Rose Hall was one of the finest homes in the West Indian Islands. It was home to the Palmer family. This Georgian mansion, constructed in the 1770s, had mahogany floors, paneling and interior windows and doorways. Ornamental chandeliers hung from its wooden ceilings. The great house was damaged during the 1831 slave rebellion. It was uninhabited and left to ruin.
In the late 1900s, American millionaire John Rollins bought it and restored the mansion to its former elegance. Today, there's a bar that offers souvenirs for sale, a restaurant downstairs and conducted tours that profit from “paranormal activity.”
Annie Palmer, Fact or Fiction
According to de Lisser, Annie, John Palmer’s widow, lived in Haiti when she was a child and learned Voodoo. When her parents died, she moved to Jamaica and married John, her third husband, after the first two died. She then married Robert Rutherford who had an affair with Millicent, the housekeeper and Takoo’s daughter. Takoo was the most feared Voodoo practitioner on the island.
Millicent told Robert that Annie was cruel, a murderess and had supernatural powers. She dabbled in Voodoo to instill fear, tortured her slaves, murdered three husbands and many slave lovers when she became bored with them. At first he doubted, but later, found what she said was true. Annie discovered the affair and cursed Millicent who became deathly sick. Takoo and some other slaves murdered her, by suffocating her with mattresses.
The truth is very different. Annie Mary Peterson traveled through the Caribbean Islands, but didn’t learn Voodoo. She married John Rose Palmer and had no previous husbands. She didn’t abuse slaves. John died of natural causes owing over a thousand pounds in debt. Annie moved out of Rose Hall, never again married and died of natural causes in 1846.
Rosa Palmer, the wife of John’s great-uncle, was mistress of Rose Hall about a century before Annie and had three previous husbands, none of which were murdered. Both women weren’t killed, didn’t abuse slaves, did not commit crimes and weren’t promiscuous.
Alleged Rose Hall Paranormal Phenomena
Supposed activity includes hearing tortured screams from the basement and testimonials and photographs from visitors. One medium claimed to have contacted Annie’s spirit. She claimed the entity told her she was “violated” and beaten to death by a tree on the grounds.
In 1971, a group of “psychics” gathered around Annie’s grave to lay her to rest. They summoned her ghost and she allegedly rose from her tomb, but they couldn’t make her return into it. They left three crosses to try to trap her spirit back into her grave.
Perhaps some of the other testimonials are genuine paranormal phenomena, but these haven’t been documented and verified. Unfortunately It appears that Annie’s life and ghost are ghost stories with a profit motive.