Doppelgangers – a quick peek by Amanda

When asked recently what really scares me, I mean terrifies me, the only thing that immediately came to mind is Doppelgängers. “Harbingers of Death” The sheer thought of it chills me to the bone.

As a paranormal enthusiast and avid supernatural researcher I can say truly I have never touched upon the topic of doppelgängers. Coincidence or Fear? More than likely a little from A and a whole pile of B. I have studied demonology, witch hunts, werewolves, ancient charms, myths and curses,  modern tales and practices of zombification. I have travelled up and down the West Coast and across our wild country in search of tales and evidence of phantoms, poltergeist & possessions. I have spent more than a penny in dark alleys & swamped bathrooms seeking all things horrifyingly creepy and dedicated more than my life on the search for the unknown but never have I touched the subject of doppelgängers.

In German doppelgängers is a Double-goer and in English doppelgänger translates to “double of someone”, so I ask you; what is it really? Simply a twin or mirror image of us that lives far away never to been seen with our own eyes or is there more to it? History leads us to believe more..

Guy de Maupassant, a 19th century writer most commonly known by his works “Boule de Suif” and “Le Horla” was plagued later in life by a belief of seeing his own doppelgänger and being haunted to the end of his life,  even writing about this in his short story “Lui”. It would be simple to end this example here and say no more to this strange tail but the skeptic in me dives further. Obsessed with self-preservation, Guys existence became a tragic tale until the end of his life. Constant fear and paranoia that plagued the writer eventually drove him mad; he was committed to an asylum after trying to commit suicide by slitting his own throat. Was this all on account of seeing his doppelgängers or does another revelation of his contraction of syphilis earlier in life explain all?

Abraham Lincoln was noted as believing he not only had a visit from his doppelgängers but also had dreams that foretold his death.

Percy Bysshe Shelley and even Queen Elizabeth both reported seeing their doppelgängers shortly before their deaths, Percy with the uncanny ability to make mention of details of his death that came true.

I have often wondered if our own fears within society have caused these stories to drop off the radar. Is it too “nuts” to report a sighting of our own ghostly apparitions? Are we as a society too scared to admit that there may be more involved when encountering any form of spirit? I have been told that spirit will come to us in forms we recognize as to not startle us or scare us but rather to reassure us. I am sorry but seeing an apparition of myself is top shelf startling and would scare me to pieces… so that theory is out the window. For me that is.

Interestingly enough, we do share stories of seeing our loved ones. I was recently involved in a delightfully in-depth conversation of the belief of the supernatural when this topic came up and I heard one of the most moving stories of a loved one coming and visiting their Grandmother at the exact time of death. A visit that became reassuring and reaffirming at the same time. This was a private and personal story so details will not be shared but it does lead me to sharing other examples.

John Donne: The 16th century poet while overseas and away from his expecting wife had a vision of her holding a newborn baby, this apparition was a portent of great sadness. Donne months later learnt his wife had given birth to a stillborn at the exact time of this vision.

Another notable tale took place in the home of Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon. While a dinner party was being hosted in his Eaton Square home in London the he walked through the drawing-room and looked straight ahead, not responding to any greetings by guests to his home. His wife was the most shocked as he was supposed to be on a ship, in the Mediterranean Squadron, maneuvering off the coast of Syria. It was reported that night his ship the HMS Victoria had gone down with him on board after a collision with the HMS Camperdown.

I got the heebie-geebies just writing that part…

I often wonder why most of these accounts happen in the ”olden days”.  Is it a belief structure that we have grown out of?  Or are we just simply a little bit too weary to admit to such happenings- faced with the fear of being called crazy or flaky.   In fact if we were a bit more accepting of all belief systems and traditions it would be much easier to answer, document and study these inquiries, possibly even squashing all fear.

Look how far we have come with after death, near death and shared death experiences.  All coined terms for the new days we live. Is there a possibility that these scientific terms and studies can tie into the theories of doppelgängers?    Wormholes, Dimensions, Shadow People and Doppelgängers ~  Lets open this dialogue.


