I was thinking about last week's post, noodling around the internet and pursuing my fascination with evil twins and doppelgangers, and I came upon something so bizarre, so flat out nutso, it could only be real. Turns out there is a psychological condition called Capgras Delusion. Patients suffering from this believe that their friends and family -- those closest to them -- have been replaced by identical impostors. Since the first documented case of this seems to have been in 1923 -- well before Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- it means that our own brains produced it without any seeds planted from the world of mass media. Just how crazy are we? Until now, I thought the extreme of psychological breakdown was represented by Münchausen syndrome by proxy (so ably depicted in The Sixth Sense), but I've adopted a whole new outlook on crazy now.
Twins and doubles have a deep. archetypal resonance. They pop up again and again in literature (try Dostoyevsky's The Double), film (try The Broken) and everything in between. Maybe we find them a little bit too fascinating.