“Back when I was a child, whenever my family and I were on a trip, if we passed by a graveyard, my mom told me to hold my breath. I think she mentioned it was because the ghosts would become jealous of my breathing and would attack me. Personally, at least back then, I thought it was to be sure you didn’t inhale a ghost. Now I think it was just a way to get me to be quiet”
When I asked my informant if there were any rules that he followed that had some story or legend behind them, he talked about his graveyard rules. He is unsure of where his mom learned it, but assumes that it was just part of her family as well. He does comment that it was a good way to get him to be quiet on car rides, however.
It is interesting how small rules such as holding your breath by a graveyard can have a legend behind them. This reminds me of a similar saying in Korea, where if you hold your breath through a tunnel, your wish comes true. This graveyard one is more frightening then the tunnel one however, leading me to believe the goal of both of these sayings is just to keep kids quiet.