They love to say Hi

I love EVP’s. When I’ve completed an investigation and get home, usually in the middle of the night, I won’t sleep until I’ve popped on the headphones and listened to at least a good hour of me asking if anyone would like to communicate, followed of course by stony silence. But every once in a while we get replies to these little one sided Q&A sessions and it’s always such a rush when you hear that little voice, from far away, giving you that one word universal greeting…Hi !! Sometimes they say more.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon. With the only possible exception of having a full torso apparition materialize in front of you or on camera, evp’s are a very coveted and sought after bit of evidence for a paranormal investigator to obtain. They can be recorded on almost any type of recording device ranging from the magnetic tape recorders to digital handheld units to even laptop computers, anything with a microphone, leave it running for a couple hours and you may just capture a little allo allo from the other side. By no means do you have to be an expert.

Have to remind myself on occasion of just how much energy it must take for them to break that barrier just to deliver those one or two words to us. It’s a completely different plain of existence and any type of communication takes so much patience and energy from both sides of the window that it’s no small wonder as to why I feel so drained afterwards.

The energy drain and time spent is well worth the investment when you capture that first evp, and then it reinvigorates you and that inner voice tells you to get out there and get some more.

So you googled EVP because you were curious to learn a little more and you happen to stumble across our blog when it came up in the search results and you’ve learned that you don’t have to be an expert in the occult or a seasoned paranormal investigator in order to record your own. You only need a recorder, ears, patience, and a little perseverance will help more than will hurt. Try it out and you may just surprise yourself with what you find.

Year one complete and going strong

Almost half way through 2013, Coldspotters is a year old now, a little wiser, and a lot more organised. Over the passed few months we’ve had our core group stabilize into a team which, in all of our opinions, have really gelled.

Here’s whats been happening so far. We had a group trip to Victoria in March, the maritime museum which was an event put on by a paranormal team called “beyond belief” We participated in group evp sessions and various methods of communicating with the dead such as table tipping. It was a good time and we made some great new contacts.

Next up, we had a big public event at Mountain view Cemetery in Vancouver. We broke into teams of four and the team leads took their group to different parts of the cemetery. We really got spoiled on this event, we captured three A-class evp’s and had a lot of spiking on our instruments. The evp’s can be heard over at our youtube channel

We had a private home investigation in May and we’ve been invited back to do some follow up and early June brought us a private business investigation, so things have really begun to ramp up.

We revamped the wesbite recently and have our team biographies which will be posted, along with a lot of information about us, our events, the equipment we use, and the different types of hauntings that people can experience. Our website might not be the biggest one stop shop for paranormal enthusiasts, but it will offer alot of information and provide direction to other sites with much resources to offer. I was happy to see our google ranking go from page 25 of the search results to page 2 when searching for vancouver paranormal investigators.

Through the events and investigations, we still have our monthly lunches. This summer is going to be a busy one, both on the paranormal field and off. We’ll be having a summer bbq to celebrate our first year and by the time we get through July, we’ll be planning goodies for the always fast approaching halloween season…Last year I saw halloween stuff in stores as early as August, crazy stuff, glad it’s my favorite time of year.

Random group throughts

With so many events under our belt over the last seven months I wanted to start talking about some of them and what we’ve learned as a group.

First of all…I had no iea that we would get so many people interested in our group so fast. I was fully prepared for it to be a slow build up, a few people here and there joining, but it was quite the opposite and we went from two members (Amanda and myself) to 35 in the span of only a couple months. And then we hit 50 and once we got to that level there was no slowing down and we’re currently at 75 members and still climbing. Some people only attend one event just to dip thier toe in the water and consider that good enough and we don’t see them again, others find that what we do is really not thier cup of tea and were looking for something else entirely..some sign up and never attend events. The ones that have remained and become regular attending member have been great and I would go so far as to say that some good close friendships have been created.

It’s turned into a bit of a second job, managing this group..especially for Amanda who has been investing so much time with event handling that she should be drawing a salary (as soon as we get offered our own reality show Amanda, I promise). But it has been so worth it because it’s our group and we don’t have to follow the directives of someone else, but rather create our own group culture and learn from the members that join us and from the events that we’ve had.

2012 was a pretty good year, had some events that we’d like to repeat given better weather conditions, namely Kent Cemetery. We slotted this event about 2 weeks before halloween. The weather in September and the first part of October had summer like conditions. Two days before the event I went to the 7-11 by my place and there was a line up for the slurpy machines. And then the day of the actual event it clouded over, and I’m sure all of us were looking out our windows and silently yelling NOOOOOO. We met at a carpooling check point and started off to the site, and thats when the heavy rain came down, and it didn’t stop. So the event was a wash out in every sense of the word. But, because that cemetery has such a history of reported activity..we all agreed to make that one of our first events in the springtime as soon as the weather brightens up.

