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Doppelgangers and the Mythology of Spirit Doubles

Doppelgangers and the Mythology of Spirit Doubles 90

By April Holloway, www.ancient-origins.net

The mythology of spirit doubles can be traced back thousands of years and was present in many cultures of the past, holding a prominent place in ancient legends, stories, artworks, and in books by various authors. Perhaps the most well-known reference to spirit doubles or ‘alter egos’ is the doppelgänger, a word still used today to refer to a person that is physically or behaviourally similar to another person.

Doppelgänger is a German word meaning “double goer” and it refers to a wraith or apparition that casts no shadows and is a replica or double of a living person. They were generally considered as omens of bad luck or even signs of impending death – a doppelgänger seen by a person’s relative or friend was said to signify that illness or danger would befall that person, while seeing one’s own doppelgänger was said to be an omen of death.

Some accounts of doppelgängers, sometimes called the ‘evil twin’ suggests that they might attempt to provide advice to the person they shadow, but that this advice can be misleading or malicious. They may also attempt to plant sinister ideas in their victim’s mind or cause them great confusion. For this reason, people were advised to avoid communicating with their own doppelgänger at all costs.

One of the most famous depictions of doppelgängers comes from the 1851 sketch and 1864 watercolour called ‘How They Met Themselves’ by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. According to interpretation, two medieval lovers are walking through the woods at twilight when they encounter their doubles who glow supernaturally.  The man draws his sword in astonishment, while his lover appears to collapse in a deathly swoon. Doppelganger imagery occurred in poems Rossetti admired such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s The Romaunt of Margaret and Poe’s Silence.

Doppelgangers and the Mythology of Spirit Doubles 91
“How They Met Themselves,” the watercolor version, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

While Doppelgänger cases are said to be works of fiction, there are a number of real-life cases in which individuals claim to have met their sinister duo. Among the most noteworthy is Abraham Lincoln’s experience, as chronicled by Noah Brooks in his book Washington in Lincoln’s Time (1895). According to his account, soon after Lincoln was elected in 1860, he arrived home one day and looked into the bureau mirror where he saw himself reflected in double. Lincoln said, “…nearly at full length; but my face had two separate and distinct images.” Lincoln noticed that although the images were nearly identical, one was “a little paler—say five shades—than the other”. His wife was said to be very worried and told Lincoln she believed that the paleness of half the dual image was a bad omen, which meant that Lincoln would serve his first full term, but would not live to finish his second.

The subject of the double has a long history, particularly in literature. In Greek mythology Narcissus falls in love with his reflection, and in Gothic tales such as Edgar Allan Poe’s William Wilson (1839), James Hogg’s Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), Elizabeth Gaskell’s The Poor Clare (1856) and even Hans Christian Andersen’s lesser-read fairy-tale The Shadow, characters are haunted and followed by their often malevolent likenesses. However, the mythology of spirit doubles have far more ancient origins.

One of the earliest references may be in the Zurvanite branch of Zoroastrianism. This sect distilled the general abstract duality of Zoroastrianism into a concept of manifest twins “born” of a monist “Time.” In this cosmological model, the twins Ahura Mazda (Ormuzd) and Angra Mainyu (Ahriman) were co-eternal representatives of good and evil.

Doppelgangers and the Mythology of Spirit Doubles 92
Investiture of Sassanid emperor Shapur II (C) with Mithra (L) and Ahura Mazda, ‘the good twin’ (R) at Taq-e Bostan, Iran. (Wikimedia Commons)

In Ancient Egyptian mythology, a ‘ka’ was a tangible “spirit double” having the same memories and feelings as the person to whom the counterpart belongs. In one Egyptian myth entitled, The Greek Princess, an Egyptian view of the Trojan War, a ka of Helen was used to mislead Paris of Troy, helping to stop the war.

