origins of Witching Hour

The Definitive guide: What is the Witching Hour

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What is the Witching Hour?

The term ‘witching hour’ was first recorded in 1793 and refers to the time when witches, ghosts, warlocks and evil spirits are most active.  A time in space when the line between the living and dead is at its closest. but is that the full Story? Well read on and find out what is the Witching Hour.

Also known as the Devil’s hour, was even referred to in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.

Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood, And do such bitter business as the day Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother. O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever. The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom: Let me be cruel, not unnatural: I will speak daggers to her, but use none; My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites; How in my words so ever she be sent, to give them seals never, my soul, consent.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet Soliloquy, 1601

What is the Bible’s view of the witching hour?

The references of good over evil are plenty, the Gospels tell us that Jesus died during the 9th hour, which translates to 3pm. Satan turns this upside down taking for himself 3am in direct mockery of God. The darkness of the night as the time of sin. The devil attacks at night, in your nightmares, pray before your sleep. As Jesus asked his disciples to ‘watch with me’ – the Watching Hour.

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Psalm 91:5–6 (biblia.com)

What is the Witching Hour in relation to Babies?

The Definitive guide: What is the Witching Hour 1
It may feel like its the witching Hours – anytime from late afternoon to bed-time

The time when the work day has come to an end, jacket over the shoulder and the witching hour begins for babies. 5 O’clock begins, usually the same time each day, late afternoons and evenings. With the new born screaming non stop all the way to bed time. Ever heard the phrase, “he/she doesn’t know what she wants!” welcome to the witching hour for parents. Typically this period is between weeks 2 -3 and begins to fade around 3 months. Normal nap time routine is out of the window, over stimulated, over tiredness creates the perfect mix of full on meltdown. Appropriately nick named, the witching hour, or as some office parents I know call it, another late one in the office.

Solution at hand for the Babies witches hour at least

  1. Gas and digestion – Dietary and even issues such as reflux and even Gerd can make a baby sing for all the wrong reasons – literally for hours. Usual baby ‘MOT’ procedures to ensure burping and of course get checked out with the GP
  2. Tiredness – not exclusive to babies, everyone needs their 40 winks but babies especially, if that sleep naptime pattern is wrecked, they sure will wreck yours
  3. Overstimulated – too much going on, noise, friends and family. Just like screen free time, baby needs shut down time.
  4. Not to be confused with Colic – An Altogether different kettle of fish, a baby that cries 3 or more hours per day for up to half the week.
  5. White Noise – Unless you are living on a boat perhaps your place of living is just a tad too quiet. Great technique in adding background hum to your sleeping routine.
  6. Take a Walk on the wild side – literally take a walk in the fresh air, but just be mindful of the time, you don’t want to run into the witches hour

When is Witching Hour?

  1. When is Witching hour? all depends on your own free spirt of belief
    • 11.30 – 11:59 when you do good work
    • 12:00 – 12:30 when you do bad work
    • At midnight
    • At 3am (which is also known as the devils hour for Christians)
    • Between 3am – 4am – widespread frenzy and panic
    • Sunset to Sunrise for some Victorians
    • It’s 12 o’clock… The Witching Hour! – DC Comics – The Witching Hour
    • if you have kids it could even be the period before bed time

3am the witching hour

They say the devil or demon is at its strongest at 3am and continues to be so into the next hour before the sunlight shines across the land. 3am was the time of rituals and other sacrificial activities took place, during the cover of deep darkness. They also say the crucifixion of Jesus Christ which took place at 3pm, making the exact opposite,12 hours later, the height of paranormal activity for devils and demons.

Witching Hour Top picks on the Amazon store

The Definitive guide: What is the Witching Hour 2

This novel with spell binding story telling, by a Novelist who seems to love history of the time period. A Novel of witchcraft and the occult spanning over 4 centuries, from the author of Extraordinary Vampire Chronicles. Anne Rice

whether it is just before midnight or 3 am one ponders the question, what about the time zone you are in. Perhaps Witching hour rolls around the globe as day turns to night. It may have also not been so remote to think Time Zones where not at the forefront of thought when old Folklores were being written.

Where did the word Witching Hour come from?

Pope John Paul II coined the term ‘Witching Hour’ in 1560.

Why its not good to be awake during Witching Hour

Our body clocks function to a set pattern, with a set number of hours for sleep of 7 – 8 hours per day. We are biologically wired to rest when the sun goes down and wake up when the morning rises. A great time of day to be alive, the new dawn. But what if you turn that utopia on its head and be alive in the shadows of the night.

One thing the light, with the lights so bright your biological clock is ticking for work against your need to sleep in the day. The second challenge is sound. Ever opened the window at night and hear a fox three streets away, try hearing someone close a bin 2 doors down in the middle of the day. Sound pollution may make your 8 hours of day snooze one long challenge. But hey some folks do not have the choice of when to snooze from shift workers to those lucky folks living in the Northern Territories of the world where the day is spun upside down into perpetual darkness or perpetual light. Lest not forget the youth of today who club by night, and by hook or crook work by day.

Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) Clair-voyance, telepathy

Ready to start to get spooked? or is it just more science and biology. Somewhere between a half a two thirds of extra-sensory perception (ESP) episodes are reported to occur at night during dreams. Ghosts, demons or the devil, or your common old run of the mill neurobiological and neurochemical factors at play. We all know from our days at prep school, the main function of melatonin is to synchronise the body’s regulation of its system processes to the circadian and seasonal rhythms, and importantly to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.

Well melatonin may be linked to the pro-duction of the highly potent vision inducing endogenous psychedelic DMT, which is considered as a more likely neurobiological mediator of psychic experiences.

What I am trying to say folks. Its complicated.

Mary Robinson a poet actress author refers to the Witching hour in 1793

The poem “Fragment” was written 27 Feb 1793 published in the Oracle. It was supposedly about the moments before Louis XVI was sent to the guillotine 21/jan 1793. At Square du Temple. A major part of the French Revolution this took place at