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What is a Doppelganger?

Niki Foster
Updated May 16, 2024
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A doppelganger — also written "doppelgaenger" or "doubleganger" — is quite simply a double. It can be a ghost or physical apparition, but it is usually a source of psychological anxiety for the person who sees it. The word comes from the German Doppelgänger, literally meaning "double-goer," and has found widespread use in popular culture.


Many different types of doppelganger have arisen in cultures around the world. A doppelganger may be an "evil twin," unknown to the original person, who causes mischief by confusing friends and relatives. In other cases, the double may be the result of a person being in two places at once, or even an individual's past or future self. Other times, the double is merely a look-alike, a second individual who shares a strong visual resemblance. The goals of the doppelganger often depend on the role it plays for the original person.

In Folklore

In folklore, the doppelganger is sometimes said to have no shadow or reflection, much like vampires in some traditions. These doubles are often malicious, and they can haunt their more innocent counterparts. They may give bad advice or put thoughts in their victim's heads. Seeing one's own doppelganger or that of a friend or relative is usually considered very bad luck, often heralding death or serious illness. In some traditions, a doppelganger is considered a personification of death.

In Psychoanalysis

In Freudian psychoanalysis, the doppelganger is often viewed as an aspect of an individual's self that he or she is struggling to control. The double usually has both similar and opposing characteristics to the original. In other words, the double will be recognizable as the individual, but will act differently, often in an extreme manner. Often, the repressed aspect of the psyche that the double represents must be confronted and ultimately defeated in order for it to go away.

In Literature and Film

Doppelgangers appear often in various forms of fiction, from stories of mistaken identity to more supernatural phenomena in works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a famous example of the doppelganger in literature. Alfred Hitchcock's movie Psycho features Norman Bates, whose image often appears in mirrors and windows, suggesting there is more to him than just a mild-mannered hotel manager.

Famous Cases

There are many famous accounts of doppelgangers in history. Guy de Maupassant's short story "Lui?" (called "The Terror" in English) tells of the writer's own experience with a double. English poet John Donne claimed to have met his wife's look-alike in Paris shortly before his daughter was stillborn. Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and American president Abraham Lincoln both reportedly saw doppelgangers shortly before their deaths; Shelley saw his in a dream and Lincoln as a second face in his mirror.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Foster
By Niki Foster , Writer

In addition to her role as a WiseGEEK editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual topics in order to get ideas for her own articles. She is a graduate of UCLA, where she majored in Linguistics and Anthropology.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1000763 — On Dec 19, 2018

It reminds me of when I was 12, I was cleaning my room and all of a sudden, I was like "I'm just going to lie on the floor for a while." Then somebody who looked identical to me laughed at me and said that I had no personality. Then I woke up in the middle of my floor with the light off, and it was night time. My dream lasted 3 hours.

By anon996275 — On Aug 04, 2016

My ten year old often sees these "body doubles". He has always seen weird apparitions and shadow men since he was five if I can remember far back enough. I have always believed him when he has confided in me about the things he sees and hears because of the fear, confusion and stress written all over his face each time he tells me. I more so than ever believe him because of the times I have witnessed him react in the exact moments these events would occur. I have seen him drop everything (literally) run, scream and hide behind myself and family members; trembling in a state of shock and panic.

But the most tangible evidence that brought me down to realization of my son being more sensitive or gifted other than mentally ill or having a bad dream/imagination, is the images in my mom's digital camera we captured while living with her at a certain time in our past. My son has always described thoroughly and vividly about these entities-- so well detailed, to the point that seeing these images in the camera went beyond a doubt proving his claims truthful. Everything he would tell me about these apparitions, descriptions and places he seen them in were as if he painted these pictures himself. He told me about a little shadow boy in our hallway and garage (which led to the garage door from inside the house) and three white bubbles that floated over my head in the kitchen when I would cook. He explained how the little boy would peek from dark corners of the hallways and open cracked doors of the bedroom or garage (both doors across from each other). He said the boy would never say or do anything, just stare and look lonely and scared. I asked him how his face looked and he said "like a super dark shadow with no eyes or ears or mouth or anything just blacked out". I asked him how he could tell the boy's emotions and how he knew he was staring at him if he had no facial features and he said he couldn't explain how and that he just knew the boy was lonely and always watched him.

About the orbs. When he saw the orbs, he calmly came into the kitchen and looked above me as if he was watching smoke go up and then shortly after said, "Mom what are those bubbles above your head?" When I looked up there was nothing there and I asked him what he was talking about. He pointed and pointed and kept saying, "Right there mom, you don't see them? Oh my goodness, how could you not see the bubbles, Mom? There right there. They're white and they're still there." I asked him how big were they and he said like baseballs. I immediately knew he seeing orbs.

Another time he saw the boy, he grabbed me as I was walking past the hallway and said in a quiet and excited voice, "Mom! Mom look! The little boy is right there." He pointed back at the garage door down the dark hallway dimly lit with the shadow of the afternoon sun flowing through the house. I peered at the slightly opened garage door that someone did not completely shut and saw nothing, but the pool table and couch in the distance of the garage. I told him nothing was there and he was seeing things and he became slightly irritated and replied, "He was just there, you didn't look where I told you to look. He was right there wearing a white shirt like mine." Well, moments like that occurred more than frequently and began to concern me more than usual.