Norse folklore describes entities known as vardøger, ghostly beings that preceded their living counterparts, taking their places at various activities and performing their actions in advance. The spirit with the subject’s footsteps, voice, scent, or appearance and overall demeanour precedes them in a location or activity, resulting in witnesses believing they’ve seen or heard the actual person before the person physically arrives. This bears a subtle difference from a doppelgänger, with a less sinister connotation.

People from the Orkney Islands in Scotland feared small, fairy-like creatures called “trows”. According to legend, trows would give birth to children who were apt to be sickly. Pregnant women were carefully guarded from the trows who would often steal healthy human babies and replace them with their own children, known as ‘changelings’, who would transform into exact replicas of the stolen children.

Many Native American creation myths likewise provide for the role of dualistic twins. Hopi legends refer to the twins who were called the Child of the Sun and the Child of the Water. The Hopi also believe in duality between the Upper World and the Underworld: that whatever is happening here in the Upper World, the opposite is happening in the Underworld.

So where did belief in spirit doubles come from and is there any real truth to them? While many today still believe in the existence of a double self, some scientists believe the phenomenon occurs based on injuries or stimulation to certain parts of the brain which cause errors in spatial reasoning. Others believe it is the result of a vision, hallucination, or that we live in a parallel universe in which everything in this world in replicated in another dimension.  Whatever the real truth behind doppelgangers, belief in the spirit double has instilled both fear and wonder in people for thousands of years.

Article republished with permission from Ancient Origins. Read the original.

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Paranormal

People of the shadow: what do the mysterious shadow creatures want from us

People of the shadow: what do the mysterious shadow creatures want from us 105

Shadow creatures are neither ghosts nor people, and we know these creatures as shadow people. It seems that the “shadow” know about our location and want us to feel fear or even panic in their presence.

People-shadows or shadow people are paranormal dark barely visible silhouettes known to mystics for a long time. They look like dark humanoid creatures or barely noticeable ghosts, often seen only with peripheral vision. Witnesses claim that shadow people only catch a few seconds, eyewitnesses also say that they looked into the eyes of shadow people and their eyes shone with a red light, like demons.

Shadow people can take different shapes and sizes: look like full-fledged people or even like animals. But most often these are thin tall strange figures. Be that as it may, they appear only for a moment, quickly evaporating into the air. Unfortunately, they can harm humans, which was proven in 2013.

The video posted on the web had confirmation of the existence of a shadow man who was visible for over a minute! An unknown silhouette knocks down a man walking down the corridor and drags him across the floor for several seconds. After some time, it also suddenly disappears, releasing the person. As it became known, the building where the striking phenomenon was filmed has complaints from tenants who more than once meet paranormal events in their home.

There are very few known cases though of adverse events caused by shadow people. In most cases, they appear or disappear as soon as they are found.

Shadow creatures can be spotted out of the corner of your eye. Some people who saw them or knew about their presence say that they are alien creatures, slipping in and out of our field of vision. In the eyewitness accounts, the observation of the recurrence of shadow manifestations is especially often mentioned.

People of the shadow: what do the mysterious shadow creatures want from us

Whether they are an elusive race that has always coexisted with us is an interesting theory suggesting that these creatures are frequent guests in our lives.

Paranormal researchers consider shadow people to be malevolent supernatural entities. Perhaps shadow people will not cause physical pain, but they can affect you emotionally, for example, cause fear – this gives them energy.

Skeptics and scientists believe that shadow people are optical illusions or hallucinations that appear under the influence of drugs or physiological changes in the body. When the left temporo-parietal brain is stimulated, these strange images are created.

Often the appearance of these shadows is inextricably linked with sleep paralysis, when a person is, as it were, between sleep and reality. Scientifically, this is called hypnogogy. Hypnogogia is called “the phenomenon of the face in the dark” for such hallucinations.

All eyewitnesses, regardless of where they live, talk about the same sensations in the presence of shadow creatures. Fear is a cold feeling that overcomes a person at this moment.

