Sunday Legends-Haint


So you’re moving into a new house. It’s YOUR new house, but it isn’t a NEW house.

Knowing that this means you’re going to be messing with whatever big bad or nasty that the people who have lived there before you have managed to dig up, you cleaned the house throughly. The house happens to sit next to a somewhat sluggish river, but it’s still a water source so you leave out some grain in hopes that you can invite a brownie in.

What can you do to keep things out of your newly stripped house? It depends on what you’re trying to keep out.

Haint Blue

Haint blue is a sort of robin egg’s blue color. Found frequently in the American South-my personal experience with it is from Savannah-you’ll frequently find it on the outside of houses such as the ceilings of porches, around door jams, and on shutters. It’s actually a really pretty color but it may seem strange to find a row of houses all with the same shade of blue on the porch ceilings.

Why would this happen? What are people attempting to accomplish, or do they all just like the color? It’s a little bit of both. The word ‘haint’ refers to a type of ghost that is attempting to enter a structure to take up residence. The blue is thought to remind the ghost of the sky (or daylight) and prevent them from entering. Some sources claim that the color reminds the dead of water, which they can’t cross.

The color is seen to have such a power over the supernatural that it’s sometimes used in spaces that seem to be highly active. When I was in Savannah in the late 1990s a building was going up that had its entire substructure painted with Haint. Everything that had been built there previously had either failed or burned, so the builders decided to take the extra precaution of painting it blue. Other highly haunted buildings have entire walls painted the color.

There is no one definite shade that is ‘haint blue’ since it was a hand-mixed color for such a long time. However, Benjamin Moore offers two or three regional variations of Haint.

(I’ll be covering other methods in later entries. Stop by next Sunday!)

(Photo from Morguefile)


One comment

  1. Now, that’s interesting. When we recently painted our house, the painter talked me into putting a really pale blue on the porch ceilings. His explanation was that it keeps the birds and spiders from nesting. Not sure if that’s true, but I think it’s pretty. Glad to know I’m also safe from haints!

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