Jamaica: The haunted church of Skull Point

The haunted church of Skull Point


Left: Skull Point’s supposed haunted church. Right: The creepy inside of the church. – Photos by Robert Lalah

So there I stood, motionless in front of the abandoned, haunted church. The squeals coming from inside were getting louder. I looked behind me, wondering why I had come to this place. There was nobody in sight.

The windows of the giant building were all broken out and there were no doors. I was standing in the graveyard, contemplating my next move. I glanced at what was left of a grave just by my feet. The epitaph declared that the woman buried there had died in 1921.

The piercing squeals coming from inside the church were like an anguished symphony telling me to turn around and never return. But I had come this far. Skull Point in Manchester is some distance from Kingston and I was not about to turn back now. I had come to see what was going on inside the church.

On my way to find the place, I had stopped at a small shop in nearby Mile Gully and asked around to find out what people had heard about the church that is widely believed to be haunted.

“Don’t go there mi son. Is pure duppy in there. People say that di church had was to be abandoned because duppy wouldn’t stop come in there pan di congregation,” said Miss Imogene, a 72-year-old shopkeeper.

She went on to explain the story of how Skull Point got its name.

Beheaded slave

Legend has it that long ago, a slave called James Knight from the Lyndhurst estate in the parish, became a Christian and started preaching to fellow slaves. This angered his owner who ordered Knight beheaded. The slave’s killers carried out the order and then stuck Knight’s skull on a pole and placed it in the community as a warning to all other slaves. It is said that because of Knight’s violent death and the fact that he wasn’t given a proper burial, his spirit has been roaming the community ever since.

There aren’t many people still living in Skull Point, but tales of unexplained noises coming from the church have spread all across Manchester. Now here I was, hearing the sounds for myself.

I took a step closer to the church, then looked around, I suppose, hoping for a distraction that would force me to stay outside. I heard a car coming around the corner and looked back. As the vehicle zipped by the church, someone shouted “Oy! Mind di duppy dem run out pan yuh!” Then the car disappeared around the corner and I was alone again.

I was standing at the steps leading up to the church and could see from there that the building had been completely gutted. I saw a cross in the distance and a few pieces of wood strewn about, but that was it.

I slowly walked up the steps, cautiously peering inside. The sound of my shoes pressing against pebbles on the floor seemed exceptionally loud.

I stuck my head inside the church, careful to keep the rest of my body on the outside. It was dark in there, but limited sunlight coming through the broken windows and doorways allowed me to see. There were giant bats flying all around, making the most terrible sounds and a small rat ran right next to my feet. It smelled like wet wood in there and it was giving me the heebie-jeebies. The bats were flying low and kept coming too close to my face for comfort. Could the bats have been the cause of the scary sounds that residents have been talking about? I snapped a few pictures of them.

I walked back outside to the graveyard and spent some time walking around, reading the inscriptions on the tombstones. Some go as far back as 1915.

Now I had been at the supposedly haunted church for close to an hour and was by then, much more comfortable. It had been the bats all this time. That’s not so bad. So, armed with my pictures of the culprits, I hopped back into my vehicle and left Skull Point, without giving the issue a second thought. All was well with the world.

Phantom

The trouble though, is this. I came back to Kingston proudly proclaiming to all and sundry that I had bravely solved the mystery of the haunted church of Skull Point. I had no reservations about doing this, because I had the pictures to prove it. Well, things did not quite go as planned. You see, as I’m writing this, I’m frantically going through the pictures for the ninth time trying desperately to find the bats. All the pictures I snapped of the bats flying around, for some reason, are showing nothing but the bare roof of the church. But there has to be some logical explanation. Right?

robert.lalah@gleanerjm.com


A few of the oldest graves at the church.


Many of the graves have been there since the 1920s.

 

 

Is the “White Witch” of Jamaica still haunting Rose Hall?

Exploring a Real Haunted House in Montego Bay, Jamaica: Rose Hall

 

This structure as the“Great House”. Sitting among 6,000 acres of land,the Rose Hall Plantation has a long history of legends and tales, mystery and intrigue, and, of course, spirits. The history of the structure is what makes it so popular today. In addition to this, many legends that surround the structure has attracted stories to be told regarding the plantation. Several books that have been written in a gothic tone have listed this building as a subject of interest. There is one book that mentions the plantation as the subject matter that has received profound success. This book was called “White Witch of Rose Hall”.

This real haunted house in Montego Bay was completed in the year of 1780. In the earliest days of the history of the home, the owners had approximately two thousand slaves working in and around the immense building and vast acres of the property. John Palmer was the individual that completed the mansion. Eventually, his grandnephew by the name of John Rose Palmer took over the establishment with his wife, Annie Palmer. Annie Palmer was said to be completely insane, and a murderer. Once her husband passed away, it is said that she inherited the structure. She remarried several times in her lifetime. However, legend states that she has murdered all of her husbands in the plantation. Despite her obvious distorted and inappropriate mental state, her memory lingers on in several ways. In one area of this real haunted house, you will find a bar named “Annie’s Pub”that specializes in selling “Witches Brew” in her memory.

Annie was referred to as the “White Witch of Rose Hall”. When she arrived at the home, she was a stunning 18 year old woman. From the age of ten, Annie was raised by a nanny of Haitian descent that wanted to serve as her guardian once her parents passed away from Typhoid Fever. Annie was very close to her nanny, and adored everything about her. Rumors emerged that this woman practiced in the occult. She was said to have been a voodoo priestess. It is believed that the nanny took a lot of time in educating Annie in the ways of the voodoo world. By the time Annie became an adult, she was well versed in the ways of the occult and practiced regularly.

John Rose Palmer, Annie’s husband, loved her very much. However, he stumbled upon the fact that his wife was having an affair with one of the black slaves that worked for Rose Hall. Once this occurred, he was extremely hurt and severely angry. It is said that he found a whip that was often used in riding in those days and beat her with all of his might with it. The beating was quickly announced among others that lived and worked for the plantation. That evening, a tragedy occurred that is said to have been a result of Annie. John Rose Palmer passed away. Several people believed that she may have poisoned his food or his drink. Then, there are some that believe he died as a result of her voodoo spells, or her circle of voodoo protection.

Immediately after the death of her husband, Annie went after the slave that she was having an affair with. She had the man gagged and beat until he died. Not too long afterwards, she began having other affairs with several other slaves that served post on the plantation. It was noted that she often had the slaves killed that she had intimate relations with. When the people who worked for Annie discussed her that referred to her as “Voodoo Woman”. In the year of 1831, Annie was discovered dead. It was determined that she had been strangled. While the servants worked to destroy all of her belongings, it is believed that her spirit is actually embedded to the home. Several hauntings and various type of unexplained activity have occurred throughout history in this real haunted house.

 

If you want to visit a real haunted house, you should consider visiting Rose Hall. You are sure to leave with some exciting adventures to speak of.

Rose Hall Hwy.,
(9 1/4 miles) east of Montego Bay
Montego Bay,Jamaica
876-953-2323

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14 thoughts on “Jamaica: The haunted church of Skull Point

  1. In Jamaica the white witch of rosehall U have no idea… Her tomb still remains with a voodoo curse on it. If you dare to open it you will be in grave danger. Even the owner of the mansion will never remove her tomb.

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  2. Toured this place in 1991. Found the whole story fascinating, especially after speak-en with the locals. I highly recommend a vacation to Jamaica. Going back this year.

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