Whenever I travel I take ghost tours. Doing so helps me improve my own product and I love them! I love how they respresent the culture of a place. I recently traveled to Jamaica with my husband. It wasn't a resort visit. We were there to donate a violin to a Catholic high school and relax along the south coast. We spent most of the time seeing a glimpse of the real Jamaica. It's not an easy life on the island. The poverty was obvious. So was the will and determination of the people. It is a diverse culture. Mixed in with the descendants of African slaves are German and East Indian people. It's an island filled with contradictions. The "all inclusive resort" was originally started on Jamaica. It is obvious that many tourist do not see the real island. We felt very lucky and also out of place traveling the roadways and visiting the cook shops. It was a trip that will stay with me for a long time. It is a place I can't wait to return to.
Our last night in Jamaica we did stay in a resort. One night, that was enough! We arranged to take a ghost tour of Rose Hall. I was so excited. I couldn't wait to hear how the ghost stories and history of slavery were interwoven on the tour. It was a true disappointment. The tour was supposed to last an hour but when we arrived we were rushed to a tour that had already started. The entirety of our time in the great house and on the tour was 40 minutes. There were actors portraying the former slaves of the house and the brutal ruler, mistress Annie Palmer. The staged doors slamming, people running, etc,.. added a great deal of suspense to the event. That was impressive. However the lack of continuity, lack of history and the absolute disregard of the stories of the slaves was noticed. The stories centered around a fable, most of it from a novel, about Annie Palmer. All of it fiction. Ghost Adventures and other shows have gone to Rose Hall in search of ghosts that do not exist in the house. The myths around this place have become part of history in Montego Bay. What was most disappointing is that the tour developers have the opportunity to tell the real stories. The real stories of Jamaica are tragic and frightening. Taking this tour felt exploitive in the same way the walled in resorts felt so removed from the real island. The tour guide was excellent but even he could not make up for how badly the content was put together.