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The Vardogar

The Vardogar    
Mr and Mrs. McCahen visited the Grand Canyon in September, 1956. On the first evening of their visit, in the twilight, on September 4,Mrs. McCahen saw a woman walking to up to one of the cabins. A man and a boy accompanied her, carrying her luggage. Mrs. McCahen turned to her husband and said, "There is Mrs. Nash, a lady that I served jury duty with a year ago. Her husband has one arm. But I will see her in the morning, as she is probably tired.
"The next day I saw her sitting on the veranda, and I went to talk to her. Our husbands met each other and we had a pleasent chat until I mentioned that I had seen her the evening before, but didn't speak then. Mr. and Mrs. Nash both looked astoinished and said they had just gotten there with a busload of tourists. He doesn't drive far, because of his arm."
Mrs. McCahen had met Mrs. Nash only once before, and Mr. McCahen had never seen them before. It had been a year since Mrs. McCahen had seen her, and Mrs. McCahen had no idea that the Nashes were going to be at the Grand Canyon at that time. Paul McCahen confirmed the incident: "My wife pointed out a lady to be Mrs. Nash about tewn or fifteen feet away from us the evening before. The next day about noon my wife met Mrs. Nash and told her that she had seen her the evening before. Mrs. nash said that was impossible becuase they had arrived only that morning."
What Mrs. McCahen had experienced closely resembles a traditional psychic phenomenon which, in name and specific pattern, is usually restricted to Norway; and even there, it has become quite rare. Its name is Vardogr-even in modern Norwegian somehting of an archaic word with its linguistic roots in ancient devil worship. Norse migrants brought the phenomenon to Scotland, but it is rarely recorded at present. Wiers Jensen, writing in the Norwegian Journal of Psychical Research, stated that the Vardogr reports are virtually all aliuke. They run along these lines: Steps are heard on a staircase, there are sounds of an outside door being unlocked; somebody is taking off his overshoes, putting stick against the wall-when the inside door is opened, there is no one there. The saounds were those of the Vardogr, the "human double," the forerunner, so to speak, of the actual visitor, who may arrive five to ten minutes later. One may call these doorstep noises the "sounds of intention". Cases like these seem to be reported at about the time at which a husband leaves his office; they are, possibly, anticipating his arrival at a comfortable home after stomping through a bitter Norwegian winter.
Ebon, page 142f.

Professor Thorstein Wereide, emeritus in physics at the University of oslo, Norway, believes in the Vardogr is unique to Norway, because the people of Norways countryside and mountains have for centuries been more isolated than people of other European countries. "Communication between individuals has been difficult, and hence nature seems to have made use of "supernatural" means to compensate for this isolation." Professor Wereide feels that the phenomenon, a sort of "physical prophecy", has been taken by Norwegian city dwellers from the countryside in which they lived a generation or two ago and that they have "brought with them the faculty of Vardogr observation, even though city conditions make this phenomenon less necessary than in the countryside."
Ebon, page 142f.

Professor Wereide's interpretation of the Vardogr phenomenon fits well into the widely held hypothesis that telepathic and prophetic phenomena fill psychological needs, jumps gaps in time or space, and estab;ish a line of communication that does not otherwise exist. It can easily be argued that the eager husband or wife, in the midst of a Norwegian winter, establish a psychic rapport that expresses itself by auditory means, with sounds similar to those associated with "poltergeist" phenomena. Yet, the Vardogr of Mr. and mrs. nash, on the evening of September 4, 1956, outside a small mountain cabin in the Grand Canyon, elused all such explanations. Still, there are many other parallels in psychical research; we can even give them a quite respectable name: "precognitive apparitions."
Ebon, page 143f.

Norway appears to be particularly prone to a rare type of spirit double known as a "Vardogr", or "Phantom forerunner", so much so that is has given rise to the saying "Is that you, or your Vardogr"? whenever someone is early for an appointment. However, thes phantoms are  usually auditory rather than visual. Wiers Jensen, a student at the University of Oslo at the turn of the century, is said to have had a vardogr who regularly alerted his landlady that he was on his way home by rattling the front door knob or making phantom footsteps around the boarding house. His commitments at the university meant that his movements were unpredictable, but as soon as his landlady heard his vardogr she knew to put his dinner on so that it was ready by the time he arrived in person. The same is said to have been true of Oslo University professor Thorstein Wereide who was a member of  Norway's Society for psychical research in the 1950's. Professor Wereide believed that such phenomena were common thrughout the world but that Norwegians were particularly sensitive to them because they were a rural people. "Nature", he explained, seems to have made use of supernatural means to compensate for this isolation.
Ebon, page
Unconscious in the Astral
by: Llewellyn
The Vardøgr