Long story short, after going through photos in my mom's digital camera one day, I noticed a few pictures that definitely got my attention. In the first photo I noticed, I saw a small shadow figure about my son's height (6 years old at the time) standing in the hallway against the wall as if peeking into the living room area where we were capturing images of the family opening presents, I believe. Another image showed him peeking closer and as a clear as day, he had a solid bright white shirt on. I zoomed in on his face so much that the whole screen was practically black. Deep, darker than black, jet black, black. I zoomed in and out and back again at different angles and pixel sizes and nothing changed or explained the image otherwise. It had an almost oversized, oval-like tear drop head and a slim little neck with what seemed to be his arms pinned to his side. Another photo before the apparitions of the boy were discovered, were of a ocean deep black blob of what looked to be spilled paint or ink over the center of the hallway bathroom door. The next picture behind it was of the same blob but a bit different in shape and higher up at the top of the bathroom door. This was the same bathroom I fainted in one morning out of nowhere and the same bathroom where the little boy was standing across from in the pictures to come. Mind you, I have never fainted in my life or had any health problems of any sort. My mom found me lying on the floor unconscious after hearing loud banging sounds from my body falling against the wall and tub.

Another time, I experienced a huge strong force like a rush of wind that didn't blow or have any temperature. It came up from behind me and all over me as I walked out of the bathroom one night in the dark. It literally rushed up so forcefully that I stumbled and stumbled and almost felt like at moments I was gliding down the hallway into a darker corner. I was stuck against the wall for what felt like a few seconds and once I felt the force leave, I found myself feeling the walls as guidance into the living room where I could find a switch to turn on. I felt lost and so scared in my own house and I will never forget it.

I have also woke up completely stuck with only my eyes able to move and the words I tried to speak were only thoughts. Trying to move and speak were impossible and it felt as if I could not catch my breath. I have never experienced such moments until living in that house, nor anytime after moving out. But my son has unfortunately. It's getting more intense and now he's claiming to see "body doubles" of people who are still alive and breathing as well as living in the same home and being home at the exact moments he sees them. He says they trick him because he thinks it's me or his sister or grandpa, etc., walking into a room in the house and he follows them and finds no one there once he enters the room. He even says he sees the faces sometimes when they are just standing around somewhere and their eyes are all blacked out or all white. After jumping and looking away, they are gone by the time he looks up again. Soon the real person of whom he thought he saw comes out of nowhere or he finds them in a completely different part of the house doing other things.

He says he is scared but not too much of the shadow man he sees. He feels safe in a way when the shadow comes around, but the other horrific things he sees leave him up late and stressed out in fear and confusion. I researched some of these phenomena and came so a personal conclusion to try a remedy that seems real popular and most effective. I read up on a few sites that say playing the Quran on chapter 2 in a loop in a decent volume through out your house will run this activity away quickly and swiftly. I read that you can find the verse and prayer of chapter 2 on YouTube. Just search Quran chapter 2 I am guessing, as that is what I will do to hopefully find it.

Good luck with anyone going through the same things are similar and feel free to please leave a comment with your advice or opinion of what you suppose is going on with my son and possibly any experiences you may have had as well. Thank you all.

By anon992345 — On Sep 01, 2015

Watch the movie "Another Earth'.

By anon990161 — On Apr 08, 2015

Wow. Some people have strange superstitions.

By anon987096 — On Jan 30, 2015

I saw my doppelganger in august 2008. It was late at night, like 2 a.m. I was sitting in my car smoking a cigarette. I saw my exact double walking quickly in the middle of the street. It came from around a corner. and kept going. It was wearing same clothes I do and even same shoes. It looked at me too. I was scared. I quit smoking months later, but started consuming lots of alcohol.

By anon985748 — On Jan 19, 2015

I was with my parents a few hours away from where I live, and one of our family friends swears he saw me in town walking to my house. I have a bad hip and can't walk around town in the first place. Even with mom and dad telling him I was with them, he still swears it was me.

By anon342887 — On Jul 24, 2013

One day about six years ago, my cousin, my mother and I were at a Chinese restaurant. We were talking when a an old guy came in and just stared at me really creepy. He looked really mad. My mother noticed it too, but then he just walked by and went to order his food. He sat at the table across from us. Then he told my mother what a beautiful daughter she had and told her that I looked exactly like his daughter. He even took a picture of me with his cell phone (with my permeation, of course). He even called his wife to ask if she had received the message and if his daughter was there. It was really weird.

I still ask myself what happened that day and whether I have a double.

By anon336692 — On May 30, 2013

My great grandmother and I both look exactly alike, right down to a small scar cutting into our lips on the left side. When I look at her photos I am looking at myself. It is very odd. Can that be a type of doppelganger?

By anon334697 — On May 14, 2013

After reading all these accounts, I think there are many people with vivid imaginations, their meds are over prescribed or they are just lying.

By anon330473 — On Apr 16, 2013

While living in Monticello, ME, my husband and I saw each other several times. I would follow my husband into a bedroom and be talking to him all the time and then go into the room after him and he wouldn't be there. There was no way for him to get around me, either.

