White Witch of Rose Hall

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Tomb said to be Annie Palmer's at Rose Hall, Jamaica

The White Witch is a legendary story of a haunting in Jamaica.


Rose Hall House, Jamaica
Rose Hall Spillway, Montego Bay: Jamaica

According to the legend, the spirit of "Annie Palmer" haunts the grounds of Rose Hall Plantation near Montego Bay. The story states that she was born in Haiti to an English mother and Irish father and spent most of her life in Haiti. When her parents died of yellow fever, she was adopted by a nanny who taught her witchcraft and voodoo. She moved to Jamaica and married John Palmer, owner of Rose Hall Plantation. Annee murdered Palmer along with two subsequent husbands and numerous male plantation slaves, later being murdered herself by a slave named "Takoo". A song about the legend called "The Ballad of Annee Palmer" was recorded by Johnny Cash.[1]

An investigation of the legend in 2007 by Benjamin Radford concluded that the story was fictionalized, modeled on the title character in a famous Jamaican novel, The White Witch of Rosehall by Herbert G. de Lisser, published in 1929.[2][3][4] An Annie Palmer unrelated to Rose Hall did exist, and by all accounts had no tendencies toward sadism or lechery. Rough Guide To Jamaica author Polly Thomas writes that the name of Annie Palmer may have become confused with Rosa Palmer, the original mistress of Rose Hall who did have four husbands but was said to be unwaveringly virtuous.[5]

Rose Hall[edit]

Rose Hall, Jamaica

Rose Hall is a Georgian mansion built in the 1770s and restored in the 1960s. It is decorated with silk wallpaper printed with palms and birds, ornamented with chandeliers, furnished with mostly European antiques, and features a downstairs bar and restaurant. It is currently owned by former Miss World USA Michele Rollins.

Popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Johnny Cash; Don Cusic (25 August 2004). Johnny Cash: The Songs. Da Capo Press. pp. 226–. ISBN 978-1-56025-629-8. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  2. ^ Radford, Benjamin (September 2008), "The White Witch of Rose Hall", Fortean Times (239), ISSN 0308-5899
  3. ^ Jim Stefko, "The White Witch of Rose Hall", Suite101.com (site blocked)
  4. ^ "Heeding (Or Ignoring) Skeptical Investigation". Center for Inquiry. 2011-10-22. Retrieved 2011-11-14.
  5. ^ Polly Thomas (2 August 2010). The Rough Guide to Jamaica. Penguin. pp. 185–. ISBN 978-1-4053-8205-2. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  6. ^ Michael Davis, "White Witch, Chelsea Theatre – Review", Breaking The Fourth Wall, 10 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Rose Hall : Ghost Adventures". Travel Channel. Retrieved 2013-02-07.

External links[edit]