Ep. 14: Doppelgängers

In this episode, Jack and J. J. talk doppelgängers.  Your hosts start with some Poe, folklore, and historical accounts, then delve into the legacy of doppelgänger phenomena.  Then we discuss the very real pathologies that can lead you to see your double – sometimes with grave consequences – along with the insights they provide into our understanding of the self.

NOTE: An astute listener alerted us to a glitch with the Soundcloud file! The problem has now been fixed – everyone should be able to hear the full length of the episode. 


  • Silence – A Sonnet” by Edgar Allen Poe.  Originally published in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier.  4 January, 1840.  Curated by the Academy of American Poets. New York, New York.
  • Doppelgängers via Wikipedia
  • Prometheus Unbound” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  1820.  Act 1, Line 191.  Curated by Bartleby.com.

Doppelgängers in Folklore

  • Vardoger, a Scandinavian spirit double via Wikipedia
  • Fetches, a wraith-like figure via Wikipedia
  • Trow, a fairy/spirit of the Orkney and Shetland islands via Wikipedia
  • Ka, an Egyptian spirit double via Egyptianmyths.net.  Last updated: 17 August, 2014.
  • Doppelgängers and the mythology of spirit doubles” by April Holloway.  www.ancient-origins.net.  6 July, 2014.

Famous accounts of doppelgängers

*see Additional Resources for links to some of the literary works we reference.

  • Modern Magic” by M. (Maximilian) Schele de Vere.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York.  1873.  See for original account of Emilie Sagee and the account of John Donne.
  • Bilocation via Wikipedia.
  • Doppelgängers – our mysterious evil twin”  Author unknown.  Altereddimensions.net.  26 December, 2012.  See for account of Abraham Lincoln’s doppelganger experience.
  • Doppelgängers: Famous Accounts” via Wikipedia.  See for accounts of John Donne, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Psychological Doppelgängers

Contemporary Doppelgänging

Additional Resources:

Music used in this podcast:

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