I also followed him into our garage and when I reached the garage, he was nowhere to be found. I went back into the living room and there he was, watching TV. Again, there was no way he could have gotten around me to get into the living room. He kept seeing me stand behind a chair in the living room and watching TV while I was standing. But of course, it wasn't me and I was always in the bedroom looking at the computer. Nothing that was bad ever happened--just very weird.

By anon329108 — On Apr 08, 2013

Yesterday, my friend came here in my internet cafe to talk to his cousin (about 8:30~9 p.m.), and before he left, we talked a little. Minutes later, he came back and it was like he was just looking for something and kind of mad (about 9:30~10 p.m.), I was playing a game and saw him, so I called to him, "Hey! Let's play!" I called him three times, but he just completely ignored me and left.

His mother died four days ago, so I went to visit him for the vigil. So I talked to him and asked him what was the matter and why he just ignored me.

He replied, Ignored you? We talked before I left, right?" I said, Yes, but you came back remember? And it was like you were looking for something and you were mad," then our friends there told me that they were together the whole time playing cards, so I was like what? Then they mentioned that maybe it was a doppelganger, a spirit that clones a person. So here I am searching what it is.

hope won't happened again

By anon318117 — On Feb 05, 2013

The article didn't mention Twilight Zone's "Mirror Image" (Season 1, Episode 21). You can watch it on youtube and other such sites online.

By anon314595 — On Jan 18, 2013

A few months ago I saw a skeleton in my partner while he slept and I just rolled over and thought I was seeing things, but the next day, I thought I should get life and funeral insurance.

Last night I saw him sitting at the computer going through my Facebook account and he closed something I was downloading. When I questioned my partner about this, he said he was outside with our three year old daughter and the shirt I saw him wearing was hanging on the line. I have a bad feeling about this, like maybe it's a sign.

By anon303903 — On Nov 17, 2012

Back in the early 80s, I was in my late teens and living in a small rural town in Indiana and in the mid-eighties, I moved to California. Being young and less than responsible, I did a lot of partying with just about all the people my age. The drinking age was 21, but I was always a big guy and not afraid of talking to anybody and everybody loved me. I could put on my over 21 face and go into any bar or liquor store in the state and cop alcohol.

After a couple years of partying every weekend, I would wake up at my folks' house feeling hung over and not have any idea what happened or how I got home the night before. It would take me a while to get up and get going. I would get rolling around noon and get on the phone and start calling around to check what my friends had planned for Saturday night. So, the last two years I lived there, some people were kind of, sort of less friendly then they had been in the past. I did not care. I'd go out and have a good time acting all crazy with my beer drinking buddies. It got to be that everybody knew me and my buddies for miles around.

I was sitting in this bar talking to everybody and dancing with women and one of my friend's brothers walked up to me and started giving me a hard time, claiming I had busted a move on his girlfriend at a party everybody had been to the night before. This guy's girlfriend was a super hottie, but this guy is my friends brother and I had a fine girlfriend of my own. That's when I began to suspect that I had an evil look alike who would show up and ruin my good name by starting fights and being jerk.

Like I said, I moved to California soon after that and I never saw my evil look alike, but he was out there. We would have fought if I had seen him.

By anon303285 — On Nov 13, 2012

When I was 8, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a girl who looked exactly like me. The only difference was she was wearing a white gown. We had the same length blonde hair, and she looked as though she was my age as well. She kept staring at me, and it looked as though she was trying to warn me of something. I now only see her as the way I look now; as I change, so does she. But now she only shows up in my dreams. What could she have wanted, and was she my doppelganger?

By anon302285 — On Nov 08, 2012

Something happened to me where my niece was hit and blamed my brother, but he was asleep in the other room.

By anon302284 — On Nov 08, 2012

When I first moved to the town I currently live in, I found that people would either beep or wave at me. I figured that there was someone with the same car as me in town.

Then there was a time I was walking down the road and a car kept driving past me with a couple who looked about my age. I didn't think anything about it until the sixth time they went by, slowly staring at me. I often find when I'm out around town some people give me kind of a queer look. After reading other peoples stories I have to believe that I'm somebody else's doppelganger.

By anon297368 — On Oct 15, 2012

This is pretty scary. I know someone who has this "thing" that follows her. I have not yet seen it, but other people can see it, and from what I heard, it wants to be her.

She lives in the US, and she was in another country, living at an old house, she thought that there was something behind her, so she took a picture, and saw the "thing". They say when ever you see "it", you're about to die. Well she did, but she came right back alive. Crazy, right? It talks to her kids and everything, but "it" doesn't look at them because something is wrong with its face, and they know it's not their real mother.

By anon288457 — On Aug 30, 2012

I'm a 29-year-old guy from The Philippines. This doppelganger incident has happened twice. The first time was a few years back at about 6 o'clock in the morning. My brother was working on his laundry when this other me walked by him and my brother asked him "are you going to used the restroom?" This doppelganger responded by saying "Yes" then went inside the restroom.

The laundry area was just a meter or two away from the restroom door and there's no way that my brother wouldn't have noticed anyone passing by, and our restroom has no window. He was confused as to why it had been an hour and no one came out of the restroom, so my brother knocked several times and was surprised to know that I was not there.

I worked in a call center here and since we're handling US-Based clients, my working hours are from 10 p.m.-7 a.m., so there's no way I could have been at home at 6 a.m. It was several months before my brother told me about it because he got frightened.

