Spooks and Thrills in Jamaica: Rosehall Greathouse

Rosehall Greathouse, a Georgian mansion tracing its origins back to the 18th century, attracts tourists on Jamaica holidays with its outlandish blend of the eerie and the luxurious, of the traditional and the modern, and of hard facts and hazy lore. Jamaica’s most famous sugar plantation, Rosehall Greathouse was built in 1770 by John Palmer, costing a lump sum of £ 30,000. This huge, impressive house standing on the hillside and overlooking the Caribbean is cloaked by haunting tales of Annie Palmer, the legendary White Witch of Rosehall, and her supposedly murderous undertakings.

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According to legend, Annie Palmer was a mistress of voodoo and the wife of the house’s first owner. She killed all her four husbands, tortured servants out of boredom, and lured slave after slave to bed and murdered them all. She met her end during the uprising of the slaves in the 1830s, murdered in bed by vengeful servants.

Although official records mention nothing about a real Annie Palmer of the mansion, tales of the White Witch continue to linger and attract tourists in the now luxurious and modern Rosehall Greathouse. Today, the 7000-acre property has been developed by the Rollins family into a prime resort, featuring bustling posh hotels, green golf courses, and panoramic views of the Caribbean.

The triple-A-rated, Five-Diamond Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort lends Rosehall an overwhelming prestige with its 427 rooms and world-class spa. It is famous for its White Witch golf course perched on the hills, providing golfers grand views of the Caribbean. Nearby Cinnamon Hill Course is also an attraction, allowing golf enthusiasts to play along the beach.

Rose Hall Resort is a high-class accommodation serving delectable meals. Guests can dine in style at the gourmet restaurants Luna di Mare and Three Palms, or enjoy a casual buffet meal in the terrace. Water parks, tennis courts, and a spa add charm to the lavish resort. The Palmyra, Half Moon and Iberostar are other first-class resorts tourists can choose from.

Tourists who wish to experience the “chills” of the 18th-century mansion can take a tour of the untouched side of Rosehall, which, according to some tourists, is a centre of paranormal activities -- invisible footsteps, tapping on the walls, switching on and off of lights, hushed voices in the dungeons, and sounds of crying babies sacrificed by the White Witch.

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