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Emilie Sagée was absolutely unconscious of what was happening and she only knew about the phenomenon because of the expression on the faces of the people who were there. It was by seeing their frightened faces, their eyes staring at something invisible which seemed to be moving near her, that she understood. But she had never, herself, seen her double; neither had she noticed the stiffness and slowing down of her movements when her double appeared.

Emilie Sagee Never Saw Her Doppelgänger

Everyone else did, though..

Emilie Sagee was a teacher and during lessons, sometimes, her doppelgänger would appear and frighten her pupils.

Sagee worked in an exclusive girls’ school. She was a very good teacher, but for some reason she kept moving from one job to another. In 16 years, she had changed positions an impressive 19 times.

In 1845, the school found out why.

One day when Emilie was in the school garden she looked through a window and noticed that the schoolmistress had left the class for a minute, and the girls were being noisy, suddenly, the girls were amazed to see Emilie sitting in the school teachers chair… while they could see real Emilie standing outside in the garden. One girl was brave enough to touch her and said that her flesh felt like muslin.

Mademoiselle Emilie Sagee, was a dedicated teacher working in France in the mid-19th century. Adored by her students, Sagee was constantly tortured by her doppelgänger in public. Her ghostly other would appear as she was giving class in open view of all of her students, who also saw the apparition. Her doppelgänger would stand at her side as she was lecturing and mimic her every move to the amazement of her students. From the classroom to the school grounds, her doppelgänger soon decided to go alone and was seen performing tasks on its own around the school. Some students would even try to interact with it but noticed that it was kind of ethereal.

This doppelgänger imitated the gestures of Emilie Sage by standing next to her, the her most striking appearance was made while the teacher was not in the room, but nevertheless visible to all At the same time in the gardens of the school. Emilie Sage declared that she had never seen her doppelgänger, but at each apparition she felt as if emptied of her strength.

You can’t be in two places at the same time. Or can you? Some believe that each of us has a “doppelganger”, an exact duplicate or ghostly twin that occasionally stalks its better half. This phenomenon is not seeing a ghost . If you see a ghost, you’ll see unknown dead person but a doppelgänger is a shadow of the living person and maybe it’s you or one your friends …

German for “double walker”, doppelgängers  (also called “Fetches”) rarely appear side-by-side with their counterpart but often conduct the same affairs as their counterpart including visiting and talking with family and friends. It is believed that the only time a doppelgänger appears with its counterpart is when a person is deathly ill or shortly before a person dies.

Doppelgängers differ only slightly from the related phenomena called “bilocation”. In instances of “bilocation”, a person can either spontaneously or willingly project his or her double, known as a “wraith,” to a remote location. This double is indistinguishable from the real person and can interact with others just as the real person would.

It is difficult to know whether or not Emilie Sagee double appeared far away from the pensionnat.  It could have, without being noticed.  At Neuwelcke, the pupils sometimes saw the double in the college itself, while Mlle Sagee – as everyone knew – had gone for a walk in the forest or in the neighbouring village…

According to legend, doppelgänger (German for “double-walker”) are paranormal duplicates of a real person. They can manifest in a number of ways: You can see them out of the corner of your eye, meet them on a lonely road somewhere, or, chillingly, see them standing behind you when looking in a mirror. Sometimes a doppelgänger can’t be seen by the person at all, but instead manifests to other people in a completely different location. It may even cooperate with the person, help them with tasks, or act as a surrogate body of sorts.

One of the most fascinating reports of a doppelgängercomes from American writer Robert Dale Owen who was told the story by Julie von Güldenstubbe, the second daughter of the Baron von Güldenstubbe. In 1845, when von Güldenstubbe was 13, she attended Pensionat von Neuwelcke, an exclusive girl’s school near Wolmar in what is now Latvia. One of her teachers was a 32-year-old French woman named Emilie Sagée. And although the school’s administration was quite pleased with Sagée’s performance, she soon became the object of rumour and odd speculation. Sagée, it seemed, had a double that would appear and disappear in full view of the students.

