On doppelgangers

On doppelgangers

So, recently I saw someone in the distance that I recognised. I was surprised because that person was highly unlikely to be nearby as they lived a long way off and never visited, to my knowledge. So I was in the weird situation of being certain it wasn’t who I thought it was but still it looked exactly like them. Could it be a double? Or even a ghost?

So I got closer for a better look. The person certainly had a similar overall appearance but their face was quite different to my friend. It was, I think, quite certainly a misperception. The unconscious bit of my brain had superimposed my friend’s face on another person I could not see well.

It made me think of doppelganger cases. Could at least of few of them be explained by misperception? Could someone who physically resembles a friend sometimes be seen AS that friend in poor viewing conditions? If the friend was known to be somewhere else at the time the case could be reported as a doppelganger.

I’ve never had a misperception like that before. Usually it is inanimate objects, like trees or bushes, being seen as human figures. In all the examples I’ve seen the figure was unrecognised. This was no doubt due to the ‘face’ being formed by foliage or similar. In that case the ‘face’ was likely to be a generic memory as no one looks like a tree. But in the current case there was a real human figure involved so our  visual memory might select  the closest real remembered face.

Author :© Maurice Townsend 2022

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