726: Emilie Sagee

Mostly Ghostly

Born: 1813, Dijon, France

Died: Unknown

Also Known As: Octavie or Emilie Saget

Emilie claimed to have never seen her spectral doppelganger, but many others did in multiple locations.

She was a nineteenth century Frenchwoman who worked as a schoolteacher and was seen as pretty and likable. But according to the 1860 book in which her story appears, Emilie had been fired from at least nineteen jobs because of her ghostly follower in sixteen years. It wasn’t always right beside her either; apparently forty or so students saw it sitting in the teacher’s chair while Emilie was outside gardening! Emilie kept getting fired after parents found out about the ghost and pulled their students from the school over fears of the unknown.

Whether or not the story is actually true, or whether Emilie is a real person, is up for debate. Her story only appears in the one book, entitled Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World written in 1860. Every other story about Emilie derives from that one single source.

The author of the book interviewed some of the students who were taught by Emilie, but it was thirty years after she worked for the school. Modern day historical sleuths tried verifying the information provided in the book with documentation, but some holes quickly appeared. The only girl born in Dijon in 1813 with the Saget last named was named Octavie, not Emilie. If this is the same girl as our teacher, then she might have changed her name because of her illegitimate birth status, trying to distance herself from her parents’ indiscretions.

The supposed school named in the book is also elusive. Either the name, the location, or both were recorded incorrectly, and internet historians have been unable to track it down.

For these reasons, most historians have stated Emilie’s story is nothing more than a case of nineteenth century spiritualists at their best. Working hard to share stories of cases that likely aren’t true or are simply based on a tall tale.