In the middle of the XIXth Century, in Livonia (Lettonia), between Riga and Volmar, there is a college for noble young ladies which is called the Pensionnat Neuwelcke.  The boarders belong to the greatest Livonian families, and the Director, Mr Buch, flatters himself that he has in his establishment, among others, the second daughter of Baron Guldenstubbe, the charming and very intelligent Julie, aged thirteen.

In 1845, Mr Buch engages a French teacher, Mademoiselle Emilie Sagee.  She is a pretty Bourguignon, born in Dijon, blonde with light eyes and an amiable character.  She is thirty-two.  Intelligent, cultured, she soon conquers the Director’s esteem, her colleagues’ friendship and her pupils’ affection.

Strange rumours, however, run through the Pensionnat about the new teacher.  In fact, several times, certain pupils have noticed that they disagree on an apparently insignificant detail:  the place where they have just met Mlle Sagee.  When one says that she has seen her in one part of the establishment, it is frequent that another assures having met her elsewhere at the same moment.

At first, the pupils believe that they are mistaken.  But as it continues to occur, they finish by finding the thing very strange.  To the point that they decide to speak about it to the other mistresses.

Sometimes a doppelgänger may be seen in one location when it is known the person was actually in another location. Other times, the doppelgänger may be seen with the person.

Emilie Sagee never saw her doppelgänger. Everyone else did, though.

Before teaching at the Pensionat von Neuwelcke School for girls in France (pictured above), Emilie Sagee had taught at eighteen different schools. Eighteen schools from which she had been fired because of the phenomena that accompanied her. This 32-year old school teacher and her ability of bilocation has become one of the most witnessed and documented cases of a Doppelgänger in recorded history.

The Newelcke boarding school, under the directorship of one Madame Buck was an institution dedicated to the betterment of the daughters of Russian nobility (which presumably involved a lot of embroidering and etiquette lessons), and although Mademoiselle Emilie Sagée had been dismissed from numerous prior positions, she was nonetheless in possession of glowing recommendations from her former employers, who no doubt scrupulously avoided the use of the term doppelganger or phantom double in their reference letters.  By all reports, she was “a blonde of pleasing appearance and engaging manners; of a slightly nervous temperament, but, to all appearances, enjoying perfect health.” Not long after assuming her duties shepherding the next generation of Russian princesses, rumours started to spread about rather odd encounters with Mlle. Sagée. “She was continually met with at various places at once, and as she could not give a satisfactory excuse for being at one place when her duties required her to be at another, she was suspected of sad misconduct.” While this could have been written off to simple misunderstandings and confusion about the timeline, Mlle. Sagée’s doppelgänger craved attention, clearly deciding a less inconclusive demonstration of its existence was in order.

Abraham Lincoln was known as “Honest Abe,” and as such was very open about his interest in the paranormal . . . at least in private discussions. According to the man himself, he also experienced some paranormal activity. On the night of his first election, he took a moment to rest on his couch one evening. While lying there, he happened to glance in a mirror and saw his own visage —except that he had two faces. A second Lincoln, pale and ghostly, was looking at him from the mirror, right next to his own face. Startled, he rose from the couch . . . and the doppelgänger disappeared. He sat back down, only to see it again. Lincoln was startled, but his wife Mary was downright terrified. She was convinced that the doppelgänger was bad news—a certain sign that Lincoln would be re-elected on a second term (possibly because two Lincolns equals two terms), but wouldn’t survive it (because the second Lincoln looked deathly). Lincoln went on to repeat the couch experiment every once in a while. He did manage to glimpse the doppelgänger one more time, but after that it stopped appearing. Maybe it had delivered its message, as Lincoln indeed didn’t make it through his second term. Or, you know, maybe someone just fixed the mirror.

