Someone stepped on my grave

Posted by ESC on October 09, 2001

In Reply to: Someone stepped on my grave posted by Barbara Farnan on October 09, 2001

: I've heard this phrase used when someone involuntarily shudders throughout their body. Also, heard of it as "a rabbit jumped on my grave". Anyone know of it's origin. Taken literally, it must come from a religion believing in reincarnation.

I don't think it has anything to do with reincarnation. It's used in the mountains of West Virginia and we're Baptists, mostly. Here's part of a previous discussion (search the archives under "grave.")

It is taboo in my part of the U.S. (mountains of West Virginia) to step on a grave. You walk around it. I'll have to do a little research to get more details. So far, I've found two versions of this saying: "If you suddenly shudder, it means a rabbit (or goose) has run across your grave." This is from The Mountain Times, Appalachian Folk Beliefs, online. Another source yielded the belief that shuddering meant a goose was running across your grave. I am not exactly sure what this means. A person or animal walks across your grave. Does that mean the site where your grave will be located? Or does it mean a trespass on your grave in the future causes a retro effect and makes the "living you," in the present, shiver?