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The vardøger, vardøgr or varsel is a spirit predecessor, from Scandinavian folklore. Stories typically include instances that are nearly déjà vu in substance, but in reverse, where a spirit with the subject's footsteps, voice, scent, or appearance and overall demeanor precedes them in a location or activity, resulting in witnesses believing they've seen or heard the actual person before the person physically arrives. This bears a subtle difference from a doppelgänger, with a less sinister connotation. It has been likened to being a phantom double, or form of bilocation.

The word vardøger is probably from Norse *varðhygi, consisting of the elements vǫrð, "guard, watchman" (akin to "warden") and hugr, "mind" or "soul". Originally, vardøger was considered a fylgja, a sort of guardian spirit. In Finland the concept is known as etiäinen.


Further reading[edit]

  • Doubles: The Enigma of the Second Self, Rodney Davies, 1998, ISBN 0-7090-6118-8
  • Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals, Rupert Sheldrake, 2000, ISBN 0-609-80533-9
  • Phone Calls From the Dead [chapter on "intention" phone calls], D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless, 1980, ISBN 0-425-04559-5

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