Doppelgänger

(redirected from Doppelgangers)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.

Doppelgänger

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

There is a belief that everyone has an exact double somewhere in the world and that, if ever one should come face to face with that double, it is a sign that he or she will die. John Aubrey (1626-1697), the antiquary, in his Miscellanies (1696), tells of Lady Diana Rich meeting her double while walking in the grounds of Holland House, London. A month later she was dead. Eric Maple, in Man, Myth and Magic, says that when the Empress Catherine the Great saw her double advancing upon her, she ordered her guards to open fire on it.

Such a duplicate of oneself is known as a doppelgänger, or "walking double." The English painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) depicted a meeting between a man and a woman and their doppelgängers, showing one of the women fainting, in his painting How They Met Themselves.

In the Salem witch trials, one of the major debating points was the admission of "spectral evidence." This was a belief that a witch could be observed by witnesses as being innocently occupied in one location, but a duplicate of the witch could be in another place, working mischief. Spectral evidence was, after some small debate, admitted, and a number of people were put to death on that basis. Such evidence was not restricted to New England. Kitteridge says, "Spectral evidence was admitted, for example, in England, either in examinations or in actual trials, in 1593, 1612, 1616, 1621, 1633, 1645, 1650, 1653, 1654, 1658, 1660, 1661, 1663, 1664, 1665, 1667, 1670, 1672, 1673, 1680, 1682, 1683. Even Justice Holt, whose honorable record in procuring the acquittal of every witch he tried is well known, did not exclude spectral evidence."

References in periodicals archive ?
Their eyes met for a chilling moment, and the doppelganger got up, ran to the door and pressed the Emergency Door Open button.
Similar theories inform Hoffmann's story "The Doubles," where a woman is passionately courted by two doppelgangers, but avoids disaster by renouncing earthly love.
It then shows the selfie and the art doppelganger side by side.
Then, Tyler arrived at the Salvatore mansion to tell that the Travellers are on the move and ready to complete their plan on the doppelgangers.
NOT content with dominating our TV screens, the Coronation Street stars take a stab at singing as they transform themselves into musical doppelgangers.
But other biographers (Lou Cannon and Gary Wills spring immediately to mind) have managed to explain Reagan and capture that love of performance without resorting to fictional doppelgangers.
As for Markos (Raffi Barsoumian) and the Travellers, their plan has been revealed and things are not looking good for the doppelgangers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Elena (Nina Dobrev).
With gigantic blocky masses for heads that look unstable in proportion to their damaged bodies--forever monstrous and mute--they were the perfect doppelgangers for a distressed father-and-son duo.
So producers are now searching for more celebrity doppelgangers to take part in the competition to find Lookalike Of The Year 2002
What we will come to understand what exactly it is these people want, what it has to do with this alleged doppelganger prophecy and what they need from our doppelgangers.
Does it mean that every member of this city's population now wear red, and do we have 308,144 doppelgangers in our midst