On my book research trip to Savannah in October, I spent a day on a magnificent barrier island called Ossabaw Island. It is reachable only by boat and has a history that stretches back to when the Spaniards arrived, leaving behind heritage breeds of burros and pigs whose descendants still graze in the marshes.
But I digress.
Starting in the late 1700′s, rice plantations were established on Ossabaw. Today, the plantations no longer exist, but thanks to restoration efforts, it’s possible to see what the slave cabins looked like.
The cabins were built of tabby, a mixture of oyster shells and lime.
These were of interest to me because the story I am co-writing at the moment takes place in Savannah in the early 1800′s and features several slaves as well as plantation owners.
Oh, and did I mention it has a ghost?
Ghosts were called “haints.”
"Haint blue" paint covered the interior walls to protect the inhabitants against ghosts or haints. The door frames were covered in “haint blue” as well.
One can still find many homes in Historic Savannah that use “haint blue.”
Here’s one of the most haunted little houses in Savannah: