The Whitby Doppelgänger

Doppelganger is literally transformed from German as ‘double-goer’ and is a word that has been used for centuries to describe a double of a living person, almost like a twin stranger. There have been many speculations as the meaning of having a doppelganger, some suggest that the doppelganger is an evil twin, but most countries accept the theory that it is a harbinger of death.


A Guisborough man came across his own Doppelganger whilst shopping in Whitby.

A famous case of Doppelganger occurred in 1812 to Percy Bysshe Shelley (a poet in his own right but also the husband of Mary Shelley), before Percy drowned at sea he had mentioned to a few people that he had often seen his doppelgänger who would haunt him and say “How long do you expect to be content?”, even his friends reported seeing the doppelgänger when Percy was nowhere near, though reports of it stopped once Percy had died.

And not wanting to be left out of a corner of myth and folklore Whitby itself has a tale of a man from Guisborough who when visiting Whitby came across his own doppelgänger, though luckily his quickness saved him from death. You see, there are ways that are said to stop a doppelganger taking your immortal soul, one of which is to challenge your haunting double. In a typical Yorkshire way the man turned to face his evil twin and shouted “What’s thou doing here, thou’s after no good” and carrying on to demand the double to be on his way, the doppelganger (realising he’d been challenged) walked away in a sulk knowing that it had lost it’s chance at claiming another poor soul.


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