Real Life Creepy Places: Rose Hall House
Today’s real life creepy place is in Jamaica, and trust me, it’s creepy as hell. The place I’m talking about, Rose Hall House, is considered one of the most haunted places in the Western Hemisphere and the sinister figure at its center, the eponymous White Witch, makes Elizabeth Bathory look like a little girl ripping heads off her Barbies.
Rose Hall House is located near Montego Bay, and its legendary owner was a British-born woman named Annie Palmer. The house was built in the 1770s and restored in the sixties.
The story of Annie Palmer, much like Bathory’s, has become so widely fictionalized that it’s impossible to tell the truth from the inventions and embellishments. One version has it, Palmer had learned voodoo and dark magic, murdered her first husband as well as the two who followed him, murdered a number of plantation slaves, and then was killed by a slave in turn. Her spirit reportedly still haunts the house, especially the basement where she kept a dungeon and tortured slaves to death. Later, it was claimed that the story was made up, inspired by a book published in 1929 called The White Witch of Rosehall, by Herbert G. de Lisser. But other sources suggest that while some parts may have been pure fabrication (such as the witchcraft and voodoo…) others may have had roots in reality.
Hans Holzer, in the book Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond, writes of a sadistic plantation owner feared by her slaves. She did murder her husband and occasionally took her slaves to bed. Most of the time she would murder them shortly after. Her favorite pastime was to order whippings and executions or to personally torture her victims to death in the basement of the house which she turned into a dungeon.
(See what I mean about Bathory being a little girl beheading her Barbies?)
It is not just the ghosts of her victims that now haunt the house–Annie’s own ghost is there ever since her murder at the hands of one of her slaves (karma is a bitch, huh?). Trapped forever in the same basement where she used to sadistically torture innocent people, her ghost is one of the most tormented that Holzer, or anyone, has ever encountered. While most hauntings are harmless and most ghosts can’t physically hurt people, going into the basement of Rose Hall House, especially in the nighttime, might end very badly.
Still, to this day, there’s nothing to corroborate the legend. But if none of it really happened after all, then how to explain the sounds of tortured screams people still hear echoing through the halls of the house on moonless nights?