My Experience With A Fetch

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ANN MASSEY tells us of The ‘Fetch’, a supernatural entity with some dark connotations of which she’s had first hand experience!


We have all heard of the term ‘Doppelgänger’ but it isn’t just a concept with German origins. In fact, the Fetch as it is known in the UK and Ireland, has long been regarded as a crisis apparition or harbinger of death from generation to generation. The etymology dates back to the Viking era in Ireland and the Fylgia, the guardian of fate attached to an individual. The term Fetch itself has been documented since the 16th century in Ireland. 

The word Fetch itself, is believed by some to come from the old Irish for seer or faith, but in simpler terms it relates to the ‘fetching’ of the soul. For thousands of years the fear of seeing oneself or a loved one who could not possibly be there, has caused nightmares.

As a deathly omen, the appearance of a loved one or self, was a sure sign of impending doom. The Fetch would go so far as to mimic the cause of death in many instances, including a charred appearance for fire or soaked for drowning.

Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary, author  of Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, were haunted for some time before his death by such an appearance. Percy himself was said to have seen himself and dreamed of flooding, while Mary saw Percy repeatedly pass by her window in a place he could not possibly have been. A short time later, his boat was decimated in a storm and he drowned at sea in Italy. 

What is a Fetch?

Descriptions of the Fetch besides the obvious likeness, include it being visible only in peripheral vision and of ethereal appearance. In some instances it can only be seen by the person it mimics, or in other cases, by everyone but the condemned.

On rare occasions, a Fetch of a loved one can be seen for a short time after they have passed, although they will be unaware of their place and somewhat distracted, more like a posthumous astral projection. 

As a child, my first paranormal experience involved the appearance of a Fetch before me, albeit it was only in adult life that I understood what I had seen. I was playing hopscotch on the street outside our house in Kent, England, when my grandmother, who should have been hundreds of miles away here in Ireland, appeared right in front of me, on the Home square no less!

She was dressed in a smart outfit with a hat, much as one would have worn to church or a wedding at the time. She smiled and then faded from view, and my distinct memory is not being afraid in the least. I ran inside and told my parents I had seen nana and the announcement was laughed off as the result of a creative mind. Just a day later the news reached us of the death of my grandmother.

The appearance of a Fetch in your own image in the morning is an omen of a long life, however see yourself in the evening and it is time to get your affairs in order! The Fetch may not be malevolent in nature, an echo of the soul, however the outcome of its appearance is no less deadly…

Do you have an experience with a Fetch? Tell us about it in the comments section below!


  1. The late American occultist and author Ophiel who wrote in the 1960s and 1970s in California wrote that often times ghosts that are seen are the etheric body of living individuals who have developed the knack for etheric projection. He wrote about it in his little book “The Art and Practice of Astral Projection“ published in 1960. Imho this is the same thing as a fetch.


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