Blue Porch Ceilings In The South? What Do They Mean?
October - the Halloween Month is right around the corner and Fall is in the air! Our thoughts sometimes turn to old wive's tales, superstitions and even hauntings! While I was browsing Facebook the other night, I saw an interesting article regarding the Appalachian Granny Witches..yes witches!! I had never heard of the Apalachian Grany Withces, so I read on...Apparently, these women are part of a very old tradition that goes back to the very first settlers of the Appalachian Mountains who came all the way from Ireland and Scotland in the 1700's. Their connection with mother nature, and magic made these women unique in their time. There are a lot of superstitions passed down over the years, and they may have originated with the witches it seems! Reading about their traditions, I encountered with one that we sometimes see in real estate, and that is popular in Southern Antebellum homes, and even making a comeback in new home design, the blue porch ceilings.
According to legend, there are many meanings for the blue porch ceilings :
-Insect repellent: one of the most popular beliefs is that blue painted ceilings in the porch of a house contributes to keeping insects away...because the insects confuse the blue paint with the sky. Back in the day, the blue paint used on ceilings were milk paints that were often mixed with lye-a known insect repellent...so maybe insects have memory? Have you ever seen a spiderweb on a blue painted ceiling? We haven't!
-Fear of haints: Many Southerners maintain that blue porch ceilings were originated because of the fear of "haints" -there is even a soft blue/green paint that is referred to as "haint blue". Before "Zombies" - the popular term for spirits of the dead today.. the term Haints was used. "Haints" were thought to be restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world". So basically the blue "haint" paint was thought to protect the homeowner from being influenced or "taken" by spirits of the underworld.
-Because it feels like Grandma's house: You may remember Grandma's blue porch ceiling, and as a was of keeping tradition alive in the family, you want yours painted blue. Many of our best childhood memories were actually on porches like these. Traditions run deep in the South.
-Extending daylight hours: Some people just feel that the blue painted ceiling gives a sense of a natural sky and want to extend our daylight hours just a little longer to have more "front porch time."
-Regional influences: Along the east coast the blue porch ceilings are very popular (specially from Boston to Philadelphia), where the Colonial and Victorian houses are trendy and their porch designs are remarkable. Their "aurora blue" is a very popular color and associated to the Aurora Colony, which was a christian communal society that gained fame in the 1850s.
Whatever the reason for having blue porch ceilings, .. they make great conversation pieces when showing homes with our agents at First Story . In our area, age-old traditions of blue painted ceilings seem to be very much alive today!
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First Story.... Redefining The Real Estate Experience ... and giving you some history of traditions that remain with us today!