Haint Blue on the Porch Ceiling

Haint Blue | Hannah & HusbandHow cute is this guy? I was trying to take a picture of my afternoon view (staring at the porch ceiling above the pages of my book), and this pic was just too cute not to snap. But for the actual post…

This time of year (or really any time the thermometer reads over 60°F) the front porch is my very favorite room in the house. We spend hours out there–reading, chatting, listening to the radio. I’ll give you a peek at the rest of the porch another day, but right now I want to talk about the ceiling.

Haint Blue | Hannah & Husband

If you call up your house painter and ask for “haint” blue, you’ll find that most of them keep a standard shade on hand. Driving through Southern towns, this light blue adorns the porch ceilings of the smallest of shacks to the largest of mansions. And, like many pieces of Southern folklore, haint blue ceilings have become such a tradition that most people have forgotten where it started.  The tradition originated with the Gullah people–descendants of slaves spread from South Carolina to Louisiana.

haint: a spirit lost in the physical world yet to pass over to the next realm

You can think of a haint as a spirit that you really don’t want to mess with. This isn’t a friendly spirit that will guide you in life, it’s one that will haunt your dreams. The one catch? Haints can’t cross water. So the idea was that if the ceiling of the porch was painted this blue, a shade that is light and slightly aqua, the haint will be tricked into thinking that it’s water and move on to another home.

While I don’t really believe in the superstition, I’m a sucker for a Southern tradition with a good story! What about you? Is your porch ceiling blue?

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Haint Blue on the Porch Ceiling

  1. I am currently renting but I made sure, as the house was being painted before I moved in, that the porch ceilings were haint blue :)

    Steph in Charleston

  2. I love a good origin story and I think this one is better than what I was told by our real estate agent. My understanding is that ceilings are painted blue to lure the mosquitoes up and away from folks relaxing on the porch. Lame.

  3. In Texas the story goes that the blue keeps mud daubers from building nests on the porch because the ceiling looks like the open sky.

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