The Ghost of the White Witch
Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
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The spirit of Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Jamaica, still haunts Rose Hall, along with a host of other spirits... presumably those of her victims.
According to local legend, the White Witch still haunts the house, and would seize any intruders. Furthermore, according to the whispered stories, she could still be seen at night riding on Rose Hall and Ironshore estates, wearing a green velvet dress, seated on a large black horse, and flaying with her whip anyone who got in her way. Annie is also said to manifest most frequently as a series of hurried foots steps heard walking through the main hall to the back entrance of the Great House.
There are also stories of whispered voices in the dungeon, invisible footsteps on the stairs, and tapping on the walls. Some also claim to hear the cries of the babies she murdered, as well as old, old music as if from a long ago ball. The 18th century ghosts seem to have developed an affinity for electricity, delighting in turning lights on and off at random times.
The Great Hall fell into ruin over the course of 200 years, until it was purchased by a developer who built the Ritz-Carlton hotel on the grounds, and devoted considerable personal expense in renovating the old plantation house. Despite being abandoned all those years, the house was virtually untouched by vandals. Tales of disappearances connected to the old mansion, along with the strong belief in Voodoo and ghosts kept most would-be troublemakers away... just like in the days when Annie Palmer ruled the estate.
As usual, with renovations comes ghostly phenomena. Workmen reported tools being moved or hidden, only to reappear exactly where they were originally left... or more mysteriously, deposited in a place normally inaccessible. Some reported answering to someone calling their name, only to find that they were alone or out of earshot of anyone else. Newly refinished floors would become marred overnight, with what looked like old blood stains. Soon, most of the workforce were from off-island.
Eventually, the place was completed and furnished. Few of the items from the original house were recoverable, although there were several miraculous exceptions, including a few paintings and one old mirror. The mirror has come to play an important role in the Hauntings at Rose Hall. (See below)
The Rose Hall Great House is now a museum. Since it's opening, a large number of people who have photographed the rooms and features of the old place have reported strange phenomena and images. Many have written back to the museum and enclosed photos to prove what their cameras recorded. A disproportionately large number of these photos include the mirror shown above. The most common phenomena is the appearance of someone in the mirror... someone not in the room when the photo was taken.
There are an equally large number of bogus or easily debunked images that I can easily tell are reflections and other tricks of the light. But the mirror issue is hard to explain. The images are displayed there at the museum, right next to the the ones we can easily discount, yet the mirror stands out as being truly eerie.
There is one more image that is even more disturbing... a photo I personally took of the bedroom where Annie killed her first husband. Follow the link to My Visit to see the image of what I believe may be that of a malevolent spirit.
(For more links leading to info about The White Witch of Rose Hall, click here.)