Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Doppelganger - Does Everyone Have a Ghostly Double?

Are you Sophie Robehmed's doppelganger? She wants to find you!

DOPPELGÄNGER

Noun. Also doppelganger. Mid-19th century.
[German, literally 'double-goer'.]

A supposed spectral likeness or double of a living person.

Historically, meeting your doppelganger has never been a good thing. Depending on which mythological tale you believe, meeting your spectral double has pretty much always been a portent of impending death. And that's not good. There are those, however, who are not just curious about meeting their ghostly double, but are actively engaged in a quest to do so.

One such doppelganger-hunter is Sophie Robehmed, who in 2011 started a campaign through social media to find hers, a search that attracted the attention of a number of major news outlets. It's easy to understand why her quest attracts such interest - the idea of a ghostly, malevolent or demonic version of oneself prowling the earth has been a staple of myth and legend for millennia, and remains to this day a recurring motif in horror movies. And, yes, the notion is decidedly unsettling.

Of course, maybe we shouldn't give too much heed to all the scary stories. Perhaps meeting your doppelganger would be an enriching (and markedly unsupernatural) experience, as it no doubt was for Neil Richardson and John Jemison, two men from the UK who you would swear were twins, had led bizarrely identical lives, but were completely unrelated (and neither of whom has died in mysterious circumstances since meeting). Nah! All this ghostly pish-posh is just waffle. With 7 billion of us swirling around the planet, some of are going to be creepily identical, right?

So, if you think you can help Sophie Robehmed in her rather cool mission to find her double, you can contact her by clicking here. And it'll be completely safe for all concerned to do so. Well ... I think it will ... umm ... although now that I think about it, how do I know that she's not the doppelganger, and this is just the forces of unearthly evil utilising social media to hunt their mortal prey? Wow. OK ... you decide ... I'm just saying that Lexicolatry bears no responsibility for omens of imminent death, bleeding walls, or other supernatural phenomena on account of doppelgangers. Phew.

Have you met your doppelganger?

Did you survive?

Do please leave your most duplicitous comments in the box below.

2 comments:

  1. Apparently they make a distinctive noise if they're coming toward you. It's called the Dopplerganger Effect.

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  2. I didn't but I had one unsettling experience once of thinking it might exist and living in the same city and having the same obstetrician I had (that's more unsettling than sharing the face ahahahahah). I never thought I could have one until one unsettling episode at a Doctor's Office - who was attending me during my second daughter's pregnancy. One day I went to consultation and the doctor had had - it seems - a L of a day. So when he entered the office and rushing to "get over with this" he told me: "Right, Mrs. - look at my chart - so far this is what, your fourth pregnancy supervised by me?" I was surprised but there was a sense of weirdness that was overwhelming ("what's the man talking about?").
    This was my second baby so who the L the man was talking about or to?!
    I said "No, doctor. This is my second baby. You weren't, even, my doctor during the first"
    He paused looked - really looked into me - said "right", called his assistant and said "doesn't Mrs Teresa looks exactly like Mrs what's-her-name?" and the assistant said "Yes. I'm always impressed when they come and remember the other one was here just days ago".
    I not only didn't want to know my whatsoever as I changed the Doctor. Not funny at all. But more worrying that knowing that some very prolific mother has my face (and some more, it seems argh) is to think that the doctor could follow my pregnancy thinking I was the other one.
    And no I was never curious. Even when the mad about the doctor settled. Handling one of me is enough for a Lifetime ahahahah
    I don't think I perceive faces the same way other people do. I don't know if I'm distracted or what but I tend to not notice - immediately as some like/prefer/demand - of changes and nuances in the looks. When someone grows a mustache or cuts the hair - in a normal fashion - I take some time to realize it. Which has given me some problems as some people who live on the importance of change don't (can't) believe I really didn't noticed.
    Take Care,
    Teresa

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