A form of extrasensory perception, clairsentience (“clear sensing”) is the receiving of tastes, smells, and sensations remotely. Clairsentience can also involve the mental receipt of thoughts, ideas, and emotions; as such, it is related to clairvoyance (“clear seeing”). However, clairvoyance means that thoughts, ideas, and emotions come as part of mental pictures. One example of the type of idea received through clairsentience is the knowledge received by psychic Eileen Garrett during a test of her abilities in the 1980s. When Garrett touched a lock of hair from a young girl named Wendy, she immediately knew that the girl preferred to be called Hilary. Similarly, medium James Van Praagh attributes his ability to feel the emotions and personalities of the deceased to clairsentience. Other examples of clairsentience are instances in which someone feels a sensation of pain when a loved one miles away is suddenly injured or, upon entering a house, smells perfume that could only have been left by someone who lived there many years—or perhaps centuries—earlier.


  • Clairvoyance
  • Extrasensory Perception
  • Psychometry
  • James van Praagh


The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena – written by Patricia D. Netzley © 2006 Gale, a part of Cengage Learning