I had never heard about doppelgangers until I saw the Doctor Who episodes featuring them. In folklore, a doppelganger – which means ‘double walker’ in German – is a paranormal, often sinister, double of a person.
Something happened during my travels that made me momentarily consider the idea that I could actually have one of these spooky doubles.
It all began in Montreal.
I had been staying at a hostel for just over a week and one evening a new girl moved into my dormitory and looked at me familiarly.
“Ah, it’s you again,” she said.
Having never seen this person before, I looked at her confusedly and explained she must have me mixed up with somebody else.
“But weren’t you in my dormitory last night?
“Erm…no,” I replied, completely mind-boggled.
“That’s strange, there was a girl who looked exactly like you.”
I did not think anything of this and just thought there must be somebody around who looked similar to me.
Then things started to get strange…
It was the events of the following days that sent a shiver down my spine.
That weird feeling began when I was checking out of the hostel.
The guy behind the desk looked at me like he had seen a ghost.
“Didn’t you already check out yesterday,” he said.
“Erm, not that I can recall…”
“Do you happen to have a twin,” he then said.
“Ha ha, you’re the second person to get be mixed up with another person. That’s really freaky,” I replied.
I then got on a bus to Toronto and it was a couple of days later that there was a third strike of weirdness.
After having lunch at a sushi restaurant, I got chatting to the waitress.
“You were in here yesterday, right?” she said.
Again? Seriously? I thought.
“No, this is the first time I’ve been here,” I told her.
“You look like the woman that was here yesterday and she was English like you as well,” she said.
Now, what are the chances of three people genuinely confusing me for somebody else, who always seemed to be one step ahead of me; or rather one day ahead of me?
I foolishly decided to google ‘doppelgangers’ and subsequently managed to completely freak myself out with all of the scary folklore tales of evil doubles that are said to be bad omens.
I also read about cases of famous figures, such as Abraham Lincoln, who claimed to have actually had visions of their own doppelgangers.
For around ten minutes, I was certain something spooky was going on.
Then I told myself to get a grip and distracted myself with some salacious gossip magazines that were hanging around.
Have you got any strange travel tales to tell?