Thursday, October 2, 2008

D is for Doppleganger

For some reason, when I think of dopplegangers, a chill just runs right down my spine. Perhaps it is that feeling of the unknown touching you personally. I lot of people have told me they know someone who looks just like me. I really don't like the thought of it, but maybe I do have a doppleganger.

A doppleganger is a double of a person, and tends to be regarded as bad luck. Usually to see a doppleganger means that a person may die soon. According to Wikipedia, Norse mythology has a vardoger, which is a ghostly double of a person who is seen performing their actions before the actual person does. Or the person may arrive later, to find that his friends or family are confused because he had already came and went.

In history, Abraham Lincoln was reported to have seen his doppleganger in the mirror, a sign he would not live through his second term in office. Other reports include the famous poet Thomas Donne seeing a doppleganger of his wife the night she gave birth to a stillborn child, although he was in a different city than her.

According to Halloween Web, there is a theory that everyone has a double. One is good, and one is extremely evil. It also states the many times the doppelganger is seen by someone else, instead of the person who is doubled, leading to confusion. This gives the effect of being in two places at once.

Interested in reading fiction or watching television or movies that involve doppelgangers?

  • The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

  • William Wilson by Edgar Allen Poe

  • Doppelganger by Maire Brennan

  • Heroes TV show has a character named Jessica with an evil doppleganger called Niki who manifests as part of her own psyche, and has supernatural strength.

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show character Willow has an evil doppelganger in an alternate reality known as "Evil Willow"

  • The movie Silent Hill has a child named Alessa who's doppleganger is called Dark Alessa, and has frightening telepathic powers

  • Dopplegangsters short story by Laura Resnick in the Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural Anthology has supernaturally-bumped off mobsters appearing as dopplegangers minutes before their demise.

Are your friends saying that you seem to be in two places at once? Did you rudely insult your boss, only it wasn't you? You might have a doppleganger who's out to cause mischief for you. If you don't want to believe, then just hope that the double image that you see out of the side of your eye is just a sign that you need glasses. The truth could be too frightening to accept.


Doppelganger-Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed 2 October 2008. Last modified 2 October 2008.

Doppelgangers Legend. Halloween Web. Accessed 2 October 2008. Copyright 2003-2008.

What is a Doppleganger? Niki Foster. Conjecture Corporation. Accessed 2 October 2008. Copyright 2003-2008.

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