Much like a child, as mankind has matured it has slowly shed it’s childish beliefs in boogey men and things that go bump in the night. As cultures become more aware of the real cause and preventions of catastrophes we gradually let go of the superstitions that we developed as a way of trying to combat those unknown fears.
superstitions exist for all things, and the roof is no exception to this. It seems most superstitions regarding the roof deal with spirits or the afterlife, most likely because the roof is seen as a wall between the home and the heavens. There are other superstitions that deal with fire and even some about witches.
How do you protect your roof from fire? by placing water symbols all over it, of course. it seems so simple, worried about fire? put signs of water all over the place, that’ll scare the fire away, and don’t forget to make your tile roof look like ocean waves, that lends extra credibility to those water symbols. or at least that seems to have been the japanese school of thought when it comes to tile roofing.
Japanese tile roofing isn’t the only place we find water symbolism in roofing associated with superstition, in the rural southern united states we find a particular shade of blue adorning the underside of patio roofs. This shade of blue is known as Haint blue, and it’s painted on the roof because evidently not only can ghosts in the south not cross water, they aren’t too good at telling the difference between water and paint.
America isn’t the only place with ghost inspired roofing, In china they put ghost slides on the top of their temples, evidently chinese folklore says that ghosts can only travel in straight lines, so when a ghost hits their roof, it slides along the edge, hits the upturned gable, and goes flying off into the afterlife. Yay Ghost slide!
Chinese ghosts aren’t alone in only moving in straight lines, evidently Witches in the Northeast US can only fly in straight lines, and can only fly into the top window of a house, which is why you see windows turned at a 45 degree angle at the top of houses. These Witch windows prevent those women that weight as much as a duck from entering the attic by broomstick.
If you feel left out, don’t worry someone will eventually write irreverently about things you consider serious sooner or later, just give it a few hundred years, it happens to all of us. If i have offended, i’m sorry you were offended, but I’d be willing to bet the bulk of the readers found it funny.