Hainted Houses-The History of “Haint” Blue

The mention of Fall in New England envokes visions of apple picking, mums, carving pumpkins, flannel shirts, Bean boots, and cozy bon fires. Taking a drive to “leaf peep” you may notice older homes with blue painted porch ceilings. Ever wonder why?

While you might think the soft robin’s egg blue originated in the North (I did!), it actually has Southern roots. “Haint Blue” was used by enslaved Africans to ward off evil spirits. The Gullah Geechee people of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida believed that haints (or haunts) could not pass over water or would confuse the blue color with the sky and pass right through the porch ceiling. They didn’t stop at the porch ceilings. Often times they painted the window frames, shutters, and doors the same blue hue. They also hung indigo glass bottles from trees around their houses to trap spirits. Better safe than sorry!

If you are looking for a less scary reason for this pretty color, some say it repelled insects or discouraged nesting birds because it looked like the sky. If it did indeed work, it was probably due to the lime used in paint, not necessarily the color. Whatever the reason, this delicate blue/green certainly makes a statement to your home’s entry! Here are our picks for best “Haint” blue colors:

  1. Woodlawn Blue by Benjamin Moore-Part of the historic color collection, Woodlawn Blue is a serene blue/green with a touch of gray.
  2. Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams-A cool, light green/gray. Coastal, Spa-like, tranquil. I am obsessed with this color!
  3. Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore-A blue blended with green and gray undertones. Think airy, light and relaxing.
  4. Blue Allure by Benjamin Moore-Part of Benjamin Moore Classics, Blue Allure is a light soft blue with timeless appeal.
  5. Atmospheric by Sherwin Williams-a cheerful pale blue, which as its name implies, likens itself to the sky. Hence, a great Haint blue color!                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What color would you choose? Leave a comment below! We would love to know what you think!

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