If You See a Blue Porch Ceiling

The online blog, Taste of Home, posted an article, “If You See a Blue Porch Ceiling,” dated July 20, 2021, was indeed a treat to read since such a ceiling was mentioned on page 230 of CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES, 2020. The ceiling of the subdued Queen Anne was painted a pale shade of blue known as “haint blue,” a color sourced from crushed indigo plants.

The article stated, “The painted blue porch ceiling started in the American South around 200 years ago. The practice traces back to the Gullah Geechee, enslaved people living in the low country of Florida, Georgia[,] and [the] Carolina[s].

“Gullah folklore explains that ghosts, also referred to as ‘haints,’ were not able to cross water. In order to repel evil spirits from plantations, porch ceilings were painted a soft blue. The color was meant to mimic water in an effort to keep any haints or spirits at bay. The Gullah people made sure to cover all their bases—windows, doors[,] and shutters were often painted the same color of ‘haint blue.’”

What is not stated is that the masters also agreed to the color and more than likely just as superstitious.

Miss Ellie, who had served the Carr family for many years and raised young Carr, was a Gullah Geechee descendent.

Frogmore Crossing by Jonathan Green, 1997, with permission of the artist.

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