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Vardøger is a spirit predecessor in Scandinavian folklore. The stories typically include instances that are nearly déjà vu in substance, but in reverse. A spirit with the subject’s footsteps, voice, scent, or appearance and overall demeanor precedes them in a location or activity, resulting in a witness believing they have seen or heard the actual person before the person physically arrives.

In Norwegian folk belief, Vardøger is a warning spirit that goes ahead of a person. It is often heard, and sometimes seen, before the person arrives. The term Vardøger comes from the Old Norse word “vardøgr,” which means “the one who is heard before.” It is believed that the spirit can take on the appearance and voice of the person it precedes, making it difficult to distinguish between the two.

According to legend, the Vardøger is not known to harm anyone; it simply lets you know a person is coming. It is believed that the spirit is a kind of guardian angel, who warns the person of danger or negative events. The phenomenon has been described as a kind of psychic echo, where the person’s future actions are imprinted on the environment, and the Vardøger is the first to pick up on them.

Folklore Origins

Norwegian Mythology

Vardøger is a creature that originated in Norwegian mythology. The word “Vardøger” comes from Old Norse “varðhygi,” which means “premonitory sound or sight of a person before he arrives.” It is believed to be a type of spirit predecessor that appears before a person arrives at a certain place. The Vardøger is closely associated with the metaphysical psychological experiences of Autoscopy, Bilocation, and Déjà Vu.

Cultural Significance

The Vardøger has significant cultural importance in Scandinavian folklore. It is considered a type of Doppelgänger, a spirit that looks like a living person. The Vardøger is believed to be a good omen, as it is said to appear before a person arrives at a certain place, warning the people of their arrival. It is also believed to be a harbinger of good luck and fortune.

In modern times, the Vardøger has become a popular cultural reference in Scandinavian literature and media. It has been featured in various novels, films, and TV shows, often as a supernatural creature or a ghostly apparition. The Vardøger is also a popular subject in Scandinavian art, with many artists depicting the creature in their works.

Overall, the Vardøger is an important part of Scandinavian folklore and cultural heritage. Its association with premonitions and good luck has made it a beloved creature in the region, and it continues to inspire art, literature, and media to this day.

Phenomenological Aspects

Premonitory Experiences

Vardøger is a phenomenon that is often associated with premonitory experiences. These experiences are characterized by a feeling of déjà vu, where an individual feels like they have experienced a particular event before it actually occurs. In the case of Vardøger, this premonitory experience is often in the form of hearing a sound or voice that precedes the arrival of a person or event.

Psychological Interpretations

There are various psychological interpretations of the Vardøger phenomenon. One interpretation is that it is a form of auditory hallucination, where an individual hears a sound or voice that is not actually there. Another interpretation is that it is a form of confirmation bias, where an individual’s belief in the Vardøger phenomenon causes them to interpret a sound or voice as being a premonition of a future event.

Despite the various interpretations of the Vardøger phenomenon, it remains a fascinating and mysterious aspect of human experience. Its phenomenological aspects have been the subject of much research and discussion, and it continues to capture the imagination of people around the world.

Cultural References


In literature, the concept of Vardøger has been used in various forms. In the novel “The Haunted Hotel” by Wilkie Collins, a character experiences the sound of footsteps and the opening and closing of doors before the person who makes the sound actually arrives. This is similar to the premonitory sound or sight of a person before he arrives, which is the definition of Vardøger. Another example is in the novel “The Shining” by Stephen King, where the character Danny Torrance has visions of events that have not yet happened, which is similar to the concept of Vardøger.

Popular Media

The concept of Vardøger has also been referenced in popular media. In the TV show “Supernatural,” the character Sam Winchester experiences a Vardøger when he sees his own future self. The concept is also referenced in the video game “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” where the character hears the sound of their own footsteps before they arrive at their destination. This is similar to the premonitory sound of a person before they arrive, which is the definition of Vardøger.

Comparative Mythology

Vardøger, a premonitory ghostly double that precedes a living person, is a concept found in Norse mythology. However, similar concepts can be found in other cultures as well. Comparative mythology is the study of myths from different cultures in an attempt to identify shared themes and characteristics. In this section, we will explore some of the similar concepts found in other cultures that are similar to Vardøger.