Another incident was when I was at the shower room about 7 p.m., when everyone in the house ran and were begging me to open the door. So I opened the door, and they told me that I was crying for help and called their names to help me but I was quietly enjoying my shower time so we were all terrified about what had happened.

By anon286632 — On Aug 21, 2012

The same thing happened to me and my family. My father saw me walking into the bathroom and to his surprise, he saw me again in my room. He asked me if I had gone to the bathroom, and I said no because I just woke up. The same thing happened to me. I saw my sister playing my keyboard with the computer off. I asked her if she was okay, and she just looked at me and no response from her. I was shocked to see her in the sala and when I looked back at my place, no one was there. Also my sister saw me smiling at her in the middle of the night. She was shocked at scared that I was still awake and smiling. She closed her eyes for a minute since she thought it was really me. Then, I came in the room. She was shocked because she saw me smiling at her, so how did I just get into the room?

My family has experienced this many times, but based on our experience, our doppelganger never talk. They can smile, move and walk, but they will never, ever talk to you even if you ask them whatever questions. So, we said that whenever we saw each other, and if we look creepy for doing weird stuff without responding, it's not us. It's our doppelganger.

I'm not forcing you to believe me, and you may think this is just a joke or storytelling, but this is true. So far, we're all good, and it's been a year since we last experienced the doppelganger.

By anon284429 — On Aug 10, 2012

My mom and younger sister saw someone sleeping in my room this morning. It's weird and creepy at the same time because I left home to meet my office-mates an hour or two before everyone else at home woke up. The same thing happened to me three or four years ago but nothing bad happened.

More than being scared and freaking out, I believe that God always looks after and protects me so I shouldn't be worried at all.

By anon283004 — On Aug 01, 2012

My husband's doppelganger visited me a few mornings ago. I was sleeping, after having had a very restless night worrying about my husband's safety. At 6 a.m., I was awaken by "him" standing next to my bed leaning over slightly and reaching towards me, whispering my name gently, in a "I regret having to wake you", tone. Very unsettling! I didn't see him in the flesh until 1 p.m. later that day and was assured he had not been home.

By anon279527 — On Jul 13, 2012

These are all fake stories created by people themselves. Why do they have to make this up? Are they all in a contest?

By pcb — On Jun 08, 2012

I was driving this morning in an area that we are thinking about buying a house in, and I saw a girl riding a bike alongside a girl I had never seen before. She looked exactly like me and wore the same type of clothes. Everyone in the car screamed because she looked exactly like me, but her hair was shorter, which was the same hairstyle that I want to get later this summer. She turned a corner and we followed to look at her again, but she was completely gone and so was the other girl.

Is this a bad sign that we shouldn't get the house, or that something bad will happen or is it just me in my future or a different dimension type thing? We drove all around the same area trying to find her, but she was gone. She didn't look evil or anything, but she was identical to me.

By anon269988 — On May 20, 2012

Wow. I'm kind of creeped out now. I don't want to meet my doppelganger.

By anon265314 — On May 01, 2012

What a spooky spin on something as simple as seeing someone who bears a resemblance to someone you already know!

By anon260652 — On Apr 11, 2012

When I was 16 or 17, my mom and I went to look at this new housing development by my grandpa's house. And when my mom and I walked into the model home, the lady said I looked familiar like she had seen me there before or somewhere. The only thing is that I lived at my grandpa's until I was 10 years old. The two places were less than a mile from each other.

By anon254271 — On Mar 12, 2012

I have a doppelganger. Everyone says they see me when I'm at school.

By yuki — On Oct 10, 2011

i want to see my doppelganger

By anon220033 — On Oct 05, 2011

to post 3 it sounds like an incubus.

By anon217578 — On Sep 26, 2011

When I was a young child, my mother said that she saw me in the house when I was outside playing with a friend and his mother. When I arrived home and told my mother to open the door, my mom said not to scare her like that again! I told my mother that I was just arriving and had never came home like she said. But I asked my mother to explain to me her experience.

She said she saw me walking by her in our hallway and heading toward my room. But when she called me by my name because it looked like me I just kept on walking. She said that when she saw me only half of me was illuminated and the other side was dark as if shadowed in. When she went to the room which I walked into she opened the door but I wasn't there.

Oddly enough, today I had a dream about some guy who was a con artist and I caught on to him but I wanted to know what he really wanted. Well, when I found out he wanted some people's information from work, I told him I was recording our meeting and I knew he was a con artist. He was a fat guy and as quickly as that, he took off his disguise and was a muscular man with shoulder length hair. He got away because I was trying to catch him.

So it was me and my friend and my sister in the house and my friend sees the muscular guy in-front of the house with an axe. I tried to dial 911 but he had intercepted the line. So I told my sister to use her cell but she wouldn't listen. The back door in the kitchen was open and I yelled to my friend to close it cause he might run around the house and come through there.

Then at some point, I talked to him and told him to leave us alone and he said he wanted what he originally wanted and I said I couldn't. So he quickly jumped over to me but there was a security door in front of me. So I quickly closed it but he managed to put his axe in-between the door and try to open it. I was holding the door because if he came in we were all going to die. I said Jesus help me he can't come in.

Then all of a sudden, the man in my dream said the "f" word and started to run, but I saw someone exactly like him chasing him with an axe and so I started to chase him too, and in my dream, I killed him.