People of the shadow: what do the mysterious shadow creatures want from us

Some people say they even saw the eerie red eyes of these dark personalities that momentarily appear anywhere and demonstrate the ability to walk on the walls of enclosed spaces, which defies the general laws of physics.

Whoever they are, they feed on human energy, emit bad vibrations and give negative emotions. We do not know how they got into our dimension, about the purpose of their mission and how they affect the human essence. The main thing is to stop feeling fear in their presence and not to “feed” anyone with your precious energy.

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Paranormal

Ghost hunter told how to summon spirits

Ghost hunter told how to summon spirits 106

A ghost hunter explained how to summon ghosts and when is the best time to do it according to The Daily Star.

Jade Capasso explores hotels, inns, historical places to allegedly reveal the spirits and ghosts that are present in them. She shares her discoveries on the YouTube channel Ghost Club Paranormal. The girl is sure that you can also talk with spirits.

The 28-year-old ghost hunter is confident that you can talk to ghosts and spirits using a voice recorder. A particularly good time for this, according to her, is the eve of All Saints’ Day – Halloween.

 “I think there is more activity during Halloween. More people believe in the other world, ”she said.

She recalled that Halloween pumpkin is an invariable attribute and symbol of the holiday. People decorate their home with funny, scary, and sometimes even terrifying faces.

 “I’m sure there will be more sessions and many will use Ouija boards,” she says.

To connect with the “other world”, you can go to a famous haunted place, says Kapassa. She also recommends checking your home for ghosts.

To hear a ghost, the girl recommends using special equipment. 

After all, ghosts, she said, emit sounds at ultra-low frequencies that are not perceived by the human ear. You can hear them, as she notes, only on audio recordings.

The girl says that you need to leave the digital voice recorder in a room where paranormal activity is observed all night, or ask questions and wait for an answer.

“Ask questions, and who knows, you might hear a disembodied voice answering you,” says Jade.

According to her, there is no need to rush, because the spirits must be given enough time to respond.

“You probably won’t hear them in real time. But if you listen to the recording, you might hear someone from the underworld, ”she said.

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Paranormal

A photographer took a picture of an old house, but did not know that a woman lived there. No wonder – you can only see it in the photo

A photographer took a picture of an old house, but did not know that a woman lived there. No wonder - you can only see it in the photo 107

A Scottish resident took a photo of an abandoned building, and then could not believe his eyes when he looked at the finished photograph. From there the woman’s face was looking at him, but the man is sure: there was no one in the ruins of the house. Finding an explanation for what he saw was not easy.

A photographer from Scotland, who wished to remain anonymous, decided to arrange an unusual photo session, Unilad writes.

His choice fell on several abandoned buildings that are located in one of the parks in the North Ayrshire region. After taking a couple of pictures, he went to the studio to print them, and then looked at the finished result.

(Untitled)

The negative of one of the photographs of the photographer

Mysticism often happens in abandoned buildings , and the case with a man was no exception. In one photo, the Scotsman saw the ghostly silhouette of a woman looking at him from a window. However, the man assures that there was no one in the building, and he was alone in the ruins.

During the shooting, I did not feel anything unusual or anything otherworldly.

Despite the fact that the woman’s face looks intimidating, he is glad that he managed to capture it. Moreover, the hero of the story shared the frame with all friends who adore mysticism and riddles.

(Untitled)

Pay attention to the left window

I’m happy that I was able to capture something that looks like a ghost. I am even proud to be able to show photos to people who love riddles.

Many people, according to the photographer, are inclined to believe that this is a ghost, who love to talk to children so much, although the author of the picture himself is in no hurry to draw conclusions. He even looked at the frame under a microscope, but never came to the truth.

You can, of course, speculate, but the human brain makes us see familiar traits everywhere, especially if we look at them long enough.

(Untitled)

Moreover, the photographer, according to him, does not really believe in ghosts and other mystical phenomena.

I don’t like the term paranormal. As for ghosts, I don’t know if they exist. I don’t even know how to define them. What is it? Energy?

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