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For other uses of the word Doppelgänger please see Doppelgänger (disambiguation)

Doppelgänger is the German word for a ghostly double of a living person. The word comes from doppel meaning 'double' and gänger translated as 'goer'. The term has, in the vernacular, come to refer to any double of a person, most commonly in reference to a so-called evil twin. Alternately, the word is used to describe a phenomenon where you catch your own image out of the corner of your eye. In some mythologies, seeing one's own doppelgänger is an omen of death.

There are a few characteristics of doppelgängers that are commonly accepted. Firstly, they are visible to no one but the person they are an image of. They cast no shadow and no reflection in a mirror or in water. They are also supposed to provide advice to the person they shadow, but this advice could be misleading or malicious. They could also, in rare instances, plant ideas in your mind or appear before friends and relatives, causing confusion.

Doppelgängers appear in a variety of science fiction and fantasy works, in which they are a type of shapeshifter that mimics a particular person or species for some typically nefarious reason.

See also