Published: August 11th 2021

Ghosts of the living?


Vardogers, bi locations, crisis apparitions, doppelgängers, and phantom doubles are similar types of paranormal occurrences, but they all have subtle differences. One thing they all have in common is that they are paranormal entities of people that are still alive! The spirit entity can be completely convincing as the real person, so much so even close friends and relatives will think it’s them, but sometimes people witnessing one of these entities might feel there is something off about the person, there’s something strange about them that they can’t quite put their finger on. The atmosphere during the encounter might seem a bit other worldly or the spirit person might seem weaker somehow to the real person. The real individual can even sometimes encounter their own spirit replica.


A vardoger is the phantom appearance and behaviour of an individual just before the real individual actually arrives and engages in the same behaviour. The vardoger will have the real individual’s appearance, voice, scent, personality, everything. Everything about them will be identical, people witnessing a vardoger will believe they have just interacted with or seen the real individual, only to be shocked to realise this wasn’t the case. For example, you’re sitting in your garden and your spouse walks up the front path, you have a conversation then they walk into the house and everything seems normal. A few moments later, the real person walks up the front path and greets you like the aforementioned encounter hadn’t just happened, and they are oblivious when you explain what you just witnessed. It’s almost a bit like deja vu but in reverse, you realise that what you experienced was more of a premonition of what was about to happen. Sometimes, vardogers will repeat the same action on a number of occasions before the real individual arrives, all in the same day or over any time scale.

Bi location

Bi locations are when the same person is seen in two different places but of course only one of them is the real person, these occurrences are almost a combination of doppelgängers and vardogers, bi location entities are again identical in every way to the real individual. They can be seen in a completely different place and doing something completely different to the real person like a doppelgänger, but like a vardoger they are more like a ‘spirit copy’ of the individual, more true to the real person’s nature, and they haven’t got the malevolence of a doppelgänger. Bi location entities don’t give you an exact premonitory experience of what is about to happen like a vardoger. Instead, bi locations entities go about their business as the real person would in a parallel reality. For example, you might think you see the real individual out walking in your neighbourhood and sitting on a bench, you might even speak to them. You might then casually mention this to the real individual the next day, “the weather was much nicer yesterday when you were out walking” only for them not to know what you are talking about and be able to prove that they were in fact in a totally different place.

Crisis Apparitions

Crisis apparitions are the spirit of an individual that appears to their friends and relatives when the individual is going through something extremely distressing such as being close to death, being attacked, going through something traumatic or being very ill. Crisis apparitions are a sort of involuntary call for help or an attempt to reach loved ones in extreme circumstances. An example of this would be you lying in bed, looking up and seeing your, still living, father standing in the room. The apparition disappears, you might then discover that his illness has taken a turn for the worse, he has slipped into a coma and isn’t expected to live much longer. Crisis apparitions can also appear at the time of or just after an individual has passed away.


A doppelgänger, similar to a vardoger will be an exact replica of a living individual in every way, in appearance, voice, the way they walk etc. Even close relatives will swear it’s them. The difference to a vardoger is that doppelgängers don’t immediately precede the real individual and go through the same motions. Doppelgängers might be seen in a completely different place to the real individual, doing something totally different. Whereas vardogers are seen as a true representative of the real person’s character and a ‘spirit copy’ of them, doppelgängers are seen as having a malevolent or ominous quality about them. They can be mischievous or can be a sign of imminent misfortune. There is more of a sinister nature about them, for example, you may think you encounter the real person but they are acting out of character, they don’t seem themselves, maybe not extremely but they just seem a bit off, they might seem troubled, irritated or a bit lost. You address this with the real person the next time you see them, and they can vouch for being in a totally different place at the time of the occurrence. Doppelgängers can also be seen in close proximity with the real person like a phantom double and can be witnessed by the real person, they are sometimes regarded omens of death and are likened to crisis apparitions.

Phantom doubles

Phantom doubles are usually seen in close proximity with the real person, they can be doing something completely different to the real person or they can be seen exactly mimicking their movements and actions, doppelgängers can do this as well but the difference with a phantom double is the lack of malevolence. In an account of a phantom double from the 1800’s, a teacher was working at the blackboard and simultaneously the whole class saw the same teacher standing outside the classroom window watching them benignly, the phenomenon only last a few moments before the entity faded and disappeared. Phantom doubles have even been known to be side by side with the real person, mimicking their every move almost like a mirror image or shadow. The double is usually distinguishable to the real person because in comparison with the real individual they seem faded or not quite real.


By Anna Bell