By anon212190 — On Sep 05, 2011

Yesterday I went to a dollar store with my father and there was Halloween stuff out so we started looking around. There were old pictures that were hanging on the wall and we were looking through them and I found a picture that looked just like me! She had the same face, hairstyle and makeup! I got the picture and now I have it hanging in my house. My friends think it's very creepy but I think it's neat!

By anon180987 — On May 28, 2011

i have seen my doppelganger recently as i was taking a walk through a park with some soccer fields near my house. my little brother looks a lot like me, so at first i believed it was him, and begin to approach him to ask why he wasn't at work, but quickly realized that this guy didn't look similar to me, he looked exactly like me. his head was hanging low, not like he was depressed but almost in a predatory fashion, or like he was drunk, and he raised it to lock eyes with me then flashed me a grin that can only be described as psychotic, then turned and walked behind the cinder-block wall that separates the park from some shop buildings.

i was so shocked (and scared) i didn't even go after him until he had already had plenty of time to get away. never seen anything like it before, and hope to god i never do again.

By anon173474 — On May 07, 2011

wondering if anyone has thoughts of wrestling or fighting your doppelganger? this has been my deep fantasy all my life. Thoughts?

By anon170909 — On Apr 28, 2011

Do twins have doppelgangers?

By anon166307 — On Apr 07, 2011

a doppelganger is a bad omen. a doppelganger is when you see a complete opposite of yourself with gray skin and full black eyes. it is said if you see your doppelganger, death to you is imminent. there is almost no way to avoid death after you see your doppelganger, except being blessed many times and drenching yourself in holy water. a doppelganger is a very powerful dark spirit.

honestly, i would rather kill myself than see my own doppelganger. and only you can see the doppelganger.

By anon165661 — On Apr 05, 2011

whitewolf, that sounds like it was a negative spirit. Say, firmly, "In the name of Jesus, Go!"

By anon160688 — On Mar 16, 2011

Some 40 years ago when I was in college, my husband and I were at a concert when a woman who was seated several rows ahead stood and turned and looked right at me. She looked exactly like me. Even her hair, lipstick and nail polish were the same. He boyfriend stared at me in disbelief as my husband stared at her the same. Finally she turned and sat down.

About six months later, a friend told me that a woman moved in the house next door to him and she looked so much like me it freaked him out. I asked him where he lived and discovered he was renting out an apartment in the house next to were I grew up and my “lookalike" was renting the house I grew up in! I went over there and discovered her working in the yard. I introduced myself and told her that I was raised in the house she now lived in.

Her hair and makeup were the same and we were wearing the same clothes. She looked at me with a lot of mistrust and the feeling was uncomfortable. I never saw her again but over twenty years later we moved back to that same town, Lawrence, Kansas. One day a sales lady at a store I was in said, “Oh did you forget something?” When I replied that I just walked in, she said, “No you didn't. I just sold you some perfume a few minutes ago.” As we talked, she could not get over how much I looked like this lady who was a frequent customer.

Two more people told me the same basic thing on the same day. I cannot explain it, no matter how much I try. It just is what it is!

By anon150893 — On Feb 09, 2011

I've been told I have been seen in various locations in the state of Delaware, and at these times I was nowhere near those locations. Counting the number of times I was 'seen', either my doppelganger moves around quite often or there is more than one. I have been told at other times in my life, I have been seen in other parts of America when it would have been deemed impossible for me to be in those places.

As a child growing into adolescence, I had a recurring dream where I stood in a doorway and watched myself climb a pile of furniture and fall and look at me during that fall. And all of a sudden I am the 'me' falling and seeing myself standing in the doorway watching me fall. That dream always left me waking up breathing hard like I had run a few miles. I can't say that the dream was scary but it would leave me feeling like I was being watched for several days, but with a sense of comfort.

By anon146288 — On Jan 25, 2011

today, at my school i was stopped by several people who had said they have seen me at a show on monday. But i was hiking that day with minimal contact with anybody. I started to get freaked out when people i barely knew stopped to tell me they saw me at the show.

Then, later that day, i went on Facebook and my friend who lives in New Mexico took a picture of me at a restaurant, but i went straight home after my hike, and for that matter, how in the hell was he able to take that picture? the girl in the photo looks exactly like me. I don't know. Thought i would share my recent incident. Very creepy.

By anon145066 — On Jan 21, 2011

my experience with the doppelganger: I'm a college professor and my lecture was scheduled to start by 11:00am. it was already 10:50am and I still need to make a transparency copy of my lecture, and the photocopying machine is two buildings away from my office.

So i was almost running to go to the other building, when outside my office door I saw a co-professor walking towards the same direction where I am heading. since i am in a hurry i didn't bother to greet him. when i got to the other building, i saw again my co-professor and this time he was coming down from the second floor and he greeted me good morning. i was so shocked because there is no other way that he could get past me that fast. i can't think of a way how he could get to the second floor that fast when i was almost running to get there.

By anon144223 — On Jan 19, 2011

reply to number 2: are you sure that you have a doppelganger in the philippines? because i live there and when it was new years eve i said to my friend reyzel "come over" but it turns out that her doppelganger came. she says her name is sylvana. is your name sylvana?

