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Published by: api-3756065 on Oct 15, 2008
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There is an "umlaut"
over the a, which I
don't know how to
bring about in the
text format. Please
write back, if anyone
knows more on this
phenomenon. What I
have read sbout this
in the internet is not

Mar 5 (4 days ago)
A doppelg\u00e4nger or fetch is the ghostly double of a living person, a sinister form of
In the vernacular, "Doppelg\u00e4nger" has come to refer (as in German) to any double
or look-alike of a person\u2014most commonly an "evil twin".

The word is also used to describe the sensation of having glimpsed oneself in
peripheral vision, in a position where there is no chance that it could have been a

They are generally regarded as harbingers of bad luck. In some traditions, a
doppelg\u00e4nger seen by a person's friends or relatives portends illness or danger,
while seeing one's own doppelg\u00e4nger is an omen of death. In Norse mythology, a
vard\u00f8gr is a ghostly double who precedes a living person and is seen performing
their actions in advance.

The doppelg\u00e4ngers of folklore cast no shadow, and have no reflection in a mirror
or in water. They are supposed to provide advice to the person they shadow, but
this advice can be misleading or malicious. They can also, in rare instances, plant
ideas in their victim's mind or appear before friends and relatives, causing
confusion. In many cases once someone has viewed his own doppelg\u00e4nger he is
doomed to be haunted by images of his ghostly counterpart.

Other folklore says that when a person's doppelg\u00e4nger is seen, the person
him/herself will die shortly. It is considered unwise to try to communicate with a

Mar 6 (3 days ago)
Thank you Alicia. But do they exist or are they only mythological/figments of
somebody's imaginations??
Mar 6 (3 days ago)
Famous reports
Percy Bysshe Shelley

On 8 July 1822, Percy Bysshe Shelley, English atheist and poet, drowned in the
Bay of Spezia near Lerici. On 15 August, while staying at Pisa, Mary Shelley wrote
a letter to Maria Gisborne in which she relayed Percy's claims to her that he had
met his own doppelg\u00e4nger. A week after Mary's nearly fatal miscarriage, in the
early hours of 23 June, Percy had had a nightmare about the house collapsing in a
flood, and

... talking it over the next morning he told me that he had had many visions lately \u2014 he had seen the figure of himself which met him as he walked on the terrace & said to him \u2014 "How long do you mean to be content" \u2014 No very terrific words & certainly not prophetic of what has occurred. But Shelley had often seen these figures when ill; but the strangest thing is that Mrs W[illiams] saw him. Now Jane though a woman of sensibility, has not much imagination & is not in the slightest degree nervous \u2014 neither in dreams or otherwise. She was standing one day, the day before I was taken ill, [15 June] at a window that looked on the Terrace with Trelawny \u2014 it was day \u2014 she saw as she thought Shelley pass by the window, as he often was then, without a coat or jacket \u2014 he passed again \u2014 now as he

passed both times the same way \u2014 and as from the side towards which he went
each time there was no way to get back except past the window again (except
over a wall twenty feet from the ground) she was struck at seeing him pass twice
thus & looked out & seeing him no more she cried \u2014 "Good God can Shelley have
leapt from the wall? Where can he be gone?" Shelley, said Trelawny \u2014 "No Shelley
has past \u2014 What do you mean?" Trelawny says that she trembled exceedingly
when she heard this & it proved indeed that Shelley had never been on the terrace
& was far off at the time she saw him.[1]

Mar 6 (3 days ago)
John Donne

Izaak Walton claimed that John Donne, the English metaphysical poet, saw his wife's doppelg\u00e4nger in 1612 in Paris, on the same night as the stillbirth of his daughter.

Two days after their arrival there, Mr. Donne was left alone, in that room in which
Sir Robert, and he, and some other friends had dined together. To this place Sir
Robert return'd within half an hour; and, as he left, so he found Mr. Donne alone;
but, in such Extasie, and so alter'd as to his looks, as amaz'd Sir Robert to behold
him: insomuch that he earnestly desired Mr. Donne to declare what had befaln him
in the short time of his absence? to which, Mr. Donne was not able to make a
present answer: but, after a long and perplext pause, did at last say, I have seen a
dreadful Vision since I saw you: I have seen my dear wife pass twice by me
through this room, with her hair hanging about her shoulders, and a dead child in
her arms: this, I have seen since I saw you. To which, Sir Robert reply'd; Sure Sir,
you have slept since I saw you; and, this is the result of some melancholy dream,
which I desire you to forget, for you are now awake. To which Mr. Donnes reply
was: I cannot be surer that I now live, then that I have not slept since I saw you:
and am, as sure, that at her second appearing, she stopt, and look'd me in the
face, and vanisht.[2]

This account first appears in the edition of Life of Dr John Donne published in
1675, and is attributed to "a Person of Honour... told with such circumstances, and
such asseveration, that... I verily believe he that told it me, did himself believe it
to be true." At the time Donne was indeed extremely worried about his pregnant
wife, and was going through severe illness himself. However, R. C. Bald points out
that Walton's account "is riddled with inaccuracies. He says that Donne crossed
from London to Paris with the Drurys in twelve days, and that the vision occurred
two days later; the servant sent to London to make inquiries found Mrs Donne still
confined to her bed in Drury House.

Mar 6 (3 days ago)
Abraham Lincoln

A queer dream or illusion had haunted Lincoln at times through the winter. On the
evening of his election he had thrown himself on one of the haircloth sofas at
home, just after the first telegrams of November 6 had told him he was elected
President, and looking into a bureau mirror across the room he saw himself full
length, but with two faces.
It bothered him; he got up; the illusion vanished; but when he lay down again
there in the glass again were two faces, one paler than the other. He got up again,
mixed in the election excitement, forgot about it; but it came back, and haunted
him. He told his wife about it; she worried too.
A few days later he tried it once more and the illusion of the two faces again
registered to his eyes. But that was the last; the ghost since then wouldn't come
back, he told his wife, who said it was a sign he would be elected to a second
term, and the death pallor of one face meant he wouldn't live through his second

This is adapted from Washington in Lincoln's Time (1895) by Noah Brooks, who
claimed that he had heard it from Lincoln himself on 9 November 1864, at the time
of his re-election, and that he had printed an account "directly after." He also
claimed that the story was confirmed by Mary Todd Lincoln, and partially confirmed
by Private Secretary John Hay (who thought it dated from Lincoln's nomination,
not his election). Brooks's version is as follows (in Lincoln's own words):

It was just after my election in 1860, when the news had been coming in thick and
fast all day and there had been a great "hurrah, boys," so that I was well tired out,

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