No doubt, the city is full of topic ideas for this Savannah freelance writer. Bob and I have been noticing all of the various shades of blues and greens on many houses, restaurants, and industrial buildings in the heart of the historic district of America’s Most Haunted City. We didn’t know what we were seeing until we went on a tour in the Owens Thomas House and were told that:
“The ceiling on the first floor of the Owens’ Thomas slave quarters features the largest example of “haint” blue painting known to exist in America. “Haint” blue paint was believed to have spiritual properties in many African cultures, such as the ability to ward off evil spirits. In nineteenth-century America, the paint-created by mixing indigo, lime, and buttermilk-was used on ceilings, around doors or windows, and even behind or under furnishings.”
Savannah’s 1820 yellow fever epidemic wiped out about 660 people, but the lime in the paint may have kept mosquitos out of many homes (which spread the fever).
The idea is to invoke the appearance of water surrounding entry points into the home, because according to Gullah culture, it is believed that spirits cannot cross water. This idea is alive and well in Savannah, Georgia to this very day. Shades range from seafoam green to deep indigo. Even Sherwin Williams has something to say about it: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/architects-specifiers-designers/inspiration/styles-and-techniques/sw-article-pro-thewhysbehind.html
Tonight, we were frequenting a local coffee shop, and lo and behold the ceiling was HAINT BLUE! As we were waiting in line, the cashier heard us talking about it and informed us that the ceiling was intentionally painted that color for the specific purpose of warding off ghosts!