By anon140753 — On Jan 08, 2011

well to the person that said libras are the opposite is totally wrong, that's gemini. they have the good and evil thing. also i have a look alike who lives in texas where my wife lives. I didn't believe her at all until i saw her yearbook pictures and damn. but I've never seen the dude, but I've seen a couple of look alikes.

By anon138651 — On Jan 02, 2011

My Dad committed suicide two years ago after his soulmate (my Mum) died suddenly. Yesterday my husband and i were walking along the riverbank in Warrandyte when i saw him. Same hair, facial features, physique and goatee. If my husband was not there would have been no proof to my story.

The sight of this man fishing took my breath away, and freaked the guy out because it stopped me in my tracks and I couldn't help but stare. I think i began to have a panic attack, it was so overwhelming. All I wanted to do was go and hug this stranger. I don't believe he was an evil twin, but nonetheless it did not bring me any comfort at all, just sadness all over again.

By anon135071 — On Dec 17, 2010

my father once saw my doppenganger. he was having a meal with his girlfriend when out of the window he saw somebody who looked exactly like me - same face, hair, dress sense, mannerisms.

We don't live in the same town so he was pleased to see me, and he rang me on my mobile to see if i wanted to join them. The girl outside picked up her mobile at the exact moment i answered mine, so he wouldn't believe me at first when i said i was nowhere near him! He was convinced it was me.

He's never seen her since, but i know she's been around at least once more because a friend of mine told me she had seen me in a place i couldn't possibly have been in at the time. Spooky.

By anon133946 — On Dec 13, 2010

I have been aware of my Doppelganger for quite some time now. I was first made aware of her by a male friend inquiring if I worked in Kansas. After assuring him I have never worked in Kansas, he then told me he was at a strip club and saw a woman that looked exactly like me. For almost a year I had several friends tell me the same thing (I live in Kansas City, Mo., so that particular club in Kansas was only about 20 minutes from my hometown).

It was at least four more years before I heard about her again. I worked for a comedy club and one of my co-workers asked me how I liked the concert. After telling her I had been home all weekend, she insisted I had been at the concert she went to. She later went through her camera and showed me a picture of who seemed to be me, at this concert.

Now she has appeared again, a little over three years later. My recent ex-boyfriend, whom I lived with for almost a year, claims he saw her at my work. He thought she was me and was about to approach her/me when he saw the real me out of the corner of his eye. The store was pretty crowded and by the time he got over the initial shock of what had just happened, she was nowhere to be seen. He is the only one who saw her and says that there was absolutely no difference. Her hair was the same cut/color/style as my own, her face and body were the same, everything, the same.

I do not know what any of this means other than the fact that she seems to appear about once every three or four years and started around the time I turned 18. People have told me that she does appear to be about two years younger than me, though. Pretty creepy to think that at one point tonight my doppelganger was no more than 30 feet from me. Not really sure what to make of it all.

By anon133679 — On Dec 11, 2010

wow I researched it after watching Vampire Diaries. I think I have a doppelganger but I also have supernatural abilities to feel dangerous presences around. Maybe that's my doppelganger. and for some reason when its dark downstairs at my house I feel many presences. I'm really mystified.

By anon131045 — On Nov 30, 2010

in 2002 i was living in montgomery tx. i was 16, i had just started dating my current husband. when my ex boyfriend started dating my doppelganger. my husband hung out with her a few times before we met. he said she even has the same voice am me, only he didn't feel safe around her.

i later found out that my double was living the same life as me, only backward. after we moved away to abilene, i haven't heard or seen any real evidence that she really existed. could she be a manifestation of negative energy that just appears to people who are important in my life, or could she be a real living breathing person who just looks, and speaks, and dresses exactly the ways I do?

By anon127886 — On Nov 17, 2010

i find this very interesting, not sure about it all but some of these stories sound really freaky. I just decided to look into it after watching vampire diaries, where it was mentioned a few times.

By anon127728 — On Nov 17, 2010

well that could be true, or you could be imagining it in your mind.

By anon124499 — On Nov 05, 2010

i believe in the supernatural as well and i always love to watch the movies to see the differences they have or don't and i heard of the doppelganger on a show and i believe in them but as someone above asked do we all have one and if so why do they end upbringing us bad luck? and i wonder how lincoln saw his as well if they don't have shadows or reflections?

By anon123278 — On Nov 01, 2010

I swear i saw my moms doppelganger in a shopping center close to where i live. i was with my uncle at the time and we both saw her. She was the spitting image of my mom (we actually thought it was my mom) so we walked up to her and started talking to her but then it clicked, it wasn't. We both were like what is going on here. After that i never saw her again. It was freaky!

By anon123207 — On Oct 31, 2010

does everyone have a doppelganger?

By anon122893 — On Oct 30, 2010

Totally a believer in the supernatural but curious as to how lincoln could have seen a doppelganger in his mirror when doppelgangers are said to not have a shadow or reflection?

By anon122349 — On Oct 27, 2010

I believe I have a doppelganger. My sister was upstairs in our house one evening talking on the phone to her friend, when all of a sudden I hear her yell, "get out!"

I walk to the bottom of the stairs and ask her who's she yelling at. She said you. Confused I said I was in the living room playing a game. She yelled no you wasn't you were just here trying to scare me like you always do. (I do try to scare her a lot!), and again I told her I was playing a game. Then we continued to argue.

The scariest thing about it was that she told me that I gave her an evil smile and I then walked downstairs.

