It was fun hearing from all of you as you tried to guess the site in my photo! Well its now time to reveal the mysterious destination! Drum roll please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay, Jamaica!
This Great House is probably one of the most popular in Jamaica and is located a few kilometres east of Montego Bay. It is a beautiful Georgian manse complete with stone base and a stunning view of the coast. The grounds are well-kept, peaceful and quite hilly in some spots. Occasionally you many glimpse a staff member pass by, dressed in the Jamaican traditional garb. Perhaps intentionally, this sight tends to feel like an immediate throwback to the days when slaves and servants scurried about their daily duties. If you look hard enough, you’ll spot a green-eyed cat peering at you from the shrubbery!
Thus the legend of Rose Hall Great House goes… (extract from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Witch_of_Rose_Hall)
The story states that the White Witch was Annie Palmer, who was born in England to an English mother and Irish father. She spent most of her life, however, in Haiti. After her parents died of yellow fever she was adopted by her nanny who regularly practiced voodoo and taught her witchcraft. She later moved to Jamaica, where she was married to John Palmer in 1820. She reportedly stood 4’8″.
John Palmer was the owner of Rose Hall Plantation, east of Montego Bay. Annie’s husband (and two subsequent husbands as well) died suspiciously, and it is speculated that Annie herself brought about their demise.
Annie became known as a mistress of voodoo, using it to terrorize the plantation, and taking male slaves into her bed at night and often murdering them; supposedly because she was bored of them. The legend has her being murdered in her bed during the slave uprisings of the 1830s by one of her slave lovers named Takoo, who also practiced voodoo and became one of Annie’s lovers. Annie was said to be killed by Takoo because she was in love with the husband of Takoo’s granddaughter. When Annie found she could not have him, she conjured a voodoo curse on Takoo’s granddaughter who died a week later. When Takoo found this out, he killed Annie. Takoo ran into the forest to hide after murdering Annie, but was quickly caught by an overseer (another of Annie’s lovers) and killed.
It is said that a family who owned the property after the Palmers had a housekeeper who was “pushed” by Annie off of Annie’s favourite balcony, subsequently breaking her neck and dying.
So what exactly makes me think of Jamaican society today? This beautiful country can be such a study in opposites at times! It is a curiously intertwined maze that keeps you guessing and never gets boring. For one Jamaica is a Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional Monarchy in which Queen Elizabeth
II is the reigning monarch, represented by the Governor General. Although there have been many calls lately for Jamaica to become a Republic, I have to wonder.
I wonder because it is amazing to see at times how old British attitudes flavor daily life. In a country whose population is more than 90% African descent, classism seems to rear its head. The divide between uptown and downtown is clear from lifestyle to accent. A strong Rastafarian movement which denounces and defies “Babylon system” exists alongside a Jamaica in which there is clear deference for all things Caucasian at times. Although we have moved past the days of slavery, it seems we have in this society found other ways to create entrapment. Makes me think of Bob Marley’s call to Emancipate ourselves from mental slavery…
Anyway if you do get a chance, I highly recommend you read this book for the story! Enjoy *mwwwaahahahahahaha* (My attempt at scary laugh :))
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Thanks a bunch for stopping by!