The White Witch of Rose Hall

By | August 22, 2019

test article image
Painting of a ghostly looking woman. Rose Hall, the estate house of a former sugar plantation, in Jamaica. Source: (

A popular tourist location in Jamaica, Rose Hall is an eighteenth-century plantation manor. While seven hundred such houses once existed in Jamaica, Rose Hall is one of only fifteen to have survived the Great Jamaican Slave Revolt of 1831-32. However, its claim to fame is due not to that fact but to the “white witch” which allegedly still haunts the house.

According to the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall, the witch in question was a woman by the name of Annie Palmer, born Annie Patterson. She was raised in England until age ten when the family moved to Haiti. Not long after, her parents died of yellow fever and Annie was raised by her Haitian nanny, who trained her in Voodoo. The nanny died when Annie was eighteen, so she moved to Jamaica to seek a husband. There she met John Palmer, who was the owner of Rose Hall at that time, and the two got married.

test article image
Rose Hall. Source: (

Apparently, John was not enough for Annie and she began to take male slaves as lovers. When John learned of her infidelity, he beat her. He died shortly afterward, and the legend suggests Annie poisoned him. She inherited all of John’s estate, including Rose Hall. She continued to take slaves as lovers, torturing and murdering them when they no longer pleased her. It was this cruelty that led the slaves to nickname her the White Witch of Rose Hall. Annie married two more times and both husbands allegedly died at her hands.