What It Means When You See A Porch Ceiling Painted Blue

source: Southern Living

We spend quite a bit of time relaxing and socializing on our front porch. My front porch ceiling is painted white, and to be honest, I’ve never really considered it much. However, if you’re from the South, you may have thought about porch ceilings before – because many of them are painted blue! Although some people say painting a porch ceiling blue is strictly for aesthetic purposes, there’s actually a longstanding history in the South about why people paint porch ceilings this color.

source: Houzz/Soorikian Architecture

For generations (about 200 years to be exact), many homeowners in the deep South have chosen to paint their porch ceilings a pale to medium shade of blue. This originated with the Gullah Geechee, a group of enslaved people living in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.

source: US News | Lauren Petracca/The Post And Courier

Gullah folklore reveals that spirits, referred to as “haints,” are unable to cross water. Because of the horrendous history of slavery and violence existing in the South, the belief was that spirits would become trapped on plantations, haunting the current and future residents of the homes and properties. Painting the front porch ceiling blue was a way to imitate water, preventing these spirits from making their way into the homes. Some residents even took the blue paint theme all the way, painting window shutters and doors as well.

source: Island Life NC | blogspot

While this seems to be the longstanding history of blue porch ceilings, others paint their ceiling porches blue to prevent wasps from building their nests there, to keep the feeling of daylight around for longer, or simply because it’s more interesting than a plain wood or white ceiling. In addition to the fascinating yet dark history behind blue porch ceilings, people in the South seem to appreciate the nostalgic feelings they evoke, since so many homes in the South have them. So the next time you’re in the deep South and notice a blue porch ceiling, you’ll know why it came to be!