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(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."

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ricky Tomlinson (right) comes face-to-face with doppleganger Will Williams from Caernarfon
The James Craig doppleganger Dima Volkov airs in SoCal.
Los numerosos autorretratos duplicados que privilegia Schiele, proceden del tema del Doppleganger, o doble, que reaparece a la hora de la muerte para confrontar al generalmente joven protagonista con su imagen especular.
Such a ghost-like tower, "doubled and redoubled" (to recall Wordsworth's phrase from "There was a Boy"), becomes a type of imagistic doppleganger that "haunts" the spectator.
One critic describes her as being "Maxine's doppleganger, a silent body onto which she projects her worst fears in a furious, violent effort to give birth to her own voice by confronting what keeps her silent" (Outka 18).
Watson insists the film's "Ray Forester" character, Moore's cinematic doppleganger, "just comes across as a big bureaucrat." But Watson has never been known for subtlety.
The plot is hoary: a never-at-home cop, Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) doggedly tracks down his doppleganger nemesis, master stick-up artist Nell McCauley (Robert De Niro).
In this way, Deep River complements his masterpiece, Scandal (1988), which concerns the multiple aspects of identity and sin as they are revealed in the disengaged live(s) of an elderly writer and his doppleganger. [Rick Henry]
In particular, its art history is very much like the art history of our planet and each member of our Artworld has a Doppleganger in Twin Artworld.
Such novels are the last two Leatherstocking tales, <IR> THE PATHFINDER </IR> (1840) and <IR> THE DEERSLAYER </IR> (1841); <IR> SATANSTOE </IR> (1845), a nostalgic portrait of a mid-18th-century English colony; <IR> THE CRATER </IR> (1847), a Crusoe-like narrative of island discovery and development which turns into a dystopia; and <IR> THE SEA LIONS </IR> (1849), a Doppleganger tale of adventure in the Antarctic seas that features some of Cooper's best descriptive writing.
It's his doppleganger - 16-year-old Irish striker Barry Cotter.