Sighted Condition in The Broken Path | World Anvil


After the birth of the baby, the husband asked the midwife to anoint the baby's eyes. Having done so, the midwife rubbed one of her own eyes that was itching and with that eye suddenly saw herself to be in a poor cave with large stones all about and a little fire in the corner.
Faeries, by Brian Froud and Alan Lee
The world of ghosts, soul guides, and the afterlife is hidden from mortals within the etheric realm. To those still living, their soul guide is never more than a very special cat and proof of ghosts is never more than a shimmer in the air along only the most crowded of pathways.   There exist, however, those for whom the veil has been pulled back. These rare people live in a limbo between worlds, one eye fixed in each direction. While drinkers of ghost vine tea see the concrete world fade and blur to bring the ethereal one to the forefront, those who are Sighted see both worlds clearly and easily.   A Sighted person can see ghosts and other creatures even while they are fully within the etheric realm. They, too, are visible to ghosts within the etheric realm - they appear translucent, like ghosts themselves, within the etheric realm. The general rule is that if you can see a ghost, the ghost can see you, and the same for if you can't see it.


It is not fully understood how one becomes Sighted. It does not pass from parent to child in any predictable way. There are alleged cases of people acquiring the ability later in life, although it is possible that they simply did not encounter ghosts or the supernatural before in which to test this. Notably, these cases are more common in Catholic or Orthodox Christian countries, where people do not live with the soul cats and would not be exposed to their voices from childhood.  
Troll Woman by Per Daniel Holm
For centuries, being Sighted has been considered a magical property. In Celtic cultures, it is associated with the fair folk. In their belief, a Sighted person can see not only ghosts but also the truth behind faerie glamour. They can see through spells and spot pixies in disguise.   This belief is echoed in many other cultures that have some belief in an otherworld and hidden people. This is the origin of beliefs that someone could become Sighted by rubbing certain faerie ointments on their eyelids. In other places, Sighted people are urged to hide their gift for fear that faeries will come and jab their eyes out to keep from being spied upon.   In the 17th century, throughout Almain states the belief spread that the Sight was a gift from the devil that came along with evil power. Having the Sight, or even being rumoured to possess the Sight, was damning evidence against a person in witch trials.   In the late 18th century, with the rise of scientific thought and a diminishing belief in folklore, the leading theory is that being Sighted is simply an odd quirk that some people are born with, akin to be left handed or a strange birthmark.

Cultural Reception

How Sighted people are treated varies from place to place. At best, they are met with reverence and welcomed for their ability to easily commune with the dead. At worst, they are thought to have dark powers gifted by Satan and are shunned or even murdered.   In Anglia, Gaeland, and Ireland, Sighted people are encouraged to keep their gift hidden. It isn't seen as evil, but it is slight embarrassing and not something to be proud of. This is a holdover from the centuries of belief in faeries and the wisdom to keep it hidden lest faeries come after you.   In France, the Sight is considered a gift that can be very useful. Sighted people are sought out by those who have recently lost a loved one in the hope that they can find and converse with the ghost and provide closure. Those who desperately wish to exchange words with their soul cat might also seek out a Sighted person for interpretation. The great value attached to being Sighted has actually made it more dangerous to possess the gift than in countries where it's not as accepted. Only a tiny percentage of people have the Sight, and they are at risk of being exploited, or even kidnapped and forced into service, by those who want to take advantage of their Sight.  
Chronic, Congenital
Extremely Rare