Bilocation and Doppelgangers:
Shadow Spirits
Padre Pio


By Diane Hill

Every morning, Bill would rise at four a.m. to take his daily walk. I would awaken just after he left, grab his pillow
and roll over for another two hours of sleep.

One morning I awoke to find Bill coming back into our room. He was dressed in gray sweats and a baseball
cap…the outfit he wore when he took his morning walks. Thinking he’d forgotten something, I rolled over to grab his
pillow only to find he was still sleeping soundly beside me.

Bill had bilocated.
Bilocation

The American Heritage Dictionary defines bilocation as, “Existence or the ability to exist simultaneously in two
places.” The laws of physics deem this phenomenon impossible. However, there have been numerous reports by
reliable witnesses of mystics and saints who have been seen in separate locations at the same time.  
Those blessed with bilocation use this gift to help comfort the sick and those who are dying.  

In the mid 1600’s, St. Joseph of Cupertino was in Rome when an elderly friend, whom he referred to as “Father”, fell
ill back in his hometown.  St. Joseph had promised Father he would be there to pray with him at the hour of his
death.  As the time of Father’s death grew nearer, the people who were caring for him saw St. Joseph praying with
him.  They were astounded because they knew he was in Rome.  When asked how he’d gotten there, Saint Joseph
simply answered, “I came to assist the soul of Father.”  Then he vanished.

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My husband, Reverend Bill Hill, is an ordained interfaith minister and healer.  He meditates daily and works with
the Archangel Raphael, the angel of healing. He is also devoted to St. Pio. Oftentimes, he would casually mention to
me just before retiring for the evening, he was going out healing with St. Pio. I always assumed Bill meant he was
“going out” in a figurative way, and I would nod indulgently and go to sleep. In retrospect, I now realize Bill was
bilocating.
                 
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Of all the saints and mystics who have possessed this remarkable gift of bilocation, St. Pio of Italy is perhaps the
most well-known. There are many reliable sources who witnessed St. Pio’s simultaneous appearances. He explained
his bilocation ability by saying it was an extension of his personality.  

Reportedly, during World War II, Saint Pio made a vow to the people of San Giovanni Rotondo in Italy. He
promised them their city would not be destroyed.

Since southern Italy was still occupied by the Nazis, American fighter pilots were ordered to attack San Giovanni
Rotondo.  As American bombers approached the city, the pilots reported seeing a friar in brown robes appeared
before their aircraft. Every attempt to release their bombs failed. The pilots were forced to return to their airbase
without ever dropping a single bomb. St. Pio had kept his promise to the people of San Giovanni Rotondo.  

Some months later, one of the pilots involved in this incident visited the friary and recognized St. Pio as the man he
had seen appear in front of his plane that day.

In this case, St. Pio manifested yet another form of bilocation.

In another instance, a despondent Italian army officer, contemplating suicide, locked himself in a hotel room. As he
was preparing to end his life, St. Pio appeared in his room telling him not to give in to his desperation. Since there
was no way anyone could have entered his room without being seen, the officer concluded his “vision” was divine
intervention. He did not go through with his plan.  

The officer saw a photograph of St. Pio in a newspaper and recognized him as the monk who intervened that fateful
evening. He visited San Giovanni Rotondo to tell St. Pio of the vision he had in his hotel room. Before he could
speak, St. Pio greeted him by saying, “It was a close call that night, eh?”  

Doppelganger

Unlike a person bilocating, when a doppelganger is seen, tragedy or death soon follows. “Doppel” is German
meaning “double”. “Ganger” is German meaning “goer”.

Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary defines a doppelganger as “a ghostly counterpart of a person; a ghostly
double of a living person”.  

Percy Bysshe Shelly, one of England’s greatest poets, came across his doppelganger while in Italy. The apparition
pointed in the direction of the Mediterranean Sea. Not long after this ghostly encounter, Shelly drowned in a sailing
accident in that very same sea.

While visiting Paris, another English poet, John Donne, saw his wife’s doppelganger. She was cradling an infant in
her arms. This was prophetic because his wife was pregnant at the time. However, the apparition turned out to be a
harbinger of tragedy. Donne’s wife gave birth to a stillborn child.  

It has been reported that Queen Elizabeth I saw her doppelganger lying on her bed.  Death claimed the queen shortly
thereafter.  

Emilie Sagee, a 32 year-old teacher at an exclusive girls’ school in France, is said to have had a doppelganger that
would randomly appear and disappear in front of the students.

While writing on the blackboard her students were astonished to see her doppelganger writing on the blackboard
beside her except the doppleganger was not holding any chalk!  

Sagee’s shadow spirit did not always appear next to her. Forty-two young ladies were in a sewing class and Sagee
was out in the school’s garden in full view of all these students; their sewing teacher left the room and Sagee’s
doppelganger materialized in the seat vacated by the teacher.  The students could still see Sagee outside gathering
flowers.  When two of the girls approached the doppelganger and attempted to touch it, there was resistance in the air
surrounding it. Slowly, as the students watched in fascination, the apparition evaporated.  

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Even though I have seen people I swear could be twins to people I know, I can state emphatically that none were
doppelgangers. However, I can truthfully say I have firsthand experience with a bilocator.  

                                                                     *

There is a fundamental difference between a doppelganger and a bilolcator.  The doppelganger is merely a shadow
spirit of the real person.  It does not show any reaction or emotion.  Those who bilocate, on the other hand, speak and
interact with people they visit.

While doppelgangers herald mostly doom, bilocators bring solace and comfort.  Doppelgangers and bilocators are
truly paranormal paradoxes.
                                                                 
                                                                    -30-