The American East Coast is home to some of the most beautiful buildings that have been around for hundreds of years. One of the distinctive characters of some of the southern homes is the large, welcoming porches that beacon you to come over for some traditional style iced tea on a hot day. Look up at the porch ceiling and you will notice that many have painted the ceiling of their porches in a light, beautiful blue colour. Coincidence? No. This practice is very common and is steeped in history from a superstitious fear of “haints”. Haints (alt. spelling of “haunt” used by African-Americans) were thought to be restless spirits who have not been able to move on past the physical world.
The haint paint tradition originated in the 19th century by the Gullah, enslaved Africans who lived throughout the Lowcountry region of South Carolina, Georgia and beyond. They believed that it would protect the occupants of the home by “confusing” the spirits by either mimicking the appearance of the sky which they could be tricked into going through or water, which legend says ghosts can’t cross.
Today, haint paint is still widely used for its beautiful aesthetic qualities as well as traditional significance.
Do you want to keep the haints away, Southern Style? Try painting your porch ceiling with “Allure Blue” by Benjamin Moore.