There are reports from all over the world of people seeing their double (or one of a friend/family member). Some of these are taken as accounts of bi-location where the person is in two places at once, often completely unaware. Then there are cases of crisis apparitions where, in times of mortal peril, a living loved one appears bringing with them a sense of calm.
Traditionally only the person can see their double, which is said to be a sign of impending death but in cases of it being seen by a friend or family member it means danger and bad luck will follow.
But lets be honest, its the darker side of this phenomenon that we’re interested in, right? Stories that practitioners of the dark arts would purposely create spectral versions of themselves, with the ability to act independently, to carry out unspeakable tasks. Its this “intelligence” that scares me the most, a manifestation of our darker side who, in some cultures is set on bringing out our untimely death so that they can step into our shoes. They haunt their flesh counterpart, pushing them to the edge of sanity. Often taunting them until there is only one way out. Edgar Allan Poe’s William Wilson, in an attempted to rid himself of his Doppelganger, stabbed himself to death.
The English poet Percy Bysshe Sheely once saw his Doppelganger in Italy. The ghostly double gestured towards the sea. Shortly after this in 1822 Shelly died in a sailing accident in the Mediterranean. Similarly prior to the death of Queen Elizabeth I she reported seeing her double laid out on her bed.
Without using the term Doppelganger the phenomenon is still referenced in modern culture. My most recent glimpse of this was in the hit show LOST where we see a yet unidentified evil taking on the form of the character John Lock in an attempt to mislead and bring about the downfall of the shows mysterious Jacob.
So what is the correct response to seeing your double? Beheading could lead you to legal problems if it turns out to just be someone who looks like you. But with how we are as people now the response would probably to pose in a photo with them and upload it to facebook!
If you have seen your double, a darker version of yourself which haunts you to the point of distraction then just make sure you submit your encounters to http://www.paranormal.ie