Here’s a strange story for you! This one involves me, and it has been bothering me for decades. So, I’d like your input on it.
People say that everyone has a twin — their doppelganger, a spitting image of themselves.
I have one, but I have never seen her. I grew up in Macomb, Illinois, a small college town roughly 90 miles from Peoria and Springfield in McDonough County.
My doppelganger must have lived in Industry, also in McDonough County, about 12 miles from Macomb.
Before I tell you about my friend seeing “me” on the town square, let me tell you how all of this began.
The Girl From Industry
Twice in my life, two men on two different days and months apart thought I was from Industry. I did not know either man very well; we knew each other because the area was small, and people knew about everyone.
One night, my friend and I were at a local bar in our hometown in the early 90s. The bar was predominantly college kids, but several locals frequented the joint because it was one of the best bars in town.
Steve showed up with a few of our other friends. He was from a different small town in the same county and utterly drunk to the point he was annoying.
Steve took one look at me and insisted he knew me and that I was from Industry. I informed him matter-of-factly that he did not and that I grew up in Macomb.
Steve refused to believe me, and we went back and forth. I don’t remember how long this went on, but Steve never believed me and kept insisting I was this girl. He finally walked away, or I ignored him. I don’t remember, but it was probably the latter.
I met Jack when I briefly worked at a local factory a few months after the incident with Steve.
I knew of Jack, and he knew of me, but we never hung out. One of my other girlfriends briefly dated him, but I never was around them when they were together.
One night at work, Jack started making small talk. My older brother had worked there for years, so Jack knew him, and my brother also worked our shift.
Over our little chat, Jack asked, “You’re from Industry, right?”
At this point, I wanted to do the eye roll, but instead, I answered, “No, I’m from here, born and raised.”
“Really?” he asked as if entirely stunned.
“Yeah, really. Ask my brother if you don’t believe me.”
“I believe you. But, wow, you look just like that girl!”
“So I’ve been told, but I’m not her.”
Unlike Steve, Jack seemed to believe me, albeit dumbfounded, like he didn’t know what to say after that. I quit that lousy job shortly after and never saw or spoke to him again.
The Lady at the Bank
This incident was brief, but it made me wonder.
In 2011, I worked in another small town about 35 miles from where I currently live, which is only a few miles from Industry and 30 miles from Macomb in a different county. I had to drive through Industry’s south side to work and back.
One day, I was driving through and decided to turn off the county road and take the highway instead. At a corner on the main road sits a bank. As I approached the street, a woman walking into the local bank looked at me and waved as if she knew me. It wasn’t because she saw me and was friendly. She waved wholeheartedly with a big smile on her face. I could tell by the way she dressed that she worked there. I felt she knew me, but I had never met her.
I thought it was weird, but I waved back anyway. After the other encounters, I asked myself, “Does she think I am her?”
The Woman Walking Her Dog
The following incident, well, it freaked me out for eternity. I still don’t know what to make of it.
As mentioned above, I drove through Industry to and from work.
For only five days during the summer of 2011, I kept seeing this woman, probably in her 40s, walking west (I drove east) along the side of the road with her black Labrador on the same stretch of road at the same time each day.
The first day I drove past her, she smiled at me, and I smiled back. I didn’t think much of it at the time.
Days 2, 3, and 4 got a little stranger.
As I slowly drove by, she would stop, look directly at me with a confused expression, and slightly shake her head. It happened on all three days. It was as if she either couldn’t believe what she was seeing or that she knew me but did not get a response from me by waving or anything and couldn’t understand. It was super strange.
But it was the fifth day that freaked me out the most.
As usual, I was driving home from work. As I entered Industry, I saw her walking her dog in the usual spot along the road at the same time as the previous four days. As I drove slowly by her, she again stopped walking the dog. But this time, she turned and bent down to look at me through my rolled-up car window as I passed her, shaking her head in confusion.
I was annoyed at this point, so I glared back at her. I looked in my rearview mirror as I passed her and the dog. She was standing in the middle of the road watching me drive away, shaking her head harder and acting completely shocked, for lack of a better word. It freaked me out. What was up with this lady? I thought.
I never thought to stop to see if she knew me, which is another strange thing. Why didn’t I stop and ask? I wish I had.
I had no idea who she was; I had never met her. After the fifth day, I never saw her or the dog again. All I know is that she seemed to recognize me, but when I didn’t acknowledge her, it confused her.
I still drive that way each week and think about her every time, remembering how strange the whole incident was and that I never saw her again.
All of the above weird encounters have one common denominator: Industry. Here’s a little twist to add to the story. My mother grew up in Industry and graduated high school there. Her parents lived there until their deaths in the 70s. I visited Industry all the time as a kid.
In high school, my best friend was good friends with another girl who attended Industry High School. I had seen her on a few occasions with my friend. However, this girl never said a word about me looking like someone from her town.
The Day My Friend Saw Me on the Town Square – Only He Didn’t
I worked in Macomb at a local hotel in the early 90s. One day in 1992, long after the Steve and Jack ordeal, a close male friend came into my workplace and gave me the third degree, nicely, of course.
“I saw you today and hollered at you, but you ignored me. What gives?”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“I was running errands at 3:30 p.m. and saw you on the square [town square] getting out of your car and walking to one of the stores. I hollered your name several times, but you never responded.”
I worked from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., so I was completely confused because I was at work when he said he saw me.
“Tom, that was not me. I have been here at work since 3 p.m. I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Now, he’s getting a little irritated and thinking I am messing with him.
“Deb, do you or do you not drive a navy two-door Ford Escort with a silver stripe along both sides of the car?”
“Tom, you know I do. So?”
“SO, I SAW YOU ON THE SQUARE!”
“No, you didn’t! I told you I’ve been at work. It wasn’t me! I don’t know who you think you saw, but she wasn’t me!”
The weird part about my car? I had the dealership put silver stripes on the car when I bought it brand new in 1991. It was an option given during the buying process. The vehicle did not come with them. So, this chick looked identical to me, drove the same color, make, and model of car, and put silver stripes on the sides.
After much convincing, Tom accepted that he did not see me and said, “Wow, the girl I saw looked just like you, curly brown hair and all, and she got out of a car that looked just like yours. No wonder she never responded!”
Tom told me this woman had styled her curly hair as I did back then, and it matched my color. Tom and I were good friends and knew each other well. We never dated; we were like bother and sister. So, when he believed he saw me on the square, it freaked me out. Hell, it still freaks me out!
That girl was not me, but I believe she’s the girl Steve and Jack thought I was, and after the 2011 incident, I also believe that the woman with her dog thought I was this girl.
I had a couple of incidents as a child. I used to ride a mustard yellow bike around my neighborhood. The bike stood out because of its color.
One time my mom ran an errand. When she returned, I was in the living room watching television. She surprisedly said, “I swear I just saw you riding your bike! I waved like mad at you but you didn’t wave back.”
It wasn’t me because I had not left the house. The same thing happened to our next-door neighbor. She thought she had seen me on my bike, but it wasn’t me at that time either.
I’m not sure those are related to the others mentioned above, but I still wonder about them. I believe there is a reason we retain certain memories. We are meant to remember them.
Whoever this girl is, she must have moved away from the area because I have not had any more strange happenings. At one time, I contemplated approaching my parents, thinking they forgot to tell me something like I have a twin. 😂 I also wondered about crossing into a different reality.🤣 But a doppelganger makes the most sense. 😉
Has something similar happened to you? Do you have a bizarre story you’d like to share? It can be anything — ghost encounters, spooky places, time slips, etc. Email me, and I’ll post it on my blog or comment below! I think it would be so much fun to share weird stories!