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Psychometry is a Psychic Power whereby a person receives visions upon physical contact, sometimes involuntarily. The most common form is when the person touches an object and receives information about things or people the object has associated with and/or the environment around the object. It can also manifest as touching a person and getting visions or knowledge of their history, memories, or character.

Sister Trope to Touch Telepathy (active mental communication through touch), often overlaps with it. Compare Dreaming of Times Gone By, which can convey similar information but is done through dreams rather than a psychic event.

Not to be confused with psychrometry, which is the real life study of vapors.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Psychometry is one of the titular Saiki Kusuo’s many powers.
  • Kaos from Gunnm perceives the world mostly this way (for some reason his ordinary senses are scrambled). His power is so great that he can use the items with the full skill of their previous owners, which is quite a surprise for a bunch of assassins who invade his truck and he grabs a katana.
  • Mekakushi no Kuni revolves around this, with all three of its main leads having some version of this: Kanade occasionally sees the future of an object, Arou always sees an object's past, and Masahiro who can see an objects future in a controlled manner.
  • Yukina Sonogi of Night Raid 1931 has this kind of ability aside from telepathy, which fits perfectly for her role as Mission Control.
  • Psychometrer Eiji is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: misfit teen Eiji Asuma aids Fair Cop Ryoko Shima in her homicide investigations. His powers seem to grow over the course of the series, to the point where he's able to literally read the air for information.
  • Sailor Moon: Mamoru has this as a power in the manga and Crystal, along with Healing Hands and an apparent Psychic Link with his soulmate Usagi. He does gain an actual attack in the Black Moon arc. His psychometry becomes more obvious starting in the BM arc; it was very subtle beforehand. He's also capable of transferring energy to other people. The removal of all his powers in the 90s anime led to an Adaptation Induced Plothole in the third season.
  • Some people from the Tokyo Babylon second OVA have this power, much to the surprise of Subaru since it's stated to be very rare. These people are a young woman named Mirei, Mirei's own mother (who uses it in a Heroic Sacrifice to save her daughter), and a handsome bookworm named Miyazaki who's Mirei's love interest.
  • In Tokyo ESP, Murasaki can read the past of objects by touching them. Later she starts using this ability on weapons to copy their past owners' fighting skills.
  • Miho Karasuma from Witch Hunter Robin has this power, perceiving people's feelings and even past events through handling objects they've touched.
  • Two female characters created by Yoshihiro Togashi have both this skill and Touch Telepathy:
    • Kaname Hagiri's sister in Yu Yu Hakusho got such powers when the Demon's Gate was opened. At the end of the Sensui saga she's seen mourning the death of a stray cat at the hands of a bunch of Japanese Delinquents, touches the kitty's corpse to retrieve its last memories, and then places her hand on her brother's forehead to give him said memories so he can locate the killers and punish them.
    • If Pakunoda from Hunter × Hunter wants to know something about a person and get info from them, all she has to do is get in physical contact with him/her and activate her powers via a question. The only foolproof way to counter her skills is simply not knowing what she's talking about, as she's so good at it that she can even pick up subconscious thoughts and know when they're trying to lie to her.
  • Shiho of Zettai Karen Children is one of the setting's most powerful users of psychometry. Along with Touch Telepathy she can handle objects used by criminals and provide details about the crime and how the object was used. Her father, a chief of police, was taking advantage of this while Shiho was still in grade school.

    Comic Books 
  • In The New Universe, Lindsay Falmon can perceive a person's bioelectric residue on things they've handled, and receive images and perceptions of what the person is doing or has done while handling the object.
  • Rachel from Rachel Rising develops this among several other magical talents. The most memorable example by far is when she touches the knife that the Fallen Angel Malus had given to Zoe. It shows the history of the knife from when it was Satan's sword that broke during his fall from grace, and how it has been wielded and reshaped by people throughout the ages.
  • Ragman, protector of a small Gotham neighborhood where he occasionally interacts with the Bat Family and member of Shadowpact, can see people's deaths if he touches the clothes they were wearing when they died soon enough after the fact as seen in Robin.
  • In Ultra Force, Ghoul is able to see the history of objects by touching them.
  • X-Men: Longshot has this as a secondary, rarely seen power. At one point during his stint in Exiles he tries using it on an alternate version of Galactus. The psychic backlash throws him across the room.

