: ψυχή, psukhē
, "spirit, soul"; + μέτρον, metron
, "measure") is a form of extra-sensory perception
in which a psychic
is said to be able to obtain information about an individual through paranormal means by making physical contact with an object that belongs to them. In recent years, the term has been superseded in favor of "token-object reading" so as to avoid potential confusion with the psychological term, "psychometry".
The term psychometry was coined by Joseph Rodes Buchanan in 1842. Buchanan developed the theory that all things give off an emanation.
"The past is entombed in the present, the world is its own enduring monument; and that which is true of its physical is likewise true of its mental career. The discoveries of Psychometry will enable us to explore the history of man, as those of geology enable us to explore the history of the earth. There are mental fossils for psychologists as well as mineral fossils for the geologists; and I believe that hereafter the psychologist and the geologist will go hand in hand, the one portraying the earth, its animals and its vegetation, while the other portrays the human beings who have roamed over its surface in the shadows, and the darkness of primeval barbarism. Aye, the mental telescope is now discovered which may pierce the depths of the past and bring us in full view of the grand and tragic passages of ancient history.""
The concept of psychometry is a popular theme for stage act and Séance; with participants being asked to provide a personal object to be "read" by a medium or psychic. It was used as the basis for Johnny Smith's visions in Stephen King's 1979 novel The Dead Zone and its subsequent 2002 television adaption.
- In the 2003 HBO series "Carnivàle", Professor Lodz can read thoughts and dreams through contact with a person or object.
- In the Heroes inspired youtube show 'DIVINE' the character North Grayson is a psychometric.
- In the 1994 film, The Crow, Brandon Lee plays a spirit of vengeance of the murdered Eric Draven. Among other powers, his character can see important events surrounding people and objects when he touches them.
- In the comic book film Hellboy, the character Abe Sapien possesses psychometric powers. The original comic book version of Abe Sapien does not have this power.
- In the television show Charmed, Phoebe Halliwell can see the past or future by touching an object, but her visions always concern the objects touched.
- In the 1988 movie Vibes, Jeff Goldblum plays a psychometrist accidentally teamed with a spirit medium, played by Cyndi Lauper.
- In the 1976 television series Children of the Stones, Peter Demin plays a psychometric child trapped in an English town surrounded by a stone circle.
- Marvel Comics character Adrienne Frost, the older sister of telepath Emma Frost, used psychometry to become an immensely wealthy corporate sociopath. She was killed by Emma when Adrienne threatened the lives of Emma's students. Longshot has the ability to see the past and future of a person by touching an object they have been in contact with.
- In the Maximum Ride book series the character Nudge is psychometric.
- Chiba Mamoru from the Sailor Moon manga is psychometric.
- Terror Inc. is an assassin who can acquire the memories and abilities of certain people by harvesting their body parts and attaching them to himself; just using the outer ear of a submarine operator, he gained his hearing acuity.
- In the movie The Meteor Man, Jefferson Reed (Robert Townsend) gains various superhuman powers from a meteorite, including to ability to psychometrically and psychosomatically memorize by touch the contents of a book; by touching a book about karate, he can perform every karate move in it. Unfortunately, this power lasts only ten seconds.
- In the anime series Trinity Blood, Sister Noelle Bor has the ability to sense memories and past events by touching objects.
- Miho Karasuma, a supporting character in the anime series Witch Hunter Robin, has psychometric abilities.
- In the Richared Bach book The Last War: Detective Ferrets and the Case of the Golden Deed, the main character's parents helped her develop psychometry by exercising her imagination as a young ferret.
- In the young adult fiction Dark Visions Trilogy, by L. J. Smith, the character Laurie Frost has the ability of psychometry. She is part of a psychic strike team hired to perform various crimes and uses her powers to answer questions when her team is under suspicion.
- In the Goth series by Katie Maxwell, the main character Fran is a psychometrist.
- In William Mize's PWA Shamus Award nominated mystery series, Denton Ward is a psychometrist.
- Kaos, the son of mad scientist Desty Nova in Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita, is a very unusual psychometrist in that not only can he read the memories of objects but can also absorb the talents and skills necessary for their creation; he gained the ability to play music through a Yamaha DX7 digital synthesizer once owned by Alan Parsons, the swordsmanship of Ryukisai Tachibana from his Muramasa katana, as well as the ability to recreate an entire wedding dress from its fragments. Desty Nova's hypothesis for the mechanism of psychometry:
- In the novel The Witching Hour, the first of Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches trilogy, protagonist Michael Curry is given the power of Psychometry as a means to lead him to back to New Orleans and involve him in the plans of the Mayfair's ghost Lasher which haunts their Garden District manor.
- In the New Universe comic book Psi-Force, one of the members Lindsey Falmon (Overtime) has psychometric powers.
- Ten-year-old Sannomiya Shiho, from the anime/manga "Zettai Karen Children", possesses extremely powerful psychometric abilities.
- In the Pokémon video game Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness, the main character holds a form of psychometry named Dimensional Scream, which activates in various points within the main story; This ability, when s/he in physical contact with someone or something, allows the character to see into the past or future in the story.
- In the anime/manga Ghost Hunt, also known in novel form as the Evil Spirits series, the character Oliver Davis has psychometric abilities in addition to telekinesis.
- On the early-1980's superhero comedy-drama The Greatest American Hero, the lead character possesses psychometric powers when wearing his super-suit. He refers to this ability as "getting vibes" off an object.