My other sister told me that she saw me upstairs, while she was sleeping, getting something from off the ground around 8:00 am. I was already at school so that couldn't have been me.

I'm pretty sure I have a doppelganger.

By anon119004 — On Oct 16, 2010

I have been immersed in "Thriller" (film/video) for over a year. I decided to put this time and energy toward a conference presentation. Because, like most of the rest of the world, I have been captivated by the "zombie dance."

I decided to explore the relationships between that dance and the medieval "danse macabre." The idea of death as a dance seems so bizarre, but almost common. If you've seen "Thriller" you know that the Michael Jackson character undergoes several transformations. Of course, for many, the most memorable is the change into leader of the zombies.

For a long time, I took all this at face value (he became a zombie too) until I was reading Marina Warner's book on metamorphosis. She has a chapter on zombies and one on doppelgangers. As I read through this, it hit me like a ton of bricks! The dancing Michael Jackson character is actually, Michael Jackson's doppelganger, and a very clever one, at that. The dance is a distraction.

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on this.

By anon113356 — On Sep 24, 2010

My friend saw his, and he didn't understand what it was. He was very ill at the time, and I explained to him what it was, and if he didn't change his way of life he was likely to die. A few weeks later he was hospitalized with severe liver damage, but he made a speedy recovery and has now turned his life around, so I think it was a warning.

By anon108266 — On Sep 02, 2010

Okay, now I'm kind of scared.

Upon entering school once, I saw a replica of my teacher. I was walking towards the high school building, caught sight of him, and was watching him as he prepared to enter the office. As I stared (I didn't say hi because he's snobbish in the morning) he looked over his shoulder at me and I grinned at him.

I really wish I hadn't looked away because I think that he disappeared passing through the glass doors of that office.

When his class came I was surprised to see him in a plaid shirt, unlike the blue shirt I saw him wear an hour ago. I stood up and asked him why he changed his clothes, and he claimed not to have, for he didn't have any reason to, which got me thinking.

He didn't have any reason to enter the office, either, because the teacher's lounge was in the building I was making my way to. Can doppelgangers wear different clothing or was I just imagining the teacher I admire? He's short and lean -- not a very common body build around here.

By anon103180 — On Aug 11, 2010

During the years 1978 to 1995, I was very keen on marrying my next-door neighbor, Sandra, on Australia's Gold Coast. In the year 1995, I moved to Ballarat because my house was being eaten away by termites.

In February 2007, while doing volunteer work at the RSPCA of Ballarat, I was well and truly smitten by Elvira, from southwest Germany, who is a Sandra look-alike.

By anon96810 — On Jul 17, 2010

both my partner and my upstairs neighbor have seen my doppelganger in dreams, where in both cases they recognized me by my normal personality but were scared by the other "double" who tended to act completely differently, and instilled great fear and nightmares in them both. Is this just a coincidence? I have never seen her, and do not want to, either.

By temoring — On May 30, 2010

I do believe that there are various types of doppelgangers. Thank God that the only kind I have been in contact with is one that was a being from another realm, or universe. She could not see or hear me, but sensed me. I could see her, but could not converse with her. Kind of strange. Now ghosts and demons, those are a whole other issue.

By anon87501 — On May 30, 2010

I saw my daughter's doppelganger in my home. My son saw it as well, so I know it was real.

We know it was not my daughter, because I said "hello" to her, she turned and sort of looked right through both of us, but said nothing. Then as we went down the hallway, her room being at the end of the hall, my daughter was sitting in her room on her bed.

I went back into the living room, confused, and saw no one there. My son who had also spoken to the doppelganger, he called her "big head" jokingly, said he saw "both" of them as well. But this does not surprise me as I often have connections with the supernatural world. I'm not afraid of it, just curious.

By anon87106 — On May 28, 2010

they are real. you're just not going to see one anytime soon.

By anon86156 — On May 24, 2010

anon21824 that would be really scary. if i'd seen the stuff you've claimed to have seen i'd be scared, but i believe you because i think i've seen the grim reaper, but i could have been going crazy.

By anon83386 — On May 10, 2010

Yes, it's true: what you see is what you get, just be aware.

Do not welcome the sight (doppelganger) of yourself, and do not welcome the sight (doppelganger) of a friend. Warn your friend and keep a distance.

we should understand that these entities are a negative energy suppressed by our own rational output creating its own power to exist among us to charge you within the same energy that was created to create themselves.

Like the polarity of electricity, it can be consumed and reversed to end its own cycle. Although the cycle is reversed if oneself can overcome the negative and become more positive in one's own future.

By anon80722 — On Apr 28, 2010

My doppelganger has appeared off and on throughout my life. The most freaky one was when i was in fourth grade. I had a dentist appointment that day and didn't get to school until the day was half over.

It supposedly appeared to all my class and teacher who all said that I got up from my desk, walked to the door, actually said goodbye to the teacher (this is extra weird because I can find no accounts of a doppelganger ever speaking) and walked out the door.

The teacher followed but it had disappeared. When i got to school everyone asked my where i gone when i had not been there at all.

By vampirro — On Apr 01, 2010

I absolutely believe in horoscopes. Libra's sign is a two opposite human (twins in other words). I've read their description and said: "Libra is a symbol of twins, the one is evil and the one is good". Maybe, the twins live far away from each other, and the evil twin is still finding his/her good twins. just pray and seek for God's help.

