Doppelgangers-Do We All Have One?

Ever have someone come up to you and say I saw someone that looked just like you in New York, when you have never been to New York? What they could have been seeing is your ‘doppelganger’. It is a paranormal phenomenon and in folklore a doppelganger is usually seen as a bad omen, or bad luck.

The word is from the German Doppel (double) ganger (goer or walker). The concept of an alter ego is as old as recorded history. It appears in religious text, myths, and folklore. In Egyptian history the “ka” means ‘double spirit’. An interesting view of Helen of Troy through Egyptian ‘eyes’ was that the Helen that led Paris astray was a “ka” or double spirit.

In Norse mythology a vardoger is a ghostly double that precedes the living person. It is a form of bi-location, or being two places at the same time. They literally come a few minutes before the person. It is as if the vardoger is doing their actions in advance. (1) The Finnish also have a word for a doppelganger called ‘etiainen’, or firstcomer. Also meaning the doppelganger comes in advance of the living person.

In Breton, Cornish and Norman French folklore the doppelganger is a version of death, the Ankou.  He appears as a man or skeleton wearing a cloak and carrying a scythe. Sometimes he looks like a man with a scythe sitting on a cart for collecting souls. Usually his face is concealed. Sounds like the beginnings of the grim reaper to me. (2)
In Carl Sandburg’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, it contained an interesting revelation from Lincoln in regard to his presidency:

A dream or illusion had haunted Lincoln at times through the winter. On the evening of his election he had thrown himself on one of the haircloth sofas at home, just after the first telegrams of November 7 had told him he was elected President, and looking into a bureau mirror across the room he saw himself full length, but with two faces. It bothered him; he got up; the illusion vanished; but when he lay down again there in the glass again were two faces, one paler than the other. He got up again, mixed in the election excitement, forgot about it; but it came back, and haunted him. He told his wife about it; she worried too. A few days later he tried it once more and the illusion of the two faces again registered to his eyes. But that was the last; the ghost since then wouldn’t come back, he told his wife, who said it was a sign he would be elected to a second term, and the death pallor of one face meant he wouldn’t live through his second term. (3)

Mary Shelley who was the author of “Frankenstein” was married to Percy Shelley a well-known poet of the time. He wrote to Mary telling her that he had met his doppelganger, and a woman who knew him, Jane Williams also saw him walk back and forth, when he was miles away.  “Prometheus Unbound” was written by Percy Shelley about doppelgangers.  Shelley drowned at the Bay of Spezia.

Another famous case was a French teacher by the name of Emily Sagee. Many of her students witnessed the phenomena. Once she was writing on the blackboard, back to the class when 3 feet behind her was her doppelganger, mimicking her and making fun of her. The whole classroom saw it. Another time they were watching her through the window working in the garden. They were not surprised to see her walk into the classroom and sit behind the desk except for one thing, she was still working in the garden. The children could see both copies of Emilee Sagee. Her doppelganger tortured her so much she lost 18 jobs in 16 years. (4)

Now many movies and televisions shows have doppelgangers in them. I love the doppelgangers in the show “How I met your mother”, Moustache Marshall, Stripper Lily, Mexican Wrestler Ted, Cab Driver Barney, and Lesbian Robin, were the doppelgangers of the main characters. The Fringe, Flash, the Vampire Diaries, Mr. Robot are all current shows with the theme of doppelgangers in them.

A doppelganger is seldom a good omen; it can be seen by some as an ‘evil twin’. They are also seen when a person is deathly ill or going to die within days. Personally my son had an experience with my doppelganger.  I was under an enormous amount of stress, his father had died, I was worried about money, and I had a man from my recovery group that would not leave me alone. So we moved to a new rental house. I came walking into my master bedroom with laundry and my son looked up at me shocked and said, “you were just here”.  He told me that I had walked into the master bathroom. I questioned him, and it appears he saw me walk into the bathroom and I did not notice him or say anything.  At the time it freaked me out. As I had been at the opposite end of the house.

That was the end of it for me, but for a few days I wondered if something was going to happen to me.  Since I am psychic and a medium I am used to seeing different apparitions at time, but this was a new one. So does everyone have a doppelganger? I would not surprised…..


  1. Paranormal Phenomena; Vardoger,
  2. The Mystery of Doppelgangers and Spirit Doubles from Ancient to Modern Times,
  3. Sandburg, Carl, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years, Galahad Books, August 1, 2005
  4. Doppelgangers-Our Mysterious Evil Twin,

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