Whether you are a superstitious type of person, or just someone who is into the paranormal world, the witching hour or ‘the devil’s hour’ as it is sometimes called, could be a topic of interest to you.
Some people believe that nothing good ever happens after 3 a.m., and this is mostly because our brains do not make the best decisions at that time of the night. However, some people are convinced that the reason why nothing good ever happens at 3 a.m. is because of this mysterious theory.
Stories about the witching hours surround our culture these days, with lots of cautionary tales being told to kids about that dreadful time of night.
Your brother or sister may have once terrified you with a story of the invisible ‘friends’ who can mimic your voice and even appearance, creeping in your closet late at night. You may have believed him/her at the time. However, you are wiser now and know better.
However, what would you do if you found out that it was all real, and that those invisible ‘friends’ might not have been invisible after all?
What is the witching hour?
The term ‘witching hour’ has been used over the years to describe various suspicious, odd, and unprecedented activities that tend to happen at odd times such as early mornings, late evenings, and late nights.
It is used today to describe three specific activities; supernatural activities, rowdy behaviours of puppies, and by far the most annoying one according to many mothers, babies crying.
In the supernatural, spiritual and folklore world, the witching hour basically refers to the time of the night when the veil between the spiritual world and the physical world is thinnest. The thin veil allows evil beings such as demons to cross over into our world. It is said that this is the time when ghosts, witches, and demons are at their most powerful.
Puppies are also said to have a witching hour. Most puppies tend to engage in rowdy behaviour at this time, some tearing things present in their surroundings and others engaging in increased levels of mouthing behaviour. The time may vary for all puppies, but it is common in the early mornings or late evenings.
We also have the witching hour for babies. It is believed to occur when young babies, about 2-3 weeks old, cry for a long period, turning themselves into fussy and inconsolable children. The crying peaks at around week 6 and eventually comes to an end when the baby is three months old. The witching hour period for babies takes place anywhere from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
However, as much fun as it is to talk about puppies and adorable but fussy babies, we are going to focus our attention on the king of all witching hours, the supernatural witching hour that keeps some of you awake at night. So, what time is witching hour?
When is the witching hour?
There is a great debate on what time is the witching hour. This is mainly because people living in different parts of the world with different time zones cannot have it at the same time.
The time zone debate is based on the premise that there can only be one worldwide time for the devil to do his work. Another argument surrounding this phenomenon has to do with the start of the day. Some consider midnight to be the real witching hour.
Regardless of these debates, 3 a.m. is commonly the most accepted time that this phenomenon is believed to occur.
What is the history of the witching hour?
The witching hour is considered significant as it is the opposite hour to the one in which Jesus Christ died on the cross. The correlation between these two events seem to make sense when you consider the fact that Jesus died for the sins of humanity to save us from evil, whilst the Devil and his demons are said to be working day and night to do the exact opposite.
Moreover, the number 3 is used to describe the Holy Trinity; God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. From a Biblical perspective, the number 3 holds a huge and very recognizable significance, hence, the association with the Devil too, as a mockery of the Holy One.
The term itself is believed to have been coined by Pope Pius IV in 1560. In the years between the 16th and 18th century, there rose a trend of witch-hunting. This led to the execution of more than an estimated number of 60,000 people during witch trials.
These witch trials, as they were called, came about due to the several misfortunes that had befallen the people living in Europe at the time. A lot of citizens blamed it on witchcraft which prompted widespread panic and suspicion. People ended up turning on those they assumed were practicing witchcraft.
Rumours started spreading that the dark art activities were being performed in the early mornings. Henceforth, an agreement was eventually made stating that this phenomenon occurred from between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m, hence the witching hours.
The Catholic Church, under Pope John Paul II, took this matter seriously that they wrote down rules prohibiting activities during this time. Anybody who was found moving up and down at this time was labelled unholy and eventually punished.
The witching hour did not start with the witch trials alone. Many cultures around the world have a history of witchcraft. Witches and wizards have always been associated with the dark hours of the night regardless of which culture they were found in.
As much as we have come to believe in the possibility of the supernatural, science and technology has always found a way to showcase the myths behind these beliefs.
The science behind the witching hour
Scientists and doctors have come to understand that this phenomenon has less to do with the supernatural and more to do with biology. For most of us, 3 a.m. is when our bodies reach REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement sleep).
REM sleep occurs within the first 90 minutes of falling asleep. It is characterized by rapid eye movements, brain wave activities becoming closer to that seen in a person who is awake, breathing becomes inconsistent and fast, and blood pressure goes up.
Other changes are increased heart rate, twitching of the face and limbs, as well as changes in body temperature.
You often get into the dream world when you are in REM sleep. The combination of these activities makes it hard for you to adjust to your environment when you wake up in the middle of the REM sleep.
The first thing you will feel when you wake up is fear, followed by a little weirdness to your environment. The shift from sleep to waking up will definitely cause an odd bodily pattern which explains why you will also feel anxious and slightly creeped out for no reason whatsoever.
This sensation is unanimous to all human beings, which will explain why sharing these experiences made most people jump to the conclusion that it was witchcraft.
The idea of their minds not functioning properly at this time of the night made them throw into question all supernatural activities.
However, it should be noted that none of these theories have been concluded. Therefore, the witching hour could be a real thing, or not!
Legit.ng reported that there is a high likelihood that you have heard of the term reverse psychology before. It has been alluded to be a form of strategy that involves manipulating others using their thoughts. However, is this what reverse psychology really is?
Experts of the mind and its workings have defined reverse psychology as a persuasion technique. It is a strategy where a person is persuaded to do something by asking them to do the exact opposite. It is some mind game where one plays with another person's mindset and uses it to their advantage.