    Fan Works 
  • Bird features this as a facet of Taylor's powers, which are a wide-ranging range of sensory abilities tied to proximity. Though she is not limited to touch—that's just when it's at its strongest and clearest.
  • In the Massively Multiplayer Crossover story Blood and Revolution, the human form of the earth god has psychometric powers. There aren't many demonstrations since he avoids touching people and things because of it, but once he touches the living chain weapon Shun, he has visions of Shun's 600 years of life and the wars he's been used in.
  • Cardinal King: Mamoru has his psychometry powers like in the manga, though the fic makes it much more apparent that he has these powers during the Dark Kingdom arc (the manga wasn't clear in this respect until the next one). It'd be really hard to Gender Flip the first arc of the series otherwise if he didn't; he was infamously useless in the anime due to having no innate powers unlike the Sailor Guardians.
  • In Juxtapose, this is the Quirk of Kensei Katsura. He has literal scanners on his palms that allow him to analyze every aspect of whatever he touches, from a person's physical status to a structure's blueprints. His friend Yamato Megumi can then read that information from his mind and pass it on to people who can do more with it, like Izuku or Momo.
  • Terran Moon was a very short-lived and apparently now dead fan comic that had a similar premise to that of Cardinal King above: a gender-flipped retelling of the first arc with Mamoru and the Shitennou as the protagonists saving the world from Serenity's Four Guardian Goddesses with Usagi playing the role of Tuxedo Mask. Like Cardinal King, Mamoru retains his psychometry powers and even gets to use them in Act 1 when Artemis unexpectedly jumps into his arms and he gets a vision of Artemis' human form. In Act 3, he accidentally bumps into Usagi and gets a vision of Princess Serenity. In Act 5, Artemis gives Mamoru a tie tack that will channel his powers into a more "manageable form", specifically allow him to attack with them, but since that's the last strip, the audience doesn't know how this would've played out.

  • Constantine: Father Hennessy can run his hands over printed newspaper stories and psychically detect which ones are significant. Constantine asks him to do this to get information he needs. Later on Hennessy tries to read the body of Angela Dodson's dead sister Isabel.
  • This is one of Eric Draven's powers upon coming back from the dead in The Crow. He has the ability to pick up on memories related to his past by touching things related to said past—including ones that didn't originate with him, as seen with the scene with Gideon when he sees Shelly's final moments through the cop's eyes. He eventually develops the ability to transfer memories and the pain that comes with them by touch, which he uses to completely wreck Top Dollar in the final battle.
  • In The Force Awakens, Rey experiences this when she touches Luke's lightsaber for the first time, giving her temporary Power Incontinence as she sees visions of the past.
  • Hellboy (2004): In the film, Abe Sapien is able to touch items to see its past, future, and potentially other information. If someone touches Abe while he touches the item, both Abe and the person he touches can see what he sees. He uses this power for surveillance and investigation throughout the movie. He is also able to see how sick Bruttenholm is.
  • In the first Puppet Master, Carissa can read an object's past by touch. For some reason, most of what she picks up is sexual.
  • In Unbreakable, the hero has the ability to read evil intentions and/or actions in a person via physical contact, which he always thought was simply normal intuition and never really followed up on it. Elijah eventually confirms that his intuition was extremely accurate, to the point of describing the look and design of a concealed gun.
  • In Vibes, Nick Deezy has this power. In one scene he even guides the other characters while holding an artifact in his hands.

