Rose Hall - The Story of Annie Palmer
At 6 p.m., the Rose Hall Great house empties of all living occupants leaving the house for the undead.
JERMAINE EVANS PHOTOS
Last Friday night the 'ghosts' had company after the STAR team arrived at the witching hour - midnight - to the home of the infamous White Witch of Rose Hall, Annie Palmer.
As we entered through the long driveway Dwayne was eager to get his glimpse of the 'luscious' witch who had captivated countless men and he cried "Annie I'm coming!"
The team arrives at Rose Hall Great House and is greeted by Moses, a jovial caretaker employed to the estate since the 1980s. After a tour of the house and stories about Annie and her husbands, we are ready to meet her. Dwayne and Leighton are especially eager to meet Annie and Dwayne boasts that he has brought along 'boots' just for his one-night stand with the late femme fatale Annie Palmer.
The tour finally ends and Francine, Krista, Dwayne, Leighton and Jermaine sit with Moses and a security guard under a Poinciana tree decorated with Christmas lights. Dwayne wants to venture into the house as he is desperate for his long-awaited rendezvous with the White Witch of Rose Hall.'
"Weh Annie deh," he shouts. "Mi ready fi har. Yuh know how long mi want har. Come Annie come," he says.
His desires reach their peak when Moses switches off all the lights in the house and he again declares "mi waan Annie whole mi dung tonight. A inna fi har room mi a sleep. A pon har bed mi a sleep. Mi alone we sleep in a har room, mi nuh fraid a har," he says.
"I say we go into the house one one", Dwayne says.
"You first, go on," Francine cries.
"Mi soon ready, yuh tink mi fraid? Mi just haffi have one more Guinness. Mi haffi drunk fi see Annie, so me and har can hold a reason," Dwayne adds.
Francine and Krista stroll around the property and through the house alone. The creaking windows and howling winds drew our attention as we often looked up, waiting to see someone looking down at us. But we saw no one.
Leighton downs his second Red Bull and Dwayne who declares he can't wait to meet Annie, also imbibes a Guinness.
"Mi caan meet Annie sober. Yuh mad! Mi want her fi see mi when mi drunk," he announces.
Leighton wants to wash some grapes and Moses directs him to a pipe beside Annie's grave. Leighton makes off by himself but scurries back back seconds later after being scared half to death after a toad jumps off the grave and frightens him. "A fraid yuh fraid?" Moses asked.
"No man. Mi caan find the pipe. Mi we use di one dung a di bathroom," he lies.
The crew is ready to sleep in the great house. We are all apprehensive and Dwayne, again, declares he is sleeping in Annie's room. He gloats that he and the witch have a date with destiny and he is not afraid.
"Mi waan get some duppy baby," he says.
The crew ventures into the guest room where no one was murdered.
Jermaine is determined not to sleep alone and Leighton who, by this time, has begun to realise how haunted the place may be refuses to sleep anywhere but in the guest room.
"Mi nah sleep in deh (Annie's room). Yuh mad. Yuh nuh see mi look like slave, a mi yuh want she box. Mi nah massage nuh duppy either," he says when Jermaine tells him to sleep on Annie's daybed.
Suddenly, the team hears creaking and a mooing sound. Everyone stops. The creaking and the sounds stop too and the crew looks around and finds Moses and the security guard hiding on the steps. Moses laughs and we all laugh.
The room situation is finally decided. Dwayne will get his wish to sleep with Annie, while Jermaine will bunk with Leighton in the Crewell room. The Toile room, where two of Annie's husbands were killed and the guest room, said to be the safest room in the house, will be empty as Krista and Francine opt to stay outdoors and sleep in the van.
Leighton and Jermaine are in the Crewell room. Sleeping is impossible. The room is hot. But, that is minor as the winds howl outside and give the house an eerie feeling. The howling continues and the windows are banging. Occa-sionally, the floors creak but no footsteps are heard. Outside is dark and so too, is the hallway.
Meanwhile Krista and Francine, who are alone in the van awake to the strange feeling that they are being watched, but again no one is there. This feeling would continue throughout the night, made even worse by the continuous howling produced by heavy winds.
Leighton and Jermaine check on Dwayne who is asleep on Annie's bed. Both try to frighten him but he only smiles and pulls his shirt back over his head and goes back to sleep.
Dwayne enters the Crewell room. He wants to use the bathroom but is afraid to go by himself. Everyone ventures outside.
The crew meets at the van and the men tell Francine and Krista that there are no signs of Annie or any other ghosts for that matter.
All three men shack up in the Crewell room. Leighton returns to a chair in the corner with his cellphone and starts playing games.
The window is opened; fresh air finally. The howling and banging, however, continue. There is also creaking on the outside as if someone is walking on the floors but the hallway is empty. Dwayne and Jermaine are sound asleep.
Leighton fiddles with the camera and tries to take pictures of trees in the dark. He is hoping he will see something.
Suddenly, he sees a reflection in the glass but dismisses it as his imagination. He sees the shadow coming closer but no footsteps. He spins around and sees no one, he hurries into the Crewell room where Jermaine is lying half asleep. Maybe it was just his imagination after a night without sleep. But he wants to be sure.
"My yute a you jus' come out dere so?"
"No," Jermaine replies.
"Di strangest ting jus happen. Mi si a shadow behind mi but no footsteps. Deh place yah strange still," Leighton responds.
He checks downstairs but the security guard is still there. He returns to the Crewell room and, minutes later, Krista arrives and he and Jermaine leave Dwayne asleep in the room. Half hour later we say goodbye to our host, Annie Palmer, and head back to Kingston.
Whether Rose Hall is as haunted as it is said to be, was not very evident on the night of our visit. The ghastly shadow that approached Leighton while he stood on the balcony and the overall eerie feeling that was felt across the estate may be a sign.
In this painting, the young girl in the red dress is believed to be Annie Palmer, the infamous White Witch of Rose Hall.