Doppelgängers - Hallucinations of Oneself

I wonder how many suicides are caused by Doppelgängers?

The grandfather of Charles Bonnet, Charles Lullin, had many hallucinations in which he had seen himself, it is now called the Charles Bonnet Syndrome, after his grandson. This is one of his Doppelgängers experiences which I might add, he had frequently for about three months...

Old grandpa Chuck, looking a bit like Ebenezer Scrooge, in his nightgown and cap (common bed wear at the time, late 1600's) was sitting in a rocker, looking out his kitchen's window as he smoked on his pipe. He was rocking back and forth puffing away, taking in the beauty of his yard when all of a sudden from his peripheral vision he noticed someone leaning casually on the window sill, almost out of view. He stood up to have a better look.

The man was a head smaller, wearing the same bed clothes, the cap, smoking a pipe. It was himself, looking in the window at himself looking out the window. The apparition was a complete double of himself, the mirror effect. Left is right, right is left. It mimicked his movements, inhaled when he did, he could hear him breath as he breathed, right through the glass pane. He watched it for awhile until it disappeared. After that, the image (his Doppelgänger) would appear and disappear when he would least expect it. That was the extent of it.

It would be interesting to see one's Doppelgänger wouldn't you think?  

But then again. Here's another example but one I wouldn't want to experience...


Heautoscopy is a rare form of auto copy, a hallucination but still a Doppelgänger, more complex and terrifying, starting at first amicably then turning hostile, where a person cannot distinguish which person he or she really is, themselves or the Doppelgänger.  

This was reported by a Dr. Drugger in a 1994 paper. A man was prescribed phenytoin medication to deal with epilepsy. For some unknown reason the man stopped taking it and went out drinking, then spent the next day in bed, sicker than a dog. 

He was found the next early the next morning on the lawn, in a confused state, after he had jumped from his 3rd floor apartment window. 

This is his account of what he experienced after he recovered in the hospital...

Feeling sick the next morning after he went out drinking the man said he got out of bed. When he quickly turned to pull the blanket up he noticed someone lying in the bed. He wondered who it was and shook him, the man didn't flinch. He wasn't dead and he could see him breathing, even hearing him breathe, but he just laid there, motionless. The man lying in the bed looked like himself. 

Suddenly, he was in the bed. He looked up and saw himself looking down on him. As suddenly as that happened, he was standing again, looking down on himself in bed. This kept repeating over and over until the man was so confused he started to panic. 

Which one was he, the man in the bed or the man standing? He stated that as the person in bed he was completely paralyzed and at the mercy of the man standing over him, threatening to kill him, if he didn't get out of bed.   

The person standing suddenly turned to look out the window after hearing a dog bark and saw the reflection of himself lying in the bed. That was the breaking point, his only retort was to jump into the reflection to unite himself with his other half. He survived and never saw the hallucination again.

True story.

Dog Brindle

Ref: Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

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