The old Spaghetti factory was one of the highlights of our winter events schedule, so far we havent had anyone report unexplained images or evp’s but we did manage to get the urinal in the mens room to flush itself over and over, almost on command…not your normal way for a spirit to make contact, but when you gotta go…you gotta go.

The Shadow Man

I don’t know what a shadow person actually is. A ghost? a demon? a being from a parallel universe? No idea. But I wanted to write about it because it was due to an encounter with one such being that served as a springboard to my life long interest in the paranormal. There were other deciding factors as well along the way, certain family members who could do some pretty weird things, but it was that shadow man that kinda started it all.

1976. I was 7 years old. We lived in a modest home in a modest neighborhood with other modest home, small town meets suburbia. Sounds pretty nuclear doesn’t it? It was, but we didn’t go so far as to have a malt shop at the end of main street. The house we lived in was a 4 level split..This house in fact.


The upstairs window that you see was my bedroom. So what happened was that starting at no particular time of year, I began hearing footsteps coming down the hall towards my room, but never actually getting to my room, they seemed to get closer and closer, but never arrived. It scared me. I asked my dad about it and he explained it as air pockets in the heating vents making little pop pop pop noises up and down the hall…sounds feasible, sounds reasonable. Didn’t take me long to shoot a hole in that theory. A) this was in the middle of summer in northern Alberta in what is typically a dry and nasty place. pop pop pop noises in the heating vents would be an indication that the furnace was on. In the summer? Good try. I moved on from that theory, but tried to convince myself it was my older sister sneaking around, or the dog.

So moving onward, one night, several months after the footsteps began, I was in bed of course and the steps came down the hall, only this time, they kept coming and in through my door came this tall, grown man sized thing. It was completely black, it had depth and dimension, you could not see through it and it eclipsed the light from the hallway with it’s frame. It came into my room and I don’t know if I felt a sense of evil or dread coming from it, but by the sheer sight of it, I was frightened into shock paralysis and fainted less than a minute after it came in.

Several weeks later, exact same thing. Footsteps, large black entity in my room. This time, the dog went crazy barking, maybe that noise kept me from going into shock again or made me feel safe, but when the dog came to my room barking, I felt a charge of energy and I ripped out of that room faster than I had ever moved before, down to my parents room. I’ve never seen the shadow man since then, but up until my teen years, even in other houses, I still heard the footsteps. They became more infrequent as time went on until it stopped completely when I was about 16.

An extended “about us”

We get asked the question by new members at almost every event. How did you guys meet and get this group going? I keep meaning to type up a little bio and add it to the website and on meetup, just to give a little info and insight but I always got sidetracked (nice way of saying I forgot). But now I’ve got some spare time, kids are in bed, the house is quiet and I can sit here and type away. So how did it all happen?

Last February I joined meetup and began looking for a paranormal group to join. I came across ghost guide, signed up, and waited for the ghostly fun to begin. And waited. AAAAnd waited. For some reason or another, the group didn’t seem very active. This was, after all winter, and maybe this group was more of a seasonal thing, whichever the reasons, not much was happening and I was eager to get things going, I emailed several group members and posted on the site offering to host events, etc…no reply. A few months flew by and I had actually forgotten about the group when Amanda emailed and asked me if anyone had ever gotten back to me, which was a no of course. We bounced a few emails back and forth and got to know each other a little and decided to get together for some ghostly chatting over lunch.

We met at the Met which is a hotel and pub in the heart of New Westminster. It’s also a local haunt and a preferred lunching destination for other paranormal teams. We met for about an hour or so, exchanged ghostly stories and past experiences with ghost hunting and it was pretty much then that we decided to strike out on our own and Coldspotters was born.

Things took off pretty fast, as of this blogging, we’re only about 6 months old. We’ve had several great events, we’ve grown as a team, and most of all, we’ve met some great people along the way who have joined up with us.

Unfortunately, the group (ghost guide) that we met up through, and what was once the premier ghost hunting site for the city on meetup, was not destined for longevity and after discussions with that group’s founder and organiser, we agreed to merge and eventually absorb their members and resources into our group.

So that is our little story, up to now. We have a website, a couple of social media pages, a blog, over 100 unique members between the two groups with more to come, and a big, old city for us to explore. Doesn’t get any better.