One morning, a delegation goes to find the Arithmetic teacher and tells her that they are sure that Mlle Sagee is a strange person, because she is sometimes in two different places at the same time

The teacher bursts out laughing, shrugs her shoulders and declares that she has never heard anything quite so stupid, that these young ladies are really too imaginative and that they are making it all up…  After which, she sends the girls back to their studies…

But the anomalies in the French teacher’s comportment soon take on a character which excludes all possibility of error or fantasy.

One day when Mlle Sagee is giving a lesson to thirteen of her pupils, and is writing a sentence on the blackboard, the girls are suddenly very frightened to see two Mademoiselle Sagees one beside the other.

Riveted to their benches, they notice with growing stupor that, while the two people who are writing at the blackboard look exactly alike and are making the same gestures, only the real Emilie Sagee, a piece of chalk in her hand, is effectively writing.  Her double, with empty hand, is only imitating the movements that she is making while tracing the words.

This story is immediately spread, and causes a sensation among the other boarders.  The Director, informed of a strange incident which is supposed to have occurred during a French lesson, interrogates Mlle Sagee’s pupils.  But even though all of them, without exception, affirm having seen the second form and are perfectly in agreement on the description that they make of the phenomenon, Mr Buch, too, shrugs his shoulders…  He tells them that their story is foolish, that they were dreaming…  Perhaps they had been a bit tired at that particular moment.  There, there, we’ll say no more about it!

As Sagée was writing on the chalkboard while teaching her class, her double appeared, standing along side her mimicking her motions. It was her exact image except that it wasn’t holding a piece of chalk. On another occasion, all of the school’s 42 girls were in the school hall for sewing and embroidery class. As they worked, they could clearly see Sagée in the school’s garden gathering flowers. However, when the girl’s teacher left the room for a moment, Sagée’s Doppelgänger appeared, sitting motionless in the teacher’s chair. Two girls tried to touch the apparition but were met with an odd resistance and were unable to penetrate the air surrounding the entity. Yet, one girl, stepping between the teacher’s chair and the table, passed through the apparition, which then slowly vanished.

The pupils leave his study very disappointed about not succeeding in convincing him, for they are sure of their facts:  they really saw Mlle Sagee divide into two.

A little while later, a second incident comes to trouble the pensionnat.  It unfolds in a bedroom where a pupil, Antoinette de Vrangel, is dressing to go with a few friends to a local festival.  Mlle Sagee has come to help her, and is hooking up the back of her dress.  Suddenly, the young girl looks over her shoulder and sees two Emilie Sagees taking care of her.  She is so frightened that she faints.

This time, Mr Buch is worried.  He asks hinself if his boarders have not all gone mad.  He makes enquiries and learns with fearful astonishment that the pensionnat‘s domestics, too, have seen the French teacher split into two.  These peasant women explain to him that, from time to time, in the refectory, they see Mlle Sagee’s double standing behind her chair, while she is eating.  This double, they say, imitates all of her movements, but “without knife or fork, or food in its hands”…

Mr Buch is very troubled.  He becomes even more so a few days later when some teachers come to tell him, horrified, that they now believe in the ubiquity for they, too, have seen Mlle Sagee divide into two before their eyes…

And the phenomena continue.

The witnesses then notice that there can also be variations.  In certain cases, the double doesn’t imitate the movements of the real person.  It has a sort of existence of its own.  For example, it is seen to remain seated when Mlle Sagee rises.  Sometimes, the double’s independence is even clearer.  One evening, the French teacher is in bed with a heavy cold.  Antoinette de Vrangel has come to read to her to relieve her boredom.  Suddenly, she sees her pale and stiffen as if she is about to faint.  Frightened, she asks the teacher if she is feeling worse.  Mlle Sagee weakly denies it.

