‘Someone walked over my grave’ is a term used as a response to a sudden shudder or shivering.
The saying,‘Someone walked over my grave’ derives from 18th century England, based on the earlier folk legend that an unexpected cold shiver is caused when someone is walking on the shivering person’s grave-to-be. The first written record of the phrase is in A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation, 1738 written by Jonathan Swift under the pseudonym of Simon Wagstaff.
Many variants of the term ‘Someone walked over my grave’ were published in journals and publications of the 19th century as for example in the Kentish Gazette, and Weekly Journal for East and West Kent (Canterbury, Kent, England) of Tuesday March 14th, 1843 or in Sir E. Bulwer Lytton’s novel Zanoni (1853) which gives a thorough explanation of the phenomenon itself.
The term gained popularity and started spreading rapidly after 2003 according to Google Trends. Although the exact origin is unclear, but the rock band Soul Embraced released the song Someone walking over my grave in 2003.
Also, the phrase got ‘immortalized’ in the 1993 Movie Tombstone when Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) suprises Johnny Ringo, appearing instead of Wyatt Earp saying: “Why, Johnny Ringo, you look like somebody just walked over your grave. “ 1
The very scene was uploaded on Youtube in 2013 by BadWolf and has reached more than 7,000,000 views and more than 6,000 comments.
The film was constantly republished, on DVD in 2002, on BluRay in 2010 and the book The Making of Tombstone was published in 2018 so it is no surprise that Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is full of photos of the scene with the immortalized quote and a lot of memes were created as tool of mockery.
- Wordhistories.net – Someone walked over my grave