There have been reports of clairvoyance and claims of clairvoyant abilities throughout history in most cultures through out the world. Most of these scenarios are experienced during young adulthood in the people that claim to have the abilities. Often clairvoyance has been associated with religious practices, through out many different religions.
For example, there are ancient Hindu religious texts that list clairvoyance as one of the siddhis, skills that can be acquired over time through appropriate meditation and personal discipline.
Many people report seeing a loved one who has recently died before they have learned by other means that their loved one is deceased. While anecdotal accounts do not provide any scientific proof of clairvoyance, such common experiences continue to motivate research into such phenomenon.
Clairvoyance was one of the phenomena reportedly observed in the behavior of somnambulists, people who were mesmerized and in a trance state of mind in the time of Franz Anton Mesmer. The earliest record of somnambulistic clairvoyance is credited to the Marquis de Puységur, a follower of Mesmer, who in 1784 was treating a local dull-witted peasant named Victor Race.
During treatment, Race reportedly would go into trance and undergo personality changes, becoming someone fluent and articulate, and giving accurate diagnosis and prescription for his own disease as well as those of others. When he came out of the trance state he would be unaware of anything he had said or done in that time. This behavior is very similar to that of the recorded behaviors of the 20th century medical clairvoyant and psychic Edgar Cayce.
It is reported that although Puységur used the term 'clairvoyance', he did not think of these phenomena as a “paranormal” situation, since he accepted mesmerism as one of the natural sciences.
Clairvoyance was a reported ability of some mediums during the spiritualist period of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was one of the phenomena studied by members of the Society for Psychical Research.
Psychics with other descriptions have claimed clairvoyant ability up to the present day.