Appalachia Folklore Ghost Stories Ghosts - Haints - Spooky

Has a Rabbit Ever Run Over Your Grave?


A few years back Jack left the following comment:

“Speaking of graveyards, have you ever heard the expression, “a rabbit ran over your grave”? It was a statement made when someone had a sudden shiver. Not sure of it’s derivation, but heard it used  frequently when I was a child.”

I’ve never heard the saying about the rabbit, but I have heard folks say “Someone just walked over my grave” when they felt a shiver go down their back.

Our bodies are amazing in so many different ways. And one of those ways is that feeling we get that causes a shiver to run down our back and the little hairs on our neck to stand up in rapt attention.


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  • Reply
    Jamie Cox
    May 17, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    My grandmother and father knew that expression. They came from North Georgia. I have always had a pleasant shiver in certain circumstances. I never had a name for it. “A rabbit ran over your grave” was the first way I heard of naming it. The best word I know now is “frisson”.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegath
    October 31, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    We said “a cat” not a rabbit.

  • Reply
    Charles Howell
    October 27, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    It takes a big imagination to believe in the supernatural but it certainly enriches one’s life. I don’t believe or disbelieve in ghosts, but I enjoy the thought that they might exist. Science depends on evidence of the real, material world, but Religion and Superstition can take one to a level that transcends reality. I like going there. I had a visit from my Dad after he died that I am sure was that of the Angel that he had become. Not a dream, nor hallucination, but a real Spirit who appeared while I was alone in my bed. To disbelieve in the “Spirit World” is to assume an arrogant attitude. Who are we to know? I say let the mystery be. Rabbits over Graves? Not far fetched in my book. Native Americans, Indians, knew the Spirit World existed. I’m with them.

  • Reply
    October 26, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I’ve heard it Tipper but never had use it.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    October 25, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Tipper, I don’t think any of my family used that expression, but I believe I have heard it once or twice before.

    I missed yesterday’s post until today but I want to tell you how much I loved it. Don did a wonderful job. I remember he wrote once about Pearl Cable one of my daughter’s husband’s family. We enjoyed it so much. I hope Don writes a book someday with lots of stories like that one and the one about Winfred Cagle.

  • Reply
    Glynda Chambers
    October 25, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Not Yet, don’t have a grave yet !! Still here. Ha Ha

    • Reply
      I C Graves
      October 25, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      It’s supposed to be “a rabbit runs across the place where your grave is going to be”. You don’t know the place but the rabbit does! Just ask the rabbit!

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    October 25, 2018 at 11:30 am

    For those who are interested in ghosts, The Union County Historical Society is hosting ghost tours in Blairsville this Saturday. I know of two at 4:00 and 6:00 pm because I am driving the tour bus at those times. there are others earlier. The cost is $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for children. For more information, call Joanne at the historical society. The number in 706-745-5493.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    October 25, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Yes, heard it all my life. There’s a graveyard way out on an isolated road in the area where I grew up. I have a lot of family buried there. The whole area gives most everyone the “creeps”. My sister-in-law says she saw a ghost there and I wouldn’t be surprised!

  • Reply
    October 25, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Never heard that saying or didn’t want to remember it and I was afraid of grave yards at night and didn’t like spooky stories. But I do believe our Creator created our bodies to respond to an external stimuli. The hair standing up on your neck is a real one. I only have two that I remember. Years ago my husband and I were traveling out west and went to Mesa Verde in south west Colorado. Known for its Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Dwellings. We had bought our tickets to see Cliff Palace and as I walked out on a huge rock formation, I looked down in the valley below and not seeing anything, just turned my head to the left and felt the hair on my neck stand up as I beheld the cliff dwelling in the side of the mountain. There it sat just as the native people left it when they walked away over 800 years ago. Guess being awestruck can cause that reaction. The second time it happened, my husband and I were visiting a zoo my parents took me to when I was a child. We stood and admired the old lion that looked so regal. We had walked past the lion area and was heading on the path to leave when the old lion roared. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. It amazed me as I knew he was in a caged area and no danger to me, yet my body reacted.

  • Reply
    Sheryl A Paul
    October 25, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Always heard the devil walked over your grave

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 25, 2018 at 8:41 am

    I’ve heard that, Tip, both of them, actually. Isn’t it interesting how many funny/odd sayings remembered from times long past. Some of them really make me stop and wonder where in the world they came from.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    October 25, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I’ve heard that all my life.
    When Dusty was a baby and shivered like that you might as well grab a diaper.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    October 25, 2018 at 8:18 am

    I am sure I heard that one when I was little but not here lately. . I never liked anything about graveyards. I Never sat in on spooky story times and when they started I got up and left. I do recall some sayings like this one but must have put it out of my head a long time ago.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2018 at 8:17 am

    I never heard that one. Something much bigger must be running over mine and causing pain instead of a shiver.

  • Reply
    October 25, 2018 at 7:34 am

    In our family, it was a possum.
    Your blog is the best!

  • Reply
    Julie Moreno
    October 25, 2018 at 6:43 am

    We always said a possum run over my grave when we had a shiver.

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