Seeing Yourself Is The Strangest Thing

What would you do if you ever saw another version of yourself? We’ve already talked about the doppelganger phenomenon – people seeing copies of themselves, often before something terrible happens. But there are more than a few other strange explanations for why a person would see him or herself outside of a mirror.

There are also two very real psychological phenomena, often tied to anxiety, that I think are a bit outside the boundaries of a paranormal blog: derealization and depersonalization, which can sometimes lead to a feeling of “watching yourself.” That’s not to mention the potential for hallucination.

But I’m in a paranormal mood tonight, so what do you say we focus on the stranger things? Let’s take a look at a few of the possibilities. Just, you know, spitballing here…

Parallel Universes & Time Travel

The question explicitly mentions parallel universes and time travel, so we’ll start with those.

Do you remember that scene in Back to the Future Part II, when 1985 Doc Brown accidentally bumps into 1955 Doc Brown? 1985 Doc tries to act as inconspicuous as possible, and mostly gets away with it.

But 1955 Doc is left wondering if maybe, just maybe…

Is it possible (is time travel possible?) that there could be another you out there, visiting from the future, checking in on the past? Or even watching you like a movie, reliving your own life via some kind of future technology like the chronovisor?

Maybe there’s even another version of you in another universe who’s able to check in sometimes and see how the others are faring.

Hey, I’m just asking questions, here.

Just remember, always, if you ever do time travel: You must be careful not to run into your other self. The consequences could be disastrous!

Out of Body Experiences

Image: Rad el Baluvar/Wikipedia via CC BY-SA 3.0)

An Out-of-Body Experience, or OBE, is that feeling of being outside of your body, or even traveling to other locations (astral projecting). This, as you can imagine, can also lead to seeing yourself, or at least the sensation of doing so.

This is a fairly complicated topic, with many avenues to explore. OBEs are very real, also linked to some psychological phenomena, and have been studied scientifically. They can even be induced in a lab.

Some scientists refer to them as “extra-corporeal experiences,” and at least one study found a potential link between OBEs and areas of the brain related to kinaesthetic imagery.

On the paranormal side, there are many who deliberately practice things like spirit walking or astral projection. Of course, I can’t speak for whether or not any of that works (I’ll have to look into it), but it’s an interesting topic.


A quick one here, since we’ll be getting into dreams and divination on the blog quite a bit going forward. It’s possible that visions of yourself are a form of psychic premonition.

Perhaps you’re seeing yourself somewhere that your innate (if hidden) psychic ability knows you’ll eventually be, or is showing you something that your subconscious mind wants you to know.

Lincoln's Ghost?
Lincoln’s Ghost (Image: William H. Mumler, 1869)

Thinking back to Abraham Lincoln’s doppelganger – his wife thought the strange vision to be an omen, the pale ghostly face of her husband in the mirror representing his untimely death. Since no one else saw it, perhaps it was a psychic vision.

A Glitch In The Matrix

A Glitchy Matrix
Image: Markus Spiske/Unsplash

Whenever I come across odd topics like this, I always try to poke around and see what others have experienced. I mean, it’s one thing to write about the same old big topics that everyone always talks about – it’s another thing entirely to read the actual (albeit alleged) experiences of ordinary people.

For example, a quick browse on r/GlitchInTheMatrix led me to this bizarre story of a person who clearly saw another version of himself out on the road in front of his house. He was watching traffic from his balcony when he spotted the apparent doppelganger, which was wearing the exact same clothes, and looking right back at him from aboard his exact same scooter.

“i have a habit of staring at the traffic on the road after 7 30pm and today i was bit late coming out and i came out exactly at 7 50pm and i saw myself sitting on my scooty parked on the road staring at my home holding a mobile”

His actual scooter, which he checked immediately after the encounter, was right where he’d placed it near his gate. The whole experience lasted about two or so minutes, during which the poster said he was “in shock.”

One reply suggested that, if he ever finds himself on his scooter at that same spot in the future, he should always look up at his balcony to see if the “loop” ever completes. If he’ll ever see himself looking down in bewilderment, as he had that night.

Now, wouldn’t that be interesting?

Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions. Might be a robot.