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Ethereal Doubles


Today, the word “Doppelganger” has become an overall conception by which an encounter with the ethereal double is obviously described. There are a number of phenomena which do not correspond to the strict “double walker” definition - even if they are similar.

The phenomenon of the Doppelganger respectively the ethereal double of a person has been confirmed by many people. But what are they and what signification do they have?


In the esoterical sense a Doppelganger is the immaterial ethereal opposite of a person that appears suddenly, often in moments of danger. Generally, the one from whom this copy derives is not conscient of it.


The American Gordon Barrows had also an encounter with his etheral double in 1947. After a drive of 18 hours through the most deserted and most inhospitable desert regions of the US federal state Wyoming, Barrows ran the risk of falling asleep at the steering-wheel because of exhaustion. Short after Laramie he caught sight of a hitchhiker and he instictively went slow. But when Barrows lowered the window to offer the stranger a ride, he got a shock: The hitchhiker seemed to be his copy. To Barrows’ relief, the stranger offered to drive so that Barrows could sleep a little.

When he awoke some hours later, the car was parked on the road side while his silent fellow-traveller sat motionless behind the steering-wheel. Barrows just found the time to thank the stranger before this one left the car and disappeared wordless in the desert. While Barrows continued his travel refreshed, he was thinking about that mysterious encounter which he could not explain.

However, Gordon Barrows is no individual case. In the past, people have reported again and again about their fascinating and also uncanny encounters with their own or as well a strange Doppelganger.

Nevertheless, a highly evident similarity has nothing in common with the extraordinary experiences with their ethereal double, made by Gordon Barrows and numerous other people.


Psychologists define Doppelganger as apparitions of a living person that correspond to the real height of the person concerned. These apparitions are usually transparent, mostly monochrome, sometimes also visible in pale colours. They imitate the movements of their physical counterpart as if they were his reflexions. This kind of Doppelganger appears mostly at dusk or late at night – but represents not the entire person. Also people who are very stressed or who are totally exhausted have often encounters with Doppelgangers. This connection cannot be explained scientifically up to now.


The earliest recorded incident with a “Doppelganger” dates back to the fourth pre-Christian century. Aristoteles, the Greek philosopher, told of a man who could not go for a walk without meeting his “Doppelganger”. The belief in a Doppelganger is not new. It can be traced back to ancient Persia and is still disseminated in old and modern cultures.


Today, the word “Doppelganger” has become an overall conception by which an encounter with the ethereal double is obviously described. There are a number of phenomena which do not correspond to the strict “double walker” definition  - even if they are similar.


Another form of ethereal Doppelgangers is known under the designation “Vardoger” or “Forerunner”. This phenomenon differs from the Doppelganger in so far that the ethereal double of the person concerned hurries on ahead already weeks of a possible departure.


As authentically stated by witnesses they could not only see the Doppelganger of another person but could also talk to him while the person concerned was at another place.


Some scientists believe that such phenomena could be the result of thought projections, e.g. of a strong wish which is projected by means of will-power. This happens when the body is subject to extreme emotional or physical stress and that cause visions of the person concerned to appear in front of relatives or beloved people.

Even if there exists a lot of world-wide reports on such cases, this phenomenon is far from being clearly defined. The imagination that all ethereal Doppelgangers are the projection of a single conscience contradicts to the experience of a multiple sighting, made by Reverend W. Mountford together with some friends in the US federal state Massachusetts.

Mountford stayed at friends who expected a visit of relatives on that day. The whole group went outdoors to have a look if the guests were already arriving. To their astonishment they observed how the expected couple approached the house in a Buggy – but they passed by without noticing the waiting people. A little later, the Buggy approached again the house. This time the people in the car waved friendly to the waiting group.


Scientists have several explanations for it. It could be imaginable that one of the waiting people projected inconscient a picture of the approaching Buggy. The Buggy with all its pessengers could also be a manifestation because of a group hallucination.


A related phenomenon is called bilocation. This occurs when one person appears at two places simultaneously. To the most renown “normal” cases of this kind belongs Emilie Sagee, a French teacher in the 19th century whose astral body was sighted at different spots all her life.


Skeptics argue that such sightings are confusions and outgrowths of an eccentric phantasy. This can not be cleared for the time being. But one day science might perhaps be able to prove the existence of an ethereal double.