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Doppelgangers

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 41

Doppelgänger, meaning “double-goer” in German was popularized in Gothic fiction as an evil alter ego, or a harbinger of death and bad luck; however, this entity has been reported around the world for centuries. In Ancient Egypt, this type of haunting was known was a ka; the Norse referred to it as a vardøger; the Finnish as an etiäinen; the Bretons, Cornish and Norman-French all referred to it as an Ankou.

John Donne encountered the doppelgänger of his wife in Paris the night before she gave birth to their stillborn daughter--on the Isle of Wight.

A Mrs. Jane Williams saw Percy Bysshe Shelley’s doppelgänger walking across her terrace on 15 June 1822, though he was not staying at her house. Shelley told his wife, the authoress Mary Shelley, of seeing this own doppelgänger on June 23 after a nightmare in which he witnessed the house collapse during a flood – he would drown on July 8, 1822, in the Bay of Spezia.

Then there is the mysterious case of Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon as he walked through his drawing room in Eaton Square on 22 June 1893. He did so without speaking to anyone during his wife’s party. However, Vice-Admiral Tyron was on the HMS Victoria off the cost of Syria at the time. It was later determined that Mrs. Tyron and her guests had witnessed her husband’s doppelgänger as his ship ran into the HMS Camperdown – a navel disaster which occurred after the Vice-Admiral gave orders directing the HMS Victoria to turn into the path of the HMS Camperdown. Vice-Admiral Tryon drowned when the HMS Victoria capsized and sank.

In June, 2008, a family in New England (USA) had just returned home from the shops around 10:30 AM. Their two youngest children wished to remain outdoors to play a game of hide-and-seek. The twelve year old boy was instructed not to leave the garden, and to return inside by 1:00 PM with his seven year old sister. The seven year old girl hid first. The boy looked for his sister and found her three times, each time she was wearing different clothing; however, each time she also failed to respond to her name and disappeared before he could touch her. Terrified and desperate, he ran into the house to alert his parents, only to find them watching television with his sister. The seven year old had bored of the game after a few minutes and had gone back inside the house two hours prior to the boy’s panicked return.

In March, 2011, laboratory techs were working on test when a third, well-known co-worker brushed past them without speaking, walked into a storage closet at the far end of the room, and did not come out. As this was a closed laboratory and no one else was scheduled to be in, the workers were concerned. They opened the storage closet and found no one there. Befuddled, they contacted their co-worker who had been working at an off-site facility all day – in front of several hundred witnesses.

Ghost, Spiritual Or Historic Stories For Pubs And Restaurants