One thing I didn’t notice until I went on the ghost tour was the blue ceiling that so many buildings in the keys have. I noticed the metal roof tile. So what is it? The blue is supposed to keep away the spirits. The Key’s are supposed to be the most haunted place in America. Ghosts out number the living 20 to 1. Haints are restless spirits of the dead.
This is a tradition that has been passed down for centuries. I’m not sure how long paint has been around but I’m also pretty sure it has something to do with the voodoo culture of the islands past. Haint isn’t actually a shade of blue but a term that refers to ghosts or spirits.
The reason for this soft blue color on the ceiling or porches through out the island is to protect the owners from evil spirits. How exactly does a color protect us from evil, I would wonder my entire trip. Spirits can’t pass over water. The ceilings look like water which confuses any ghost that might be hanging around a little too much.
Another reason for the blue ceiling on porches is that in the past the color required use of lye. Lye is commonly used in insect repellant. So it made sense to paint porches a color that repeals bugs. A drive around the island one thing you notice is that almost every building has beautiful porches with rocking chairs. People would sit on their porch and if panting it blue helped limit the amount of bugs pestering the home owner then it makes perfect sense.
Haint Blue generally looks like blue green tone which closely matches the color of the water around the island. So if people believe that spirits couldn’t pass over water then why not attempt to fool them into not entering your home. Do spirits get stuck in water? We don’t know. What is important is that the spirits know this so they wouldn’t attempt to enter your home just to play it safe.
When I was young I remember helping my mom paint our house. The neighbors where doing a remodel and I was friendly with the guy who was doing a lot of their work. He told me that Benjamin Moore was the best brand paint. It lasted longer and took less coats to get a nice thick layer of protection. Below are the most common shades of blue for porch ceilings according to Benjamin Moore. I personally like the arctic blue because it looks a lot like the beautiful color of the ocean in the keys.