  • One of Candy's abilities in The Bad Place, by Dean Koontz.
  • In the Corine Solomon novels by Ann Aguirre, this is the eponymous heroine's occult power. Her mother was a powerful witch, but all Corine got was this lousy psychometry. This is an advantage when she runs an antique shop, but she leaves it at the beginning of the first book and is hurled into a world of crime and danger while coping with the memory of her mother's murder in a fire. Contact with crime-related objects she reads burns her hands painfully, over and over, so she avoids touching anything unless it's necessary to gain information. As the series goes on, though, she develops impressive occult superpowers with the help of a Fallen Angel.
  • In the Deadly Curiosities novel and ebook series by Gail Z. Martin, protagonist Cassidy Kincaide is a psychometric, able to detect the history and magical properties of objects by touching them. She makes use of it in both her day job as an antiques dealer in Charleston, South Carolina, and her side business acquiring and neutralizing objects with dangerous qualities. It also lets her activate magical weapons by keying off memories of the item being used by its original wielder.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, when Dora's powers are going slightly haywire at the beginning of the first book, she sometimes sees emotionally-charged events from the past of people she touches.
  • In Andre Norton's Forerunner Foray, Ziantha can access an item's psychic abilities, if any, by touching the object she wants to read/contact.
  • In the YA Jack Bishop novels by Steve Diamond, the titular character has these abilities as part of his larger ESP package. It doesn't exactly make his life any easier, especially when he's forced to use them in violent places wrecked by monsters.
  • In the Maximum Ride series, Nudge has the power to read psychic imprints left on objects.
  • In Star Wars, Quinlan Vos is a Kiffar Jedi with the ability to use Force psychometry in order to collect information on other beings via their clothing or other objects.
  • Stephen King:
    • In The Dead Zone and its TV adaptation, Johnny Smith sees visions of the past, present and/or future when he touches people or objects. He's largely unable to control this, leading to everything from unwanted press attention and losing a job he loves, to having to experience the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl from the killer's point of view. Eventually, his visions about Greg Stillson motivate him to try to assassinate Stillson before he can set off World War III.
    • Abra's efforts to learn about "the baseball boy" in Doctor Sleep.
  • Patternist:
    • Some of the titular psychics can imbue memories into objects for other Patternists to "read" later. By Patternmaster, this is one of their means of keeping historic records.
    • One Patternist in Mind of My Mind has an exceptionally strong talent for Psychometry and can "seal" the psychic impressions in an object so they aren't muddled by later use. She collects items with especially rare or interesting impressions; her pride and joy is a 6000-year-old clay bowl that carries clear memories of an ancient Nubian woman.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This is how Phoebe's powers in Charmed work, at least in the beginning. She had to touch an object to see visions of the past and future.
  • Zed's visions in Constantine are sometimes triggered by the contact of an object, such as the blood map left by Liv.
  • Due South: The clairvoyant homeless man's powers appear to work this way in "Heaven and Earth". He gets visions of the missing girl after finding her necklace, and they intensify when someone later presses the necklace into his hand.
  • The Greatest American Hero has this as one of the protagonist's powers. More precisely, he can see thoughts left in objects by people manipulating them. In one episode, touching a bomb gives him the location of a second one, because the criminal who built and placed it had been thinking of both.
  • In Heroes, one of Sylar's victims had the ability to learn the history of an object by touching it.
  • The Pretender: Angelo was one of Dr. Raines' early attempts at creating a Pretender but the treatments destroyed his mind. Instead of the usual Pretender abilities, it gave him the ability to pick up an object and know what the object's owner is doing right now.note 
  • Pam Asbury in Stephen King's Rose Red has this power. What makes her version particularly interesting (and chilling) is that while handling or touching objects lets her pick up emotions and even hear things which were said by the people who interacted with them, she is also shown to sometimes subtly channel the person in question—when she touches the front door of the mansion and picks up the interaction between Bollinger and the ghost of Sukeena, she actually adopts Sukeena's diction and accent when speaking her words. The experience is also shown to be rather upsetting, since she ends up shedding tears during it, and afterward said she didn't like how it made her feel.
    • This is taken to an even greater extreme in The Dead Zone; when Johnny Smith touches the cigarette butts left behind by a serial killer, he begins to show the killer's mannerisms and speak in his voice. When he visits a site the killer stood waiting for a victim, he begins to see things from the killer's point of view, feeling his need to kill, and this continues right up through experiencing a rape and murder from the killer's point of view, leaving Johnny sobbing and crying that he's sorry, that he now knows what it's like to kill.
  • This is one of Sapphire's abilities in Sapphire and Steel: she can use it to learn the histories of objects or people, most often how old they are (and sometimes how long they have left).
  • An alien-of-the-week on Star Trek: Enterprise has this ability, which he uses on a piece of the Xindi weapon that attacked Earth several episodes earlier. It helps him guide Enterprise to the facility where the component was manufactured.

