Holding Your Breath

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When passing graveyards, children in North America, Europe and other parts of the world, held their breath for fear they’d breathe in the souls of the recently deceased. British and French persons held the common belief that the keeper of the graveyard was the soul of the last person buried in it. It was this soul’s job to keep watch until the next person was laid to rest. In an alternate telling, the first person in a parish to pass on was thought to keep watch for the following 12 months.

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