The concept of a doppelgänger, a ghostly double of a living person, is found in many cultures around the world. In German folklore, a doppelgänger is seen as a harbinger of bad luck and is often associated with death. The idea of a doppelgänger is also found in Russian folklore, where it is believed that seeing one’s own doppelgänger is a sign that death is near.


In English folklore, a Fetch is a supernatural double of a living person. The Fetch is believed to be an omen of death and is often seen as a harbinger of bad luck. The concept of a Fetch is similar to Vardøger in that it is believed to precede a living person, but unlike Vardøger, it is not always seen as a positive omen.


Bilocation is the ability to be in two places at once. The concept of bilocation is found in many cultures around the world, including Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. In Catholicism, bilocation is associated with saints and is seen as a miraculous ability. In Hinduism, bilocation is associated with the concept of astral projection and is seen as a spiritual ability. The concept of bilocation is similar to Vardøger in that it involves a person being in two places at once, but unlike Vardøger, it is not necessarily associated with death or the supernatural.

Scientific Perspectives


Parapsychology is the study of paranormal and psychic phenomena. The concept of vardøger, as a premonitory sound or sight of a person before he arrives, falls under this category. While there is no scientific evidence to support the existence of vardøger, some parapsychologists believe that it could be explained by telepathy or clairvoyance. However, these claims remain controversial and lack empirical support.


Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system and its relationship to behavior, cognition, and emotions. While there is no direct research on vardøger, some neuroscientists suggest that it could be explained by the brain’s predictive processing. Predictive processing is a theory that suggests that the brain generates predictions about the world based on past experiences and sensory input. These predictions can sometimes lead to false perceptions, such as the perception of a premonitory sound or sight. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind vardøger and its relationship to the brain.

Personal Accounts

Anecdotal Evidences

Vardøger is a phenomenon that has been reported by many individuals over the years. According to anecdotal evidence, people have experienced the premonitory sound or sight of a person before he or she arrives. Some people have reported hearing their own voice or footsteps before they actually arrive at a location. Others have reported seeing their own image or that of someone they know before they arrive.

Documented Cases

There are also documented cases of Vardøger. For example, in 1907, a Norwegian sailor named Olaus Jørgensen reported experiencing the phenomenon while aboard a ship. He heard someone calling his name before he arrived at his destination. In 1969, a man named Robert Dale Owen reported hearing his own voice before he arrived at a friend’s house.

While the phenomenon of Vardøger is not well understood, it is clear that it has been experienced by many people over the years. Whether it is a psychological or paranormal phenomenon, it is an interesting and intriguing topic that continues to fascinate people.

Skeptical Views

Some people remain skeptical about the existence of Vardøger. They argue that premonitions and supernatural phenomena are nothing more than coincidences or tricks of the mind. They believe that people may hear or see things that they interpret as a Vardøger, but in reality, they are just experiencing normal sounds or sights.

Others believe that Vardøger is a product of cultural beliefs and folklore. They argue that the concept of Vardøger is deeply rooted in Scandinavian culture and mythology, and that it has been passed down through generations. They suggest that people may be influenced by these cultural beliefs and may interpret normal occurrences as Vardøger.

Despite these skeptical views, there are still many who believe in the existence of Vardøger. They claim to have experienced premonitory sounds or sights of a person before he arrives, and they believe that Vardøger is a real phenomenon. However, without scientific evidence, it is difficult to prove the existence of Vardøger, and the debate continues.

Social and Cultural Impact

Vardøger, a spirit predecessor in Scandinavian folklore, has had a significant impact on the social and cultural beliefs of the region. Here are some ways in which this phenomenon has influenced the people:

Influence on Art

Vardøger has been a popular subject in Scandinavian art, literature, and music. Many artists have been inspired by the concept of a spirit predecessor and have used it as a theme in their work. The idea of a spirit that precedes a person has been used in various ways to create different moods and atmospheres in art.

Effect on Social Beliefs

The concept of Vardøger has also had an impact on the social beliefs of the Scandinavian people. It has been used to explain various phenomena, such as déjà vu experiences, and has been associated with premonitions and other supernatural occurrences. This has led to a belief in the existence of spirits and other supernatural entities among the people.

Overall, Vardøger has had a profound impact on the social and cultural beliefs of the Scandinavian people. Its influence can be seen in various aspects of their culture, from art to social beliefs.