Created By: Earnest on July 15, 2012 Last Edited By: Earnest on July 26, 2012

Post Contact Supernatural Sensitivity

Had something supernatural related happen to you? Now you have weird-dar.

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Trope
When a character comes in contact with the supernatural and it gives them a sort of sixth sense that warns them of more of the same type of supernatural creature (or events related to them) happening nearby.

Characters with Post Contact Supernatural Sensitivity have this contact either as their Back Story or in the story itself. For example, a character who is possessed by a ghost and is later exorcised being able to see or sense nearby ghosts, or someone bitten by a vampire getting psychic visions whenever the vampire is emotional.

This "power" (it's in quotations because it tends to be Blessed with Suck) isn't either the most reliable or the most permanent. It may be flaky, vague like a prophecy, activate randomly rather than on command or liable to cause Psychic Nosebleeds, headaches and at worst function as a two way link to the supernatural that can mess with the character. This Super Empowering may be the result of Touched by Vorlons, turning the character on to The Masquerade and make them a Weirdness Magnet for more of the same. On the bright side, thanks to No Ontological Inertia it's often the case that if the initial entity bites the dust so does the Post Contact Supernatural Sensitivity.

Compare Spider-Sense, which warns of nearby danger. Contrast My Significance Sense Is Tingling, where characters are aware of distant events happening. Surprisingly, not always a form of Supernatural Sensitivity, where a character is sensitive to magic being cast.

Anime and Manga
  • Berserk: Guts' and Casca's brands start bleeding in the presence of Apostles, as it attracts them.
  • In Bleach, Tatsuki and Orihime are able to sense the presence of Hollows after being attacked by one.

Film
  • In E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, once the titular extraterrestrial uses his glowing finger to link his life to Elliot's, they both share a mutual affinity.
  • At the end of The Frighteners Dr. Lucy develops the ability to see ghosts due to the events of the movie.
  • In Bram Stoker's Dracula after Mina is bitten and takes some of the count's blood she develops a psychic link that lets her know where he is and goes, which helps the heroes head him off before he reaches his castle.

Literature
  • Harry Potter's psychic connection to Voldemort plays out this way, working to Harry's advantage until Voldemort uses it to trick him.
  • In The Firebird, Tsar Ivan's estate has been free of spiritual activity since the Jerkass atheist came into power. Then someone starts stealing from his orchards and spiritual activity starts popping up. First Ilya (the protagonist) encounters the nearly-forgotten bannik, spirit of the bath-house. Then he sees the titular firebird. Then he gets the gift of animal languages. Then he spends a terrifying night in the family crypt. Then things get weird.

Live-Action TV
  • In The X-Files, multiple abductees (like Cassandra Spender) gain the ability to "hear" the aliens' "calls".
  • Stargate SG-1 uses the sci-fi equivalent. After Carter spends an episode with a Goa'uld inside of her, she gains the ability to sense other Goa'uld's, and often whatever alien or Phlebotinum they're dealing with that week. Handwaved to be the result of naquedah in her blood.
  • Teen Wolf has this regarding werewolf bites. In the first season, after Jackson was clawed by Beta werewolf Derek (who was so heavily poisoned by wolfsbane at the time it actually leaked into Jackson as well) he frequently halucinated disturbing visions related to Derek's Dark and Troubled Past. Made all the more disturbing because Jackson had no context for them.
    • In the second season Lydia is having similar halucinations after surviving being bitten by the Alpha.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • July 15, 2012
    Koveras
    • In The X Files, multiple abductees (like Cassandra Spender) gain the ability to "hear" the aliens' "calls".
  • July 16, 2012
    abk0100
    • Stargate SG 1 uses the sci-fi equivalent. After Carter spends an episode with a Goa'uld inside of her, she gains the ability to sense other Goa'uld's, and often whatever alien or Phlebotinum they're dealing with that week. Handwaved to be the result of naquedah in her blood.
  • July 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    [nevrmind, after review, not examples]
  • July 17, 2012
    TonyG
    Related to Touched By Vorlons.
  • July 17, 2012
    Generality
    Strangely, not always related to Supernatural Sensitivity.
  • July 25, 2012
    oztrickster
    In Bleach, Tatsuki and Orihime are able to sense the presence of Hollows after being attacked by one.
  • July 25, 2012
    surgoshan
    • In The Firebird, Tsar Ivan's estate has been free of spiritual activity since the Jerkass atheist came into power. Then someone starts stealing from his orchards and spiritual activity starts popping up. First Ilya (the protagonist) encounters the nearly-forgotten bannik, spirit of the bath-house. Then he sees the titular firebird. Then he gets the gift of animal languages. Then he spends a terrifying night in the family crypt. Then things get weird.
  • July 25, 2012
    Chabal2
    Berserk: Guts' and Casca's brands start bleeding in the presence of Apostles, as it attracts them.
  • July 26, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Live Action Television:

    • Two examples from Farscape:
      • When John Crichton unlocks the knowledge the Ancients put in his head, he gains detailed knowledge of wormhole physics as well as an instinctive sense for when and where a wormhole will appear. He puts this to good use in the latter seasons. He also starts writing equations in an alien language all over his arms and the walls.
      • Similarly, after being possessed by an Energy Being, Chiana gained precognitive abilities, which developed over the latter seasons into an ability to observe events in extreme detail, as through close-up and slowed down in time, and to calculate chains of cause and effect in such a way as to be able to predict multiple effects of a single action. Chiana being Chiana, she uses it mostly to save her friends and cheat at gambling.
  • July 26, 2012
    fulltimeD
    On second thought, this IS Touched By Vorlons. Read that article. It describes exactly this.
  • July 26, 2012
    Earnest
    Reading TBV over, the similarities are that supernatural contact causes Super Empowering. Specifically, TBV mentions that the touched can become massively and uncontrollably powerful, and that the gained ability/ies can be random.

    Post Contact Supernatural Sensitivity is specifically about being able to Sense more of the same type of weirdness. Only one of the examples we have so far are on TBV. The Farscape examples only qualify for TBV, since neither Chricton or Chiana gain the ability to sense more of the beings who gave them their gifts. It's probably best to labes PCSS a su trope of TBV.
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