Written by: Hunter Shea, author of Sinister Entity and The Graveyard Speaks
Now there’s a paranormal phenomenon that doesn’t get much play, even in the over saturated world of Para-TV. Is it just too strange for people to get their heads around? Or is it too terrifying to consider that they are real.
A doppelganger is a person’s paranormal double. The word itself comes from Germany and translates to Double Walker. Many people throughout history have had encounters with either their own doppelganger or someone else’s that couldn’t possibly be in a particular time and place. Plenty of famous folks have had a doppelganger experience, from Mark Twain to Percy Shelley and even Abraham Lincoln.
Here’s a typical doppelganger experience: A woman in Oklahoma hears a knock at the front door. She’s surprised and thrilled to see her sister, who lives in New York, standing on her porch. She throws the door open. But something seems off. Her sister’s pallor is a little off and she’s not her usual talkative self. They spend the afternoon together until her sister abruptly says she has to leave. The woman is concerned, and calls her brother-in-law in New York to make sure nothing is wrong with her sister. His reply? “She’s never been better. Here, I’ll put her on the phone.” The phone slips from the woman’s hand. One week later, her brother-in-law rings her, this time with dire news. Her sister is dead, killed by drunk driver.
Believe it or not, these things happen.
Here’s why I think the topic will never reach the popularity of, say, Justin Beiber (deserved or not) or Twinkies. Doppelgangers, by and large, are death omens. If you see your own, the clock is ticking. If you see someone else’s, they’re looking death in the eye.
I came to learn about doppelgangers by attending a talk by famed ghost hunters/demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren in the mid-90’s (the upcoming movie The Conjuring will be out this year chronicling their brushes with ghosts and demons). That night, they talked about the case of a French Canadian potato farmer that was being plagued by his own doppelganger. This doppelganger had super human strength and even lifted a tractor over its head. I’ll never forget the haunting recording of the farmer as he described the terror he felt when faced with his doppelganger.
When I was looking for a subject for my next book, I knew I had to dive head first into the world of the doppelganger. There’s surprisingly little information out there. Even paranormal geeks tend to avoid the subject. The fact that they come and go, never to return, makes it difficult to investigate. Hard evidence, even soft evidence, is hard to come by.
As a writer, I create doppelgangers all the time. Characters possess parts of me and other people I know. There’s a character in one of my books that’s basically all me. Man, did I put that guy through hell. It’s one thing to create them on the page, another to see one sitting before you with a blank, unfathomable gaze.
Damn, they’re creepy! My latest novel, Sinister Entity, pits 19 year-old badass and ‘EB (for Energy Beings) Hunter’ Jessica Backman against the doppelganger of a teenage girl. Her double walker comes out of closets, watches her while she sleeps and even travels about the town. Jessica has to find out what it wants and hope that it doesn’t mean the girl is marked for death.
Pray you never meet your own