According to an NPR story, there is no evidence to indicate that porch ceinlings painted blue keep bugs or evil spirits away. However the blue porch ceiling has long been a lowcountry tradition. Recently my friend Joe repainted the ceiling of his porch bright blue. It clashes terribly with the earth tones of his modern home, but since building the house five years ago, he has been plagued with mud daubers, a wasp like insect who builds clay nests along porch ceilings. The theory is that the insects think that the blue ceiling is the sky, instead of a cozy spot for a nest. If you are Superstitious, you might paint the bright color for other reasons. Haints, or haunts, are spirits trapped between the world of the living and the world of the dead. You certainly don’t want haints invading into your humble abode looking for revenge. Luckily, the Gullah people remembered an important footnote to the haint legend. These angry spirits have a kryptonite; they cannot cross water. The safest place would be in an underwater bubble, or perhaps to surround your house with a moat. But the Gullah people had a much more elegant solution. They would dig a pit in the ground, fill it with lime, milk, and whatever pigments they could find, stir it all together, and paint the mixture around every opening into their homes. The haints, confused by these watery pigments, are tricked into thinking they can’t enter.