Updated: Feb 10
The Doppelganger is certainly one of Germany’s most terrifying cryptids and coming from the homeland of the Brothers Grimm, that is certainly saying something. The idea of a creature that looks, sounds, and even acts just like you inhabiting the same world is a terrifying prospect. After all, the concepts of identity, legacy, and self are three of the most paramount ideals around which the human condition orbits.
What does it say for individuality, if the mere mimicking of voice and similarity of action could fool to anyone a Doppelganger might encounter. On top of that lovely notion, there is the possibility if you see this creature for yourself, then you are fated to die shortly thereafter.
There are many cultures across the globe that believe in the existence of doubles. Some believe souls can be split between bodies and those two different people might be continents apart and living similar lives. Another common double story is where one succeeds at everything while the other struggles through life. The more successful of the doubles then kills his or her weaker counterpart.
The most famous utilization of this archetype is in The Double by Dostoyevsky. Us, a film written and produced by Jordan Peele, is another great double story written in recent years, in which the doubles have been forced to live a life of seclusion and seek to eliminate their ‘regular counterparts to take their places in the world—a bit of a reverse from the classic Russian novelist’s plotline.
Many cultures believe doubles and Doppelgangers are types of shapeshifters, which would make them inhuman creatures masquerading as our planet’s dominant =mammals.
Whether your Doppelganger is succeeding at all your failures, seeking to kill you and assume your role in everyday life or an inhuman creature of some variety which has assumed your form, these cryptids are not among the most pleasurable company in a dark alley. Though some double theories don’t paint Doppelganger's motives as purely malevolent, there is generally a motive of elimination or domination in the best-case scenario. In the worst, a Doppelganger is an omen of imminent death.
In our modern world of connectivity, you would think Doppelgangers would be more powerful and dangerous than ever. Heck, back in the day, it was very common for a person to live their entire life without even leaving their home town. This makes sense, as riding horses and walking take a very long time and are demanding tasks under the best conditions. Add to that a distinct lack of roads in the ancient world and an average lifespan of 25 and you would have stood a much lower chance of meeting your double. Today, you can just ask the internet if you want to test this theory. Chances are the algorithm may be able to find your Doppelganger. Again, I wouldn’t try this at home! If you want to though, Just tell you phone every day that you’d like to find your celebrity doppelganger, I bet you’ll start seeing ads in your email…
So, what would you do if you met your double? Do you think you would be the successful one or the failure? Is there anyone out there who is a famous podcaster and novelist and looks just like me? If so, please let me know so I can go kill them. Totally kidding of course… but you know where the contact page is right?