Miko the Kitty
: Rose Hall Great House is a Georgian mansion located approximately 15km east of Montego Bay in northwestern Jamaica. Built in the 1770’s, Rose Hall Great House sits high on a hillside with an exquisite panorama view over the coast. During the 1960s the mansion was restored to its former splendor with mahogany floors, interior windows and doorways, paneling and wooden ceilings. It is decorated with silk wallpaper printed with palms and birds, ornamented with chandeliers and furnished with mostly European antiques.
The Rose Hall Great House was named after Rosa, the wife of George Ash who was the person to set forth the plans to build a lovely mansion for his bride. Ash died in 1752 before finishing the structure. Rosa married two more times, the final marriage to John Palmer, the Custos (guard) of St. James Parish, the Parish where the Great House is located.
During the first half of the 1800s, Anee [Annie] Mary Petterson, the so-called White Witch of Rose Hall according to legend, came to live to the house. Annie, who had married in 1820 John Rose Palmer, John Palmer’s grandson and owner of Rose Hall Plantation, became Annie Palmer, the slave owner, the mistress who came to own more than 2,000 slaves 6,600 acres of land.
John Palmer and two subsequent husbands of Annie died suspiciously while still married to her. According to legend, Annie’s room at Rose Hall is painted all in red because she had a passionate nature for blood. Annie was well-known for taking male slaves for pleasure and often murdering them. As a mistress of voodoo, Annie terrorized the plantation with its practice.
Killed by her own slaves, a special grave was prepared away from the great house. In this place she could be entombed to keep her from rising again. According to legend, the slaves failed to complete the ritual properly and the White Witch is said to roam the great house to this day.
Today, Rose Hall is still famous for the legend of the White Witch and is one of Jamaica’s top tourist attractions. I invite you to tour around Rose Hall and learn more about its legend by watching the following video.