A few minutes later, the boarder happens to look over her shoulder and distinctly sees the patient’s double walking back and forth in the room…

On another occasion, whilst Mademoiselle Sagée was engaged in fastening the dress of one of the pupils, Mademoiselle de Wrangel, the terrified girl had beheld, in the mirror before which they stood, the reflections of three figures—that of herself, and of Mademoiselle Sagée; and a third—the double of the young Frenchwoman. In fact, these bilocations continued for such a length of time, and were of such frequent recurrence, that the household began to get, more or less, accustomed to them, and to treat them more unconcernedly

The doppelgänger, obviously miffed at being treated like the furniture, opted for ever more spectacular and inexplicable displays before increasing numbers of witnesses.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a famous German writer, poet, and politician. A celebrated author who played a large part in shaping the field of literature, his words were widely read and respected. One day, a depressed Goethe was riding on a footpath after leaving a girl named Frederika. Suddenly, he faced a mysterious person riding toward him. The person, who Goethe said he saw with a “mind’s eye” instead of his actual eyes, was clearly Goethe himself, although he was wearing different clothes. The figure soon disappeared, and Goethe (who found its appearance strangely soothing) soon forgot all about it. Eight years later, he found himself riding down the same footpath in the opposite direction (to see Frederika again). That’s when he realized he was wearing the exact same clothes his doppelgänger wore years ago.This was not the only doppelgänger Goethe saw. Another time, he saw his friend Friedrich walking on the street, wearing Goethe’s own dressing gown. Puzzled, Goethe went home . . . only to find Friedrich there, wearing the same gown Goethe had seen on the apparition. His friend had been surprised by the rain and borrowed the gown as his clothes dried.

At dinner, from time to time, the teacher’s double was seen standing behind her chair imitating her movements while the real Mlle. Sagée was eating, but the double used neither knife nor fork nor did she take any food into her hands. Pupils present at the meals and servants in attendance attested the truth of this phenomenon. Nevertheless it did not always happen that the double imitated the movements of the real person.  Sometimes when the latter would arise from her chair, the double would remain seated.

But here is the most remarkable case of the apparently independent activity of Mlle Sagee’s two forms.  One day, the pupils of the pensionnat, all forty-two of them, are gathered in the sewing room.

 All the pupils, to the number of forty-two, were assembled in the same room busy with embroidery. It was a large room on the ground floor of the principal building. It had four glass doors, which opened on to a large garden belonging to the school.

In the middle of this room was a long table around which the different classes gathered for their needlework. That day the young pupils were all seated about the table and could see very well what was going on in the garden. As they worked they saw Mlle. Sagée busy picking flowers not far from the house; it was one of her favourite pastimes.

At the upper end of the table another teacher was seated in a chair of green morocco. She was in charge of the class. At a given moment this lady left the room and the chair remained empty. But only for a short time, for the young girls saw in it, quite suddenly, the form of Mlle. Sagée.

Immediately they looked into the garden and saw her still there picking flowers, but her movements were slower now, like those of a person overcome by sleep or exhausted by fatigue. They looked again at the chair where the double was seated, silent and impassive, but with such an appearance of reality that if they had not seen Mlle. Sagée and if that they had not known that it was impossible for her to have entered the room unperceived, they would have believed it was she herself. But certain that they were not dealing with a real person, and more or less accustomed to these strange manifestations, two of the most venturesome pupils approached the chair and touching the apparition thought they felt a slight resistance, such as that occasioned by contact with any light material such as gauze or crepe. One even dared to pass in front of the chair and to go through part of the form, despite which, the apparition remained visible for a little while longer, then gradually faded away. The children observed at that instant that Mlle. Sagée was again gathering flowers with her customary vivacity. The forty-two pupils described this phenomenon in exactly the same way.

Catherine the Great, the powerful 18th-century Empress of Russia, was a powerful and dangerous figure. She was not fazed by small matters, such as seeing her own ghostly doppelgänger take over her throne. It is said that one night, Catherine was lying in her bed when worried servants told her they’d just seen her enter the throne room. When Catherine set out to investigate, she found her doppelgänger sitting calmly on the throne. Catherine immediately ordered her sentries to shoot at her ghostly counterpart. The stories don’t tell whether the bullet had any effect on the spectral Empress. However, Catherine herself died soon afterwards . . .

