The legend of haint blue: Does a painted porch keep spirits, bugs away?

(Following is a feature I wrote for AL.com. Unlike with my blog posts, you’ll be required to click a link to see the rest of the story and photos)

Have you ever passed a beautiful mansion or cozy cottage and wondered why the porch ceiling was painted blue? It’s a southern tradition based on folklore but many Alabamians claim its true purpose is to deter pests. In the Gullah culture of the Carolina Low Country, ceilings and sometimes doors were painted blue to symbolize water, according to Southern Living. “Haints,” a pronunciation of “haunts,” and evil spirits could not cross water, according to lore, and the faux water prevented them from entering. Many people use pale of dusty hues but there is no standard color. Click to continue reading.

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