Palmer, an evil and sadistic women who murdered her 3 husbands for money, then sealed each of them in the bedrooms after she killed them.  We decided to take the day tour, to feel the experience and hear the oral history, perhaps even fill in some blanks and answer questions. We wanted most of all, to tour the halls she wanders as a ghost, perhaps trapped there for eternity, for punishment of all of the horrible things that she did. She had a lot of bad karma coming her way, then she met her end during the slave rebellion, in which they murdered her in her bed, where she kept taking slave lovers, then killing them.  She was an evil woman who relished having complete control over her slaves, and apparently in her short marriages, which she ended with poison or stabbing. Annie Palmer was a hardened, serial killer of sorts in her time.  Annie was a true "black widow."  No husbands survived her. She learned the dark arts and used them to intimidate the slaves.  

Sign for Rose Hall and Cinnamon Hill

Rubber tree

part of the property, in the back

lily pond in yard

We got a brief chance to wander the property

Me at Rose Hall

   The Rose Hall Plantation is still in wonderful condition. They have tried to preserve as much of the original decorations and furniture as possible.  Most of it was there, behind velvet ropes, so that you can't touch it. There was even the original silk wallpaper, rich, darkly stained chairs, and other luxurious decorations.  A local young woman, dressed in a dress for the time period, took us in a tour of the house and told us the story.   They do not let you tour the house alone or touch anything, so that made it hard to do any "ghost hunting."  When we go back to Jamaica, which we will because its great, we will do a night tour. But when we went into her bedroom and the rooms where she killed and left her husbands, I got chills.  I felt drawn to them but a creepy vibe that literally raised the hair on my arms.  It was a bit freaky. I definitely felt something, like a presence, lurking. I felt stuck for a minute, feeling the creepy vibe go through my body.  My husband called me as I was getting left behind on our tour due to getting sidetracked by creepiness.

Annie's balcony where she watched punishment and executions

     The dungeon had the expected amount of foreboding, actually more than expected. I couldn't take my eyes off of the awful contraptions she used to torment prisoners.  There was a bear trap big enough for an elephant that she had several of to make sure no slaves escaped. Was that actually one of the traps that had crippled innocents slaves just trying to get away from the voodoo and black arts practicing, "white witch." While most people might wake up and have some coffee, maybe even stepping outside, Annie would stand on her balcony in her bedroom in the mornings to watch executions and beating of slaves.  What a horrible person.  

A huge "slave trap" large enough to take a leg off. Awful

     Since she was crazy and sadistic, she never expressed remorse, never stopped killing until she died, and somehow wanders the plantation still. A former slave lover and other slaves that she had inflicted cruelty on, murdered her in her bed, during the one of the Jamaican slave rebellions in 1831.  She had it coming though. I suppose you could call it karma? What goes around comes around. The slaves then buried her in a coffin with stone sarcophagus around it.  It had crosses on the top and side to help keep her evil spirit trapped.  I guess it didn't work. They say that no one is sure if she's in there anymore. Some say, her body was later moved elsewhere to avoid desecration.  

Annie's murder

Where Annie Palmer is supposed to be buried

canopy we passed over to and from Rose Hall

     The slaves were finally free from her wrath to escape and try to get to friendlier territory.  They must have felt such freedom when she was finally gone.  The white witch was dead.  Finally, Annie Palmer would no longer torture, or kill, or abuse any of them again. Her reign of terror was finally over.  There would be no whipping, or horrible treatment. It was the freedom they had dreamed of and probably not believed it would ever happen.  So, I didn't technically "see" or "hear" any ghosts or "supernatural entities" while I was there, but I'm determined to do it again and get some sort of documentation.  I do recommend that you visit Rose Hall. It is still super creepy with such a dark, and  has a twisted and strange history.  

Rose Hall written with stones in the yard

In conclusion, I did not obtain actual proof of haunting in the Rose Hall Plantation, but it definitely feels foreboding and dark. I felt something that chilled me to the core and made my arm hair stand on end.  You can feel the pain and suffering that took place there.  You can imagine the pain of her victims she took into the dungeon, never to come out again.  Then there's a heaviness in the air and a creepy feeling.  I totally believe that Annie Palmer may be long dead, with her blood lust, but she haunts Rose Hall to this day. 

 Jamaica is just so amazing! It's breathtaking. It's a wonderful vacation spot, and you may even meet a ghost at Rose Hall if you are lucky!  

My husband out back of Rose Hall.. Notice the white blur that appears to come from my arm and go past my husband?  Could that be some sort of entity that people claim to see in their pictures.

One of the cliffs

Front View of Margaritaville

me, at our cottage at Xtabi