Living and working in the always quirky, often mysterious city of Savannah, Georgia, for the past three years, I've been exposed to many of the local traditions and superstitions. One of my favorites, is the superstition involving a unique color, known as "Haint Blue".
According to the tradition, handed down by the coastal Gullah, the unmistakeable "Haint Blue" possesses magical powers which holds evil spirits and demons at bay. While the color and attached superstition may have been African in origin, it was quickly passed to, and utilized by, the caucasion citizens of cities such as Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina. It was thought that if this color appeared on the exterior of your house, it would prevent ghosts and spirits with not-so-nice intentions from entering. To this day, the color still appears on doorways and shutters of victorian homes throughout Savannah.
Of course, for the "well-to-do" citizens and high society of Savannah, who didn't wish to advertise their superstitious beliefs for fear of public ridicule, the answer was simple. A family could simply paint the overhang of their front porch using the color, and it wouldn't be visible to the casual observer from the street!
For those who may be unfamiliar, the picture below is of "The Pirate's House" Inn. In it's day, the Inn was said to be a popular stopping point for ne'er-do-wells visiting the pirate-friendly city of Savannah, and may have been the location where many raids were planned on her sister city of Charleston! The Inn was also made famous in the book "Treasure Island", as it's supposedly the setting in which the character "Captain Flint" went on to his final reward....or punishment.
Take notice of the color of the shutters and doors, and you'll see a prime example of "Haint Blue".