H is for Haint Blue
Haint Blue is a traditional ceiling color of Southern porches, dating as far back as the early 1800s, with tones ranging from blue-greens to bright cerulean to blue-violets. The purpose of the paint is to mimic water or sky and there are a couple of interesting theories behind the custom.
The Gullah people of low country Georgia and South Carolina believe that Haints, or Haunts (spirits of the dead trapped between dimensions) can’t cross over water. Painting a ceiling (or door or window sill) a watery blue confuses the ghosts and wards them from the home.
Sky-tinted ceilings were also believed to keep away birds and insects, fooling them into believing they were flying unprotected under an open sky.
The real truth behind this myth was most likely not the similarity to the heavens as much as the composition of colonial paints, since they were mixed with lime, which acts as a repellent to flying critters.
Regardless, my husband swears that although lime-free, our Haint Blue porch ceiling keeps away the wasps.
Well, it’s rare I see a wasp and honestly, I don’t believe I’ve seen much in the way of ghosts, either.
“Ghosts won’t cross over water because they are afraid of getting their sheets wet.” – Anonymous