If you have ever seen blue paint on a porch ceiling and wondered what the reason behind the color choice was, here is the spooky history behind it.
Painting a porch ceiling blue is a tradition which originated in the American South around 200 years ago, with colors ranging from a light “sky” blue to a greenish-blue.
The blue porch ceiling traces back to the Gullah Geechee people, who were descendants of Central and West African slaves, and mainly lived in the low country of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
According to Gullah folklore, ghosts — often referred to as “haints” in the Creole dialect (and pronounced “haunts”) — were unable to cross the water.
Thus, the Gullah Geechee people would paint exterior portions of their homes blue, including porch ceilings, shutters, doors, and window frames, in an effort to repel evil spirits.
The “haint blue” color was chosen to mimic the color of the water that spirits could not cross.
The Gullah Geechee tradition of painting porch ceilings blue continues in many Southern states today, although it is likely that many people don’t know the true story behind it.
BobVila reports: “Blue porch ceilings also appeared in the Northwest (where the Aurora Colony, a Christian commune, was founded) as well as on East Coast Colonial and Victorian homes from Philadelphia to Boston.”