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Vintage Photos Expose The Strange Fixation On Twins Throughout History

Are you seeing double? It's so easy to be mesmerized by portraits of twins who look like mirror images of each other. Artists have been capturing these uncanny sights for centuries now, and while these twin photographs are spellbinding on their own, the stories behind them are even more compelling. Perhaps their experiences can even peel back some of the mysteries behind these special sibling relationships...

More than skin deep?

Of course people are drawn to twins. We’re taught that everyone is different, so when two people who look virtually identical stand next to each other, it’s somehow magical. It runs much deeper than that, though. There is something otherworldly about the twins phenomenon and if rumors are to be believed, it’s more than skin deep.

Stranger than fiction

Have you ever heard of the supernatural link twins supposedly share? An unbreakable bond that transcends distance? It’s a common belief, but it’s so persistent that it does make you wonder if there’s any substance to it. Perhaps this is why twins are a recurring subject in photography. Either way, truth is indeed sometimes stranger than fiction if the reports are anything to go by. 


The mysterious nature of twins has become a common trope in our subconscious. It even raises its heads on our screens. Some of the most memorable movie moments — particularly in horror — leverage the mystery of twins. The scary ghost sisters in Stephen King’s The Shining is a prime example; apparently it was a role that came easily to actors Louise and Lisa Grady. “We’re naturally spooky,” they told Cosmopolitan magazine in 2019. 


Chang and Eng Bunker are one of the earliest examples of famous twins. When they first arrived on the scene, so many photographers wanted to capture them there was a media frenzy. That’s because they were conjoined. In fact, they were the originators of the now-frowned-upon phrase “Siamese twins” and they were so popular it became an umbrella term for anyone with the conjoined condition. It was a unique occurrence to most people of the age.