French writer Guy de Maupassant is known for what is perhaps the most intimate doppelgänger experience on record. Toward the end of his life, he is said to have regularly interacted with his doppelgänger. This eerie twin not only talked to him, but actually sat down and started dictating a short story to him. Yes, de Maupassant claimed that one of his last stories was literally ghostwritten—by his own ghost, no less. If that’s not chilling enough, don’t worry, it gets even better. The story the spirit allegedly dictated to de Maupassant was “The Horla,” an unnerving tale of a man whose sanity is slowly consumed by an evil spirit that uses him as a host. As if echoing the story, de Maupassant’s mental health started deteriorating soon after finishing it. In another version of the events, the doppelgänger did not dictate the book, as it disappeared when the terrified de Maupassant called his servant. However, the apparition returned a few months later. It entered the writer’s room, looking at him with a sad expression. Then it sat down and buried its face in its hands, as if in despair. Convinced that the doppelgänger brought news of disaster, the horrified de Maupassant’s life was downhill from there. He died in an insane asylum a year later.

A particularly odd aspect of the doppelgänger’s manifestation was that pretty much everybody could see it, except for the real Emile Sagée herself.

Emilie, had no consciousness of this doubling, but learned it only by hearsay. She never saw the Double, nor ever suspected the state into which she was plunged.

Curiously, whenever the  doppelgänger appeared, Mlle. Sagée, although unaware of its presence, seemed to suffer notable physical deterioration for the duration of the apparition, only recovering after it had shuffled off into whatever realm doppelgangers occupy when not harassing us.

In the case of Emilie Sagée, the girl was noticed to look pale and exhausted when the double was visible: “the more distinct the double and more material in appearance, the really material person was proportionately wearied, suffering and languid; when, on the contrary, the appearance of the double weakened, the patient was seen to recover strength.

These phenomena last for months, to Mr Buch’s despair.  He feared that this strange comportment might damage his establishment’s reputation.

His fears were justified.  Many parents, informed of what is happening, remove their children.  At the end of eighteen months, 30 of the 42 pupils have been withdrawn by their parents. The director then decides to fire Emilie. Before leaving, she confides to him that it is the nineteenth time that she is forced to leave a position, always for the same reason, since she began to teach at the age of 16.

Percy Bysshe Shelley was a brilliant poet in his own right, although he is mainly remembered as the husband of Mary Shelley (the author of Frankenstein). Although one would assume that Mary, the horror writer, would have been the one to see ghosts and monsters, it was in fact Percy who witnessed doppelgangers. Shortly before Percy drowned in a sailing accident in 1812, he confessed to Mary that he had met his doppelgänger many times. These confrontations included one particularly haunting experience where he walked onto a terrace, only to be greeted by his doppelgänger who asked him, “How long do you mean to be content?” Strangely, Percy’s doppelgänger was also witnessed by her close friend Jane Williams, who saw it passing her window (on a route frequently walked by the real Percy) to a dead end, but never returning. The real Percy was nowhere near.

The story of Emilie Sagee is known to us through the people who saw her.  Mr Buch’s pensionnat received only young ladies of the nobility.  Having become elderly ladies, some of them wrote  journals, as was often done at the time, in this society.  Julie von Güldenstubbe remained in contact with her former teacher until the year 1850. And one of them, Baroness de Guldenstubbe, the little Julie that Mr Buch was so proud of having in his establishment, wrote so many things about Emilie Sagee in her journals, that the English writer and philosopher, Robert Dale Owen, wanted to meet her.  The Baroness furnished many details to the writer about the duality of the French teacher.  Details that he reported in one of his books which bears the very beautiful title Sounds of Footsteps at the Frontiers of Another Life [Bruits de pas sur les frontieres d’une autre vie].