  • One of Finn's powers from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues allows him to see the history of an object or person by touching them. This works to such a degree that he can become an Instant Expert with any tool that he touches by reading the history of its operation.
  • Aurics in We Are All Pokémon Trainers can use the residual Aura on objects to get memories or to find a target's Aura trail, though it doesn't work once enough time has passed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • 2nd Edition: The Complete Psionics Handbook has the Clairsentience Science "Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions". A psionicist using it get a picture of significant events in the past for a specific location, thanks to the psychic residue left by strong emotions. "Object Reading" is another claisentient power, working as below.
    • In Edition 3.5, Seers have access to a power called "Object Reading" that lets them touch an object and learn information about its previous owners. There's also a magic item called "gloves of object reading" that grants a similar ability.
  • GURPS has a power simply titled "psychometry".
  • Rifts and other Palladium Games with Psychic Powers have a sensitive power called Object Read, also known as psychometry.
  • People with postcognition in Rocket Age can read objects for past events with the most skilled able to read events up to a century ago.

  • BIONICLE: The Mask of Psychometry, which allows its user to learn details about the past of an object by making physical contact with it. While the user can see something of an object's past, they have no real control over how much information they actually receive. This power cannot be used on more than one object at a time, nor does it work on living beings.

    Video Games 
  • Caves of Qud has this as a mental mutant power. It allows the character to identify trinkets without fail; learn crafting recipes by examining items, rather than needing to find blueprints; and opening security doors without keys.
  • Ishmahri, the keeper of the Moonshadow Land in Dragon Quest VIII possesses this ability. He states that clothing, furniture, the land, and sky have memories as well. He is able to recreate these memories by playing his harp.
  • Common in the Fatal Frame series, and Maiden of Black Water makes it a gameplay mechanic via "Shadow Reading", where you can use items you collect to see where their previous owners have traveled.
  • Mass Effect 3 reveals that the Protheans have the ability to read the memory of things and living beings simply by touching them. Javik the last Prothean uses it to determine that the room he occupies on the Normandy was previously inhabited by a genetically engineered perfect krogan soldier. It is also implied that the asari's Touch Telepathy is a weaker variation of the same ability that the Protheans genetically engineered them to have, along with universal biotics.
  • Talion from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor perceives flashbacks of Celebrimbor's life whenever he touches one of his lost tools and items. This is usually followed by a Power-Up.
  • In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers series, the player character possesses a power called the "Dimensional Scream" that enables him or her to see visions of the past or future by touching objects, but it isn't something he/she has control over.
  • Anyone who claims the Tome of Eternal Darkness is flooded with visions of previous (and future) bearers with very minimal context. In a truer example, while performing last rites for Anthony, Paul Luther has a vision of the circumstances which brought Anthony into the Cosmic Horror Story they have both come to inhabit.

    Visual Novels 
  • Shirou Emiya of Fate/stay night has this as one of his only reliable spells (and the only useful one) prior to the start of the story. He also does it remotely and reflexively with weapons. Over the course of the story, we see just how useful this power is, as it's an integral part of his Reality Marble, which allows him to create a near-perfect copy of any weapon he's ever laid eyes on, and borrow the skills of the original wielder to boot.
  • Akira from Spirit Hunter: NG possesses a specific form of it that's referred to as Bloodmetry; by touching blood and concentrating, he can see and hear a brief scene related to the blood's history. Using Bloodmetry is a gameplay mechanic alongside the regular investigation of objects.

  • Zombie twins Mye and Hex of Charby the Vampirate have tactile postcognition which causes them to see things from other people's pasts when they have skin contact. Mannick can read the past of articles of clothing he's wearing, and delve into the mind of whomever the object belongs to if it's something they wear often enough gaining pieces of their personality.
  • Charlene the witch from How to be a Werewolf has this ability and uses it to relate important backstory to the others after touching a coffee mug belonging to a key character

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • This is Niko's primary ability in Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. She can get vague impressions of where an object has been or what's happened at a site without her badge, but when she uses the implant, the impressions become very exact and detailed.


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