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White Witch of Rose Hall

Jamaica shows off spooky side

Nelson Alcantara, editor-in-chief  Oct 26, 2011

If you find yourself in Jamaica this Halloween and you want to enjoy the Caribbean nation beyond reggae and rum, might I suggest you take on the island’s “spooky side?”

The White Witch of Rose Hall
Sitting atop the Rose Hall Plantation, located east of Montego Bay, is the Rose Hall Mansion, where Annie Palmer, referred to as the White Witch of Rose Hall, continues to be influenced by locals. She is said to have been murdered in the 1830s during a slave uprising in Jamaica, but she remains feared to this day by local Jamaicans because they believe that Annie Palmer’s spirit is haunting the Rose Hall Mansion. According to locals, the “white witch” practiced black magic and that she killed three husbands (by poison, by stabbing and then pouring boiling oil into his ears, and by strangling) and an unknown number of lovers, including slaves.

One local resident said she would not dare set foot in the Rose Hall Mansion at night because she is “scared of the white witch.” In one of the halls in the mansion, a painting of Annie Palmer wearing a red dress and surrounded by children serves as eerie reminder of the “white witch’s” influence. “No matter what angle you look at the painting, it looks like she is staring right at you. It’s creepy,” said one local.

The Rose Hall Mansion has become one of Jamaica’s top tourist attractions. Curious tourists who wish to see where the “white witch” ate, slept and also areas of the house where she is said to haunt can opt to take the day tour or the night tour, which, according to a Rose Hall tour guide, is “more interactive.” Either way, the tour ends at the gravesite of Annie Palmer. Day or night, that is spooky enough given the history of the said “haunted mansion.”

Captain Hook
If you aren’t too busy hunting ghosts at Rose Hall Mansion, head on over to the Falmouth Pier in Trelawny to party with some “pirates of the Caribbean.” Jamaica’s latest tourist attraction, unveiled last August, is called “Captain Hook.” It is a three-hour dinner cruise show featuring live cannons, sword fights, games, and a whole lot of dancing. Joining Captain Hook on this dinner voyage into the Caribbean Sea is another notable pirate of the Caribbean -- the infamous Jack Sparrow.

The cast of Captain Hook is a fun bunch and they all deserve to be commended for making the three-hour adventure in the Caribbean Sea a worthwhile experience. The dinner cruise show requires a lot of interaction between the cast and guests, so it is imperative that guests are made comfortable to partake in all of the action. This is not an easy task, as it requires the cast members to read whether a guest is willing to be an active participant in the charade or not. If you are game, a good time can be had.

Jamaica shows off spooky side
Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall (photo by Nelson Alcantara)

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