Doppelgangers were thought to be an omen of death or bad fortune. If you see a being that looks like you, doom awaits!
The name has evolved to mean a lookalike, usually supernatural or unexplained. There are many stories that feature Doppelgangers, whether ghostly, clones, mirrors come-to-life, robot duplicates, or just completely unexplained. The short “true” stories online will sometimes feature a doppelganger sighting, and oh my Lord, is it creepy.
Especially if the lookalike is behaving in an odd way, and is impossible for people to catch up with or talk to, it's unsettling and chilling in that wonderful way.
There are a couple of Twilight Zone episodes that use them. My favorite is probably “Mirror Image”, where the phenomenon is still unexplained in the end.
Of course, duplicates of ourselves are used in science fiction and are very much mainstream these days, with all the Multiverse shenanigans we've got going on. It's a trope in non-horror, non sci-fi stuff as well, with the Prince and Pauper/Man in the Iron Mask stories, and The Parent Trap - although if the twins are actually related, it doesn't really count. Twins who are unrelated strangers - that counts. Someone with a long-lost identical relative might see them and THINK they're seeing a doppelganger, but it turns out not to be to case. Still a neat story though.
I saw my own doppelganger in a bar one time. People were pointing it out to me (and probably to him). I didn't talk to him, though. Didn't know what to say (and I didn't want to die… or destroy the Universe).
We'll be talking about Doppelgangers on the next Quackcast, coming Tuesday - I'm looking forward to a fun, creepy sinister conversation! Or a fun conversation about a topic that can be creepy and sinister!
Read and contribute to the Doppelgangers forum thread:
See you next time!
Wait…is…is that you…?
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Banes at 12:00AM, Nov. 24, 2022
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