Collective hallucination has been mentioned.  However, before entering Mr Buch’s establishment, Mlle Sagee, who had started teaching at the age of sixteen, had passed through eighteen colleges…  eighteen colleges from which she had been fired because of her phenomena of bilocation…  It appears difficult to admit that the pupils, teachers and directors of eighteen establishments had suffered the same hallucinatory influence about the same person…

Three authors study and tell the story of Emilie Sagée based on the testimonies of Baroness Julie von Güldenstubbe, a person whose existence is indisputable, whom they know personally and who guarantee integrity. They are the American writer and politician Robert Dale Owen, the French astronomer Camille Flammarion and the Russian parasicologist Alexander Akasov. Flammarion tries, in vain, to find the traces of an Emilie Sagée who would have been born in 1813 in Dijon.

He discovers, instead, an illegitimate child named Octavie Saget, born on January 13, 1813. Emilie and Octavie are probably the same person. The young woman would have chosen to change her name to hide her condition, current at the time.  Modern research did not allow him to find it, which does not mean much, considering the stormy history of Latvia to the present day.

Accepting the truthfulness of the testimony of Julie von Güldenstubbe (what those who know it do) does not solve, however, all the problems. A century ago, skeptics declared that this story was originated by an illusion or a hallucination. But witnesses are numerous and repeated appearances.  The revealing fact of the collective suggestion is the total uniformity of the testimonies. This explanation was exposed in the case of Emilie Sagée: but can we wonder, for example, that 13 schoolchildren affirm all exactly the same thing, when they say to have seen their teacher simply “unfold a few meters from them? There is another argument against this theory: when Julie von Güldenstubbe later visits Emilie Sagée, who lives in the house of a sister-in-law, she discovers that her children had become accustomed to the Idea of ​​having two “aunts Emilie” … Decidedly, the mystery of Emilie Sagée is far from solved.

Mlle Sagee wrote nothing about her own case.  For the simple reason that she had nothing to say; for at the moment of her divisions, she felt nothing.  She was absolutely unconscious of what was happening and – she has often repeated this – she only knew about the phenomenon because of the expression on the faces of the people who were there…  It was by seeing their frightened faces, their eyes staring at something invisible which seemed to be moving near her, that she understood…  But she had never, herself, seen her double;  neither had she noticed the stiffness and slowing down of her movements when her double appeared…

It was noted that the phenomenon took place when Mlle Sagee was very worried or very immersed in her work.  The double could also manifest itself in a place about which she was thinking.  For example, she has recounted that, on the day when she was picking flowers in the garden, glancing at the sewing room, she had seen the empty armchair and was saying to herself:

“The supervisor has gone, I’m sure that the young ladies will take advantage of it to gossip and waste time…”

And, as a teacher worried about discipline, she had thought:

“Ah!  If only I were there!”

And she was…

As a footnote to the sad tale of Emilie Sagée, it was noted that upon her twentieth dismissal from a teaching position due to an insufferable  doppelgänger, it seems she decided against pursuing her career, or rather her  doppelgänger decided it for her.

After she had left Newelcke, she stayed in the neighborhood at her sister-in-law’s who had several children, and whenever Fraeulein von Wrangel or others of her former scholars came to see her, these children felt real proud, telling the visitors  “We have two Aunt Emilies!”….  The children very quickly grew used to the phenomenon to which the young woman was subjected.

There are many explanations for the doppelgänger phenomenon. Mystics throughout the ages have believed they are supernatural creatures: either spiritual copies of the person or downright demonic twins. Meanwhile, scientists say they’re just electrical glitches of the brain, or mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Only two things are certain about these eerie apparitions: They are often bad news, and a surprising number of significant historical figures have claimed to be haunted by them.

