Haint Blue Porch Paint

 My parents painted the ceiling of their front porch haint blue, a tradition in the Lowcountry

My parents painted the ceiling of their front porch haint blue, a tradition in the Lowcountry

Tired of evil spirits raiding your home? Victim of vengeful ghosts? Try haint blue! 

No one wants to share their home with angry, vengeful spirits. And that's exactly what haints are.

These ghosts are trapped somewhere between the worlds of the living and the dead. Needless to say, that makes them grumpy.

Gullahs paint the ceilings of their porches a pale blue to keep away pesky poltergeists.

Gullahs, the descendants of African slaves who worked the plantations of Georgia and South Carolina, found a clever way to exploit the spirits' one weakness: They cannot cross water.

Rather than digging a moat around every one of their homes, they decided to trick the haints. 

By taking lime, milk and some odd pigments, and mixing them up in a pit, the Gullahs ended up with a pale blue color. They used to this to paint the ceilings of their porches to keep away the pesky poltergeists.

Sure enough, it fooled the haints, who believed they couldn't cross the threshold and found another home to haunt. 

As a bonus, wasps, too, get tricked, local superstition has it. They supposedly mistake haint blue for the sky and build their nests elsewhere.

The tradition lives on today in the South. My mother has painted the ceiling of her front porch and sunroom a lovely haint blue.

As for sinister spirits of the dead? Haint no spirits here! –Wally