Friday, October 12, 2012

Are you a Touch-Know?

Over a year ago, I started a very small paranormal dictionary, which I named the Paranormal ABC's, as it was not intended to be a comprehensive lexicon of paranormal terms.  For reasons unbeknownst to me, I abandoned that list before it was even halfway finished.  With Halloween coming up, and traffic to my blog steadily increasing, I felt inspired to give this another shot.  Most of these entries will NOT be fully researched articles, but offer just enough info and resources for further study to give you a good idea of some of this field's vocabulary.  I hope you enjoy!

Pam obtains information from touching Rose Red's front door.
She calls herself a "touch-know."

Among the many, many ways that psychic abilities can manifest, one of my personal favorites is the theory of psychometry.  In short, psychometry is the ability of a person to read an object's history through touch.  By touching the object, the psychometrist is able to psychically pick up impressions through visions, smells, sounds, etc.

The actual term psychometry was coined in 1842 by Joseph R. Buchanan and comes from the Greek psyche, meaning "soul" and metron, meaning "measure."  Occasionally, the phenomena is called psychoscopy in order to distinguish it from the field of study in psychology dealing with psychological testing and measurement, also called psychometry or psychometrics.  Fans of the Stephen King work Rose Red may know this ability by another name...the much more descriptive term of "touch-know."

In any event, this definition is great if you are an animist, and throughout the 1800s, WAS a widely accepted theory of paranormal phenomena.  It was even tested in the scientific community as geologist William Denton experimented with psychometric abilities of his sister, Ann Cridge.  In 1854, William wrapped up various samples from his work, and had Ann 'touch' the samples to her forehead.  Ann was able to correctly identify the samples in this manner, based on the visual psychic impressions she received.

In the early 1920s a German doctor by the name of Gustav Pagenstecher studied one of his patients who also seemed to have this unique ability.  He formed his own theory involving the idea that all matter gives off vibrations.  This "vibrations theory,"  which does have scientific research to back it up, is largely the accepted theory of today's psychometrists who are able to pick up these slight vibrations and interpret them.

Those will this ability often find that metal objects will retain the most residual energies, especially those exposed to a high degree of emotion.  That is why, even though I LOVE antique jewelry, I would NEVER wear someone else's wedding or engagement ring, lol.  Way too much emotion there to even risk trying one of the many "cleansing" rituals that are recommended, including simply running water over the object or bathing it in sea salts.  It would constantly be running through my mind whether or not the person who wore this had a happy marriage or not, and whether or not that would affect my own.  Granted, I DO watch too much paranormal themed TV/movies and psychometry, whether they mention it by name or not, is a popular theme, offering a great plot device for characters to obtain information.

I personally have also wondered about the impressions received from such objects, especially those with a LONG history of various owners.  It is my understanding that only the strongest of the recorded emotions come to the surface, so to speak.  To me, that's a little depressing, because maybe someone else's story will not get told because its not as tragic as someone else's who had the object.

I'm linking to a wonderful Paranormal article on the subject, and also encourage those interested to check out the book Haunted Objects by Chris Balzano.  The book, which discusses a variety of haunted objects and theories about how they got that way, covers the haunting of objects through spirit attachments and also discusses psychometry to a degree.  However, there really is no clear distinction as to where, and if, these lines cross or the psychometrist actually picking up energies from the object itself, or is he/she being influenced by an intelligent entity wanting the story of a beloved object told?  

Let me know what YOU think!  


*Are you a fan of Rose Red?  Find out about the TRUE hauntings of the home where the exterior shots of this movie were filmed!  Thornewood Castle information from Theresa's Haunted History*


  1. I do not read objects. I read people. When I'm particularly focused I have to actually TRY to not read people. I can touch a person's skin and know everything about them almost like having read a book - I know their whole life from cover to cover. It can be upsetting, as it is difficult to know what to do with such whole knowledge without damage. I need to learn more about what I do and what I should do with it.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with your ability! With time and practice, hopefully your gift will become more manageable and easier to deal with; good luck!