In 1906, British Parliament member Sir Gilbert Parker was attending a debate when he spotted Sir Frederick Carne Rasch, a fellow Parliament member, sitting nearby. This greatly surprised Sir Gilbert, as Sir Frederick was severely ill with influenza at the time. Still, he politely greeted Sir Frederick and told him, “I hope you are feeling better.” Carne Rasch didn’t react in any way. He just sat there with a stony, grim expression on his face. When Sir Gilbert soon glanced at his friend again, the seat was completely empty. Bewildered, he searched for Carne Rasch in the lobby, only to find that no one had seen him pass by. When he discussed the event with fellow parliamentarians, it turned out others had seen Carne Rasch too. When the real Carne Rasch (who had been sick in bed all along) found out about the incident, he was quite unsurprised. He had really wanted to take part in the debate so, to him, it made sense that his spirit had sneaked a peek. His family, however, was terrified and feared the  doppelgänger was a bad sign. In a small way, they were right: For quite some time, Carne Rasch was annoyed by fellow Parliament members, who kept poking him with their fingers to make sure he was flesh and blood. In the end, he had to write a massively sarcastic letter to a local newspaper, apologizing that he didn’t have the good sense to die at the time of the  doppelgänger sighting and promising to behave better next time.

Abraham Lincoln’s autobiography contains an ominous  doppelgänger appearance. A 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 for several weeks. 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 term.

This story 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. 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, and went home to rest, throwing myself down on a lounge in my chamber. Opposite where I lay was a bureau with a swinging glass upon it (and here he got up and placed furniture to illustrate the position), and looking in that glass I saw myself reflected nearly at full length; but my face, I noticed had two separate and distinct images, the tip of the nose of one being about three inches from the tip of the other. I was a little bothered, perhaps startled, and got up and looked in the glass, but the illusion vanished. On lying down again, I saw it a second time, plainer, if possible, than before; and then I noticed that one of the faces was a little paler — say five shades — than the other. I got up, and the thing melted away, and I went off, and in the excitement of the hour forgot all about it — nearly, but not quite, for the thing would once in a while come up, and give me a little pang as if something uncomfortable had happened. When I went home again that night I told my wife about it, and a few days afterward I made the experiment again, when (with a laugh), sure enough! the thing came back again; but I never succeeded in bringing the ghost back after that, though I once tried very industriously to show it to my wife, who was somewhat worried about it. She thought it was a “sign” that I was to be elected to a second term of office, and that the paleness of one of the faces was an omen that I should not see life through the last term.

Whether Lincoln’s experience was a vivid prophecy, a  doppelgänger , or something altogether is difficult to ascertain.  Doppelgänger’s are difficult to “fit into a box”, sometimes appearing before or after a person’s life, sometimes side-by-side, and other times as ghostly apparitions that merely flitter by never to be seen again.

In 1796, Jean Paul Richter invented the term Doppelgänger to speak of the phenomenon of double. This German word literally means “the double walker” and designates the hidden part that is created to accompany each of us. Indeed, many people say that they have crossed their double or that of a close relative and traditionally, it is said that the doppelgänger can be messenger of death …

The poet Percy Shelley met, in Italy, his doppelganger which pointed silently Sea with his finger. Shortly afterwards, the poet died in a boat accident. The queen of England Elizabeth I discovered her doppelgängerlying in bed shortly before her death.

The case of the German poet Goethe suggests that the phenomenon of the double could be related to time and space. As he rode on a highway, he crossed his exact double, riding in the opposite direction, dressed in a gray suit. 8 years later, Goethe rode on the same road but in the opposite direction and realized that he wore the gray suit seen on his double once … Had he crossed a future replica of himself?

Doppelgängers are frequently used as a plot device in literature, television shows and movies. ​They are often evil in nature, but sometimes they are used for comedic effect, too.

​One of the most famous example’s of a doppelgänger is in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, William Wilson. In this tale, the main character meets his doppelgänger as a child. He is persistently followed by the copy, who causes trouble in the character’s life. And when then main character tries to do evil or unethical things, the doppelgänger tries to stop him. But in a rage, the protagonist kills his doppleganger, but he realizes it is a reflection of his own self.

​While doppelgängers are usually associated with bad luck and ill omens, coming across your doppelgänger does not have to be a terrifying experience. It is certainly strange to find someone who looks, talks and dresses just like you, but speaking with the doppelgänger can be a rewarding experience. It can give you unique insight into areas of yourself.

Doppelgängers are one of the strangest and most interesting paranormal phenomenon. There could be someone out there who looks just like you.

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