In a few weeks I will be heading to Jamaica so there is no better time to do a little research than right NOW. Anytime I go on vacation, I like to research paranormal hotspots beforehand in the hopes that I can go scout them out when I am there. Recently, Jamaica has been described as not the safest place for visitors but I am undeterred. No, I won't take any unnecessary risks but I can't take someone else's word at face value either. Fortunately, I travel with my own body guard (hubby).
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean and it offers not just pleasures of it's beaches, but also scenic mountains, mineral springs, and over 100 rivers. A handful of the springs have bathing facilities so you can enjoy the restful waters for yourself.
Jamaica's economy is largely based on tourism, mining, and agriculture. Tourism brings in over 1 million visitors to the island each year with major tourism hotspots being Montego Bay (my destination next month!), Kingston, Ocho Rios, and Negril. Their main export crops are sugar, bananas, coffee, and citrus (among a few other items) and they are also a major producer of bauxite and alumina. You can get more info at my source: Jamaica Tourist Board.
Potentially Haunted Spots in Montego Bay
Rose Hall Great House: The story most often heard about this place is that Rose Hall is haunted by Annie Palmer, the "White Witch of Rose Hall." Legend has it that she was from Haiti and was taught witchcraft and voodoo by the woman who raised her (he parents died when she was a child).
The house was built in the late 1700's and the Palmers moved into it in around 1820. When she married and moved to Rose Hall, she allegedly began a murder spree that included Mr. Palmer and two subsequent husbands. She is also alleged to have tortured and murdered male slaves that had also been her lovers. Annie is said to be buried on the property with her tomb sealed by a voodoo ritual that was meant to keep her there forever. It is said that the ritual was never completed thereby allowing her apparition to wander about the grounds.
There is much debate about the validity of the legend and some argue that Mrs. Palmer was not a murderess at all. You can read more about the legend of the "White Witch of Rose Hall" at The Palms Jamaica website (http://www.thepalmsjamaica.com/annie-palmer-white-witch-rose-hall/).
Sam Sharpe Square: Sam Sharpe is a national hero for his involvement in the 1831 Slave Rebellion that was key to ultimately abolishing slavery. The rebellion began when slaves protested working on Christmas Day. By the end of it all, several fires broke out throughout the area, and more than 500 hundred slaves had perished.
Sam Sharpe was executed by hanging May 23, 1832 in the area now known as Sam Sharpe Square. The square has a small building known as "The Cage" that was used as a jail for runaway slaves (also drunks and vagrants). Many people have reported seeing an apparition around The Cage, some even speculating it to be Sam Sharpe.
For more information about Mr. Sharpe and the slave rebellion, go to the Jamaica Information Service or check out the Montego Bay Cultural Center on your next visit. I plan to visit the square and the museum when I am there next month!
Doctor's Cave: In 1906, Dr. Alexander McCatty donated a portion of his beach property for a bathing club in Montego Bay. He and his friends, all medical professionals, entered the beach through a cave which is how it got the name. The waters were said to be healing, curing a variety of ailments after soaking in it. Many of the rich and famous came to Doctor's Cave Beach to reap the benefits of the powerful waters and, in more recent times, many people have reported seeing ghosts around where the cave entrance used to be (it was destroyed by a hurricane). Some speculate it to be Dr. McCatty or perhaps others that visited the beach for healing. For more history, go to Doctor's Cave Bathing Club for more information.
My Upcoming June Visit!
So my plan is to try to visit all three locations however my priority will be Sam Sharpe Square followed by Doctor's Cave and Rose Hall. I am also trying to balance my family's vacation desires so I may not be able to see all three......fingers crossed though! If I don't, it will give me an excuse to go back again. I also hope to visit Jamaica at a later date to visit at least Kingston and Negril but my budget and work schedule will dictate when that will be. For more history, go to Doctor's Cave Bathing Club for more information.
I hope you are having adventures of your own and that you are making this beautiful day count!