Understanding Doppelgangers

A doppelganger is considered by many as a supernatural manifestation of another person. It may also simply refer to a person’s double or look alike, just as what its German meaning actually refers to. Doppelgangers may also be used by some to describe a certain sensation or experience wherein a person may have caught a glimpse of oneself in peripheral vision and in the absence of any reflection.

Doppelganger Descriptions

Different people seem to have a different understanding to what a doppelganger is despite being a look alike or double of another person. Some say that doppelgangers are usually the evil side of a person. This being the case, some people believe that seeing a doppelganger may be the harbinger of bad luck.

Many ancient traditions attribute doppelgangers with bad omen or death. A doppelganger seen by friends and relatives of a person may be a forewarning that something bad may happen. Some believe a doppelganger sighting might be an indication of an approaching illness or disease. Some old folklore stories believe that doppelgangers may be identified as such because they do not cast a reflection in a mirror or on water. Some doppelgangers are believed to even communicate with the person they shadow, who is usually a friend or a relative. Any advice taken from a doppelganger should not be believed since they can be malicious and even misleading.

Known Doppelganger Accounts

Through the years, there have been several accounts of doppelganger sightings experienced by both common and famous people alike. Famous English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was said to have seen his own doppelganger before he drowned at the Bay of Spezia as recounted in a letter written by his wife Mary Shelley. In the same account, Mary Shelly also experienced seeing her husband’s doppelganger weeks before his death.

Another account of a doppelganger sighting involved Abraham Lincoln. Pres. Lincoln once intimated to his wife of seeing a full reflection of himself in the mirror but with two faces, one being paler than the other. Another account told of a group of students that included a Julie von Guldenstubbe witnessed a doppelganger of their 32 year old French teacher Emilie Sagee in broad daylight. It seemed to mimic their teacher’s actions and seemed the opposite condition as their teacher at that time- with Sagee badly ill while the doppelganger in seemingly good health.

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