is the name given to a look-alike or exact double of a living person. They have been regarded as a paranormal entity or a bad omen, commonly believed to bring death. Some refer to a
as an ‘evil twin’ or ‘alter ego’. Whatever they are, they’re extremely creepy, and more common then you’d first think.
Doppelgängers have been reported all over the world. Usually, a family member or a friend may see their loved one in one location, only to find they were actually somewhere else (sometimes even in a different country) at the time their double was seen. There have been many reports of Doppelgängers in places that have also been reported to be haunted or that have some level of paranormal activity. A common occurrence linked to
doppelgängers is the phenomenon of hearing a loved one’s voice, only to find them to not have been the ones that spoke.
There are many theories linking
doppelgängers to paranormal phenomena, such as demons mimicking us, but one theory that is particularly interesting is the theory linking
doppelgängers to dimensional shifts. The 18th Century poet,
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, documented an encounter with his own
doppelgänger whilst riding. He passed an exact double of himself wearing a grey suit with gold details riding in the opposite direction. Years later, he was riding down that exact road when he realized that he was wearing the exact same clothes as he had seen himself in before. This raises the question, are
doppelgängers our future selves? Are they glimpses of ourselves in alternate dimensions?
Unfortunately, we do not know for definite what these entities are, or even that they exist at all.
Heautoscopy is a symptom of several mental illnesses such as schizophrenia where the sufferer has hallucinations of themselves from a distance. This may be an explanation for the
phenomenon, but how does that explain the sightings of
doppelgängers by individuals with no history or symptoms of mental illness?
After researching this phenomenon I seem to have come away with more questions than answers. Truthfully, this unexplained event is just that - unexplained. One thing is for sure, however, when I look out of my bedroom window at night, I sure as hell don’t want to see a duplicate of myself smiling back at me.