By anon74107 — On Mar 31, 2010

The existence of a doppelganger implies a counterpart living in an alternate or parallel universe which may sometimes under extreme stress be visible to the observer.

Whether this double is perceived as good or evil may to some degree be dependent on the emotional state of the observer. in other words you are not going crazy. the doppelganger of captain smith of the titanic was seen in london in july l912 several months after the liner went down.

Either he was a ghost or a duplicate who was living in a reality where the liner did not go down.

By anon64562 — On Feb 08, 2010

my friend has her doppelganger. we find it very scary. can this doppelganger hurt her?

By anon64011 — On Feb 04, 2010

my doppelganger has anonymous, no strings attached sex quite often with strangers.

By anon60401 — On Jan 13, 2010

i saw my dead (ex) boyfriend when i was in london station with my friends last year. i was so freaked i fainted and had to go to the hospital in case i had a concussion. but i remember it. he was staring right at me, right at me, looking every inch the person i remember.

the only thing off was his expression and his eyes. his eyes were cloudy, like milk or something, and he looked like he was about to try and kill me. my friends said they didn't see anything. what the hell was it?

By anon56724 — On Dec 16, 2009

What happens if you see a doppelganger in a dream?

By anon55377 — On Dec 07, 2009

Dopplegangers are real, but I doubt that they are ghostly or evil or whatnot, just another person living life, looking exactly like you do. I've seen it with my eyes - I have pictures. :) My half sister is living in BC and her identical is living in Nova Scotia. Identical. They even had the same glasses.

By anon51917 — On Nov 10, 2009

I think you are all full of it. You are letting your imaginations run wild.

By anon51682 — On Nov 08, 2009

to #9: God is the great physician. she would be seeking help from a medical professional.

By anon49024 — On Oct 16, 2009

Could you and your doppelganger be connected spiritually, like when you sleep you can see what he sees?

By anon43274 — On Aug 27, 2009

To #8 (which I think is in response to #7):

Or they could go to a medical professional.

By anon42966 — On Aug 24, 2009

Well it's simple: ask Jesus to rid yourself of whatever troubles you, and it will be gone. all you have to do is trust in the Lord, for He sees all and protects all who believe in Him and walk in His ways.

By anon39410 — On Aug 01, 2009

I was watching TV the other night at about 2 am and felt a freezing spot on my right shoulder. I saw something go by in the corner of my eye so I turned my head to my left shoulder and I saw a figure that looked exactly like my husband but he was see-through (like a bubble) walking down the hallway to our bedroom where my husband was sleeping. I screamed and ran to my bedroom and my husband jumped up. I told him that I saw him in the living room. I said I am worried that he was going to die. I asked him if he had been taking his blood pressure meds.(because he doesn't sometimes) and he didn't answer. He finally said that he hadn't been taking the meds. He said that he wasn't sleeping when he heard me scream because his heart was racing and he couldn't sleep. I am so worried about him. He is only 43. We have 2 little girls and I am so worried that I saw his ghost. What does this mean? Most women in my family have a sixth sense and I have predicted many events that have come true. I can read people pretty well. I am getting his meds. refilled on Monday. Please help me figure this out! Anyone else ever had this happen?

By namron — On Jul 15, 2009

i beleve you anon36747 because I've seen my frends one and I've been trying to find out about them because it scares the crap out of us

By anon36747 — On Jul 14, 2009

Er, this may sound far-fetched, but I swear on everything on my life that I saw myself and wasn't a reflection. It was a few years back and I remember it clearly. I was asleep, and then I shifted so I would be laying to see the edge of my bed. There is was, kneeling, waiting. I think it was a doppelganger. But, it wasn't exactly like me. That's the problem. It was me, but the difference was, the doppelgangers mouth was sewn together. I sreamed and hid in my blanket. I heard my family coming and I took some confidence to glance out of my blanket. It was gone. But I know it wasn't fake nor was I dreaming. It was too real. No one believed me, but my dad talked to me about it. He said it was my shadow leaving me and it wasn't a good thing. He laughed and walked away.

That was the only time I saw one. It never came back.

By namron — On Jun 21, 2009

my friend has told me he has a doppelganger but i saw it last night. it was standing over me giving me a scary look. i know it was not my friend because he had gone outside for a smoke. it is giving him and his partner a lot of trouble. is there any way to get rid of it or deal with it? please tell me.

By whitewolf — On Mar 01, 2009

can a doppelganger actually be unseen, but felt? i ask this because last night i felt some one climb over me to get into my bed, i live alone by the way and i could feel this arm over me and feel it's breath on my neck,and the hairs stood up on my neck and arms. Well to say the least i slept in the front room om my love seat, not very comfortable but better than my room at the time. can they{doppelgangers} do that?

By anon21824 — On Nov 22, 2008

I've got a doppelganger and it appears in flesh. My friends say that they been seeing my often in the Philippines when my like tens of thousands of miles away from them. In england, my classmates said that they saw me in the toilet washing my hands at lunchtime when I'm always at the basketball courts. Weird but nothing dangerous happens to me. Maybe it's an evil twin.

Niki Foster

Niki Foster


In addition to her role as a WiseGEEK editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual topics in...

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