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Double Trouble Triangles

Doppelganger by Yaroslav Gerzhedovich (2012)

Doppelganger Day

Apr 20

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

“I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both.”

~ Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1886

Have you ever encountered your spectral twin, decked out in a kilt? On Doppelgänger Day, a playful online celebration, social media users switch their profile photos to those of celebrities, athletes, or historical icons who mirror their own looks. This light-hearted tradition draws inspiration from ancient lore where a doppelgänger—often seen as a ghostly or paranormal double—is considered an omen of misfortune, not just a benign twin. The concept is woven deeply into culture and literature, such as in Robert Louis Stevenson's chilling novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In this tale, Dr. Henry Jekyll, tormented by his darker impulses, concocts a potion to unleash his shadow self, Edward Hyde. Hyde, a malevolent entity who grows increasingly powerful, eventually overpowers Jekyll, leading the desperate doctor to take a fatal measure to curb the monster he unwittingly released. This story, among others, paints the doppelgänger not merely as a look-alike, but as a harbinger of one's darkest depths coming to light. If that all seems far too dark, double-down more benignly with some double triangles in this 48 bar reel, which gives plenty of opportunity to get yourself into trouble! But keep on eye your partner! 👀 👀 👻

Double Trouble Triangles

Doppelgänger week is a light-hearted game on social media which is played by replacing your own profile image with that of your nearest celebrity doppelgänger.  There are image matching tools to help you find a lookalike from the universe of cartoons, historical art, or famous personages.


The German word Doppelgänger means “double goer” and refers to a wraith or apparition that is a replica of a living person. Doppelgängers were generally considered omens of bad luck or even signs of impending death.

The 'evil twin' variation in doppelgänger folklore tells of doubles attempting to provide misleading or malicious advice to the person they shadow.  They may also attempt to plant sinister ideas in their victim’s mind or cause them great confusion. For this reason, people were advised to avoid communicating with their own doppelgänger at all costs.

Celtic folkloric versions of doppelgängers are the Irish "fetch" (a supernatural double or apparition of a living person) and the Orkney Island "trows" or "drows" (fairy-like creatures who steal healthy human babies and replace them with their own sickly children as  ‘changelings’, who transform into exact replicas of the stolen children).   

Some well known examples of doppelgängers in literature are: 

  • The ghost of Hamlet’s father in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” - revenge is put in Hamlet’s mind by the apparition of his father who reveals that he was murdered.

  • “William Wilson”, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe - William, the protagonist, meets another boy in school who had the same name and looked surprisingly like him. This doppelgänger haunts William all his life. 

  • Joseph Conrad uses a doppelgänger theme in his short story “The Secret Sharer” - in the story, “Laggatt”, ex-skipper of a ship, acts as a doppelgänger of “The Captain”. 

  • Robert Louis Stevenson explores the theme of doppelgänger in his classic novel “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” - Hyde is the evil double of the honorable Dr. Jekyll.  

To see this vigorous dance performed by the RSCDS in 2016, click the video (filmed and edited by Red Barn Studios). 

Double Trouble Triangles

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

Double Trouble Triangles

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