What Is Deja Vu?

Deja vu is the experience by which a person feels he or she has been in a particular situation that has happened before. The phrase literally means ‘already seen’ in French. Paramnesia is the other term for this kind of feeling..

Deja vu was termed by Emile Boirac, a French psychic who authored an essay entitled, "L’Avenir des sciences psychiques"or "The Future of Psychic Sciences", which later expanded into a book.

Upon experiencing this paranormal event, individuals experience a strong feeling that something was familiar in the situation they are in. In addition, there is an unshakable feeling of strangeness or eeriness. Oftentimes, the experience is associated with a dream. However, there are cases in which the experience really happened sometime in the past.

Common among adults and children alike, it is reported that 70% of people have experienced deja vu. Having been present in past literary works, this phenomenon is not at all a new one. Bringing out deja vu to be studied in laboratory settings has been proven to be difficult. However, researchers have found out a new way by using hypnosis.

There are several types of deja vus. All are documented in past literary writings. Since deja vu itself more than just the sense of sight, there should be an amount of specificity in it. In other words, calling it deja vu itself is not enough.

Different Kinds of Deja Vu

Deja vecu Described in a quote by Charles Dickens, this literally means ‘already lived’. This refers to the common deja vu a person has experienced. Thus, it has to be called deja vecu rather than deja vu. It involves every sense of the body, even the persistent feeling that it has happened before.

Deja sent -. This means ‘already lived’. Unlike deja vecu, there is no precognition and therefore does not stay in the person’s mind long after realizing it was a deja vu.

Deja visite – Literally translated as ‘already visited’, this is described as an individual having unknown familiarity of the place despite it being new to him or her. Notable authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sir Walter Scott have written accounts of deja visite in their books. The same is for psychologist Carl Jung.


Deja vu is linked to many psychological conditions like schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder and anxiety. On scientific studies however, there aren’t enough empirical researches, so alternative explanations remain.

In terms of parapsychology, deja vu is linked with extra-sensory perceptions, clairvoyance and precognition. Often, it is attributed to past-life memory, which has something to do with reincarnation, visions and prophecy.

Regarding dreams, deja vu is regarded by some as the memory of dreams. It is associated with long-term memory. Since people have already forgotten their dreams, deja vu allows them to have a recollection of it.

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