I am psychometric. For those who don't know, that means I sometimes get images or feelings from touching inanimate objects. I first discovered this several years ago. I must have been somewhere in middle school. It was at the Whydah Pirate Museum in Provincetown, MA. It's a really cool place if you're into pirates (which I totally was at the time) or if you're psychometric. There are a lot of artifacts on display that you can touch.
So I approached a gibbet, a tight-fitting iron cage fitted and forged for its captive. It was used to display executed pirates outside harbors and ports as a scare tactic. So I touched it, trying to imagine the kind of terror this gibbet brought to the pirates who saw it. Suddenly, I was filled with a dread unlike any I had ever known. I felt as if I were inside the gibbet, unable to move. It was terrifying! As soon as I pulled my hand away, the feeling vanished. I went on to touch a cannon and a chunk of ballast from the Whydah's hull. I felt the cannon firing and the rocking of the waves at sea.
Now, I figured this was all just in my imagination; I've always had a very powerful, active imagination. But then I touched a slave collar - an iron slave collar with long hooks so that the slaves couldn't escape through the underbrush. I thought about what if might feel like to wear that thing all the time, to have that weight around my neck, to know that I belonged to someone else and that I could never, ever escape. These thoughts were all going through my head, but when I touched the collar, nothing. I felt nothing. No fear, no dread, no sorrow, no anger. The metal was just that - lifeless metal in my hand. It was weird, even if it was imagined, that I'd suddenly be so out of touch with such a powerful empathy. A few minutes later, I found out that the collar was a replica. Everything else I touched was genuine. The gibbet, cannon, and ballast had all been used on or by actual pirates. The collar was made for the museum in recent years.
About a decade later, I've honed my ability. I have to activate it consciously, unless the imprint on the object is REALLY powerful. I was in a new age shop with my sister and I had her put different crystals in my hand and I felt them out. I was able to determine the elements with which they were associated, and sometimes their function. We switched roles and she got a perfect score. On a good day, when my mind is clear, I don't even need to touch things to get readings off them. I love going through museums, old buildings, and even thrift shops looking for readings. Not everything has an imprint, of course, and I don't pick up on it 100% of the time. But man, when it hits, there's no mistaking it!