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Do We Really Know What It Is

The traditional and widespread definition of doppelganger is that it is a spirit that manifests in the exact likeness of a living person. If this person witnesses his double it is believed misfortune will soon follow. But do we really know what a doppelganger is? We might be completely wrong to define it this way. Instead, it may be a completely misunderstood phenomena that doesn't really mean harm.

While there have been a number of times that someone has mentioned seeing their mirror image, and recognized it as a spirit, no one really knows what the true reason is for the apparition appearing.

Later, if something terrible happened, folks quickly jumped to the conclusion that the doppelganger brought about the misfortune, often in the form of death.

As an example, Percy Bysshe Shelley, the renowned poet, was said to have seen his doppelganger. The accounts are a bit mixed as some say it spoke to Shelley and others say it merely pointed to the sea. Later, when the boat he was in capsized and he drowned, it was mentioned that he had seen his counter spirit and the connection was quickly made that the superstition was true.

But there are also several accounts of people being visited by their doppelganger and nothing evil happens at all.

Another famous encounter was by the German writer Johann Wolfgang van Goethe. He recounts that while riding he encountered his double riding towards him in a gold trimmed suit. Eight years later he found himself upon that same road dressed in an identical suit riding in the same direction as his double had many years before.

This encounter is considered as more of a portent and van Goethe spoke of it as a positive experience and not something evil. Certainly no harm came to him because of it.

Is it possible that we have misinterpreted these manifestations? That instead of being the harbingers of evil they are instead something completely different?

There is a story sent to us by one of our readers that seems to fit the doppelganger definition, though she has never seen the apparition herself, the outcome is one of joy rather than misfortune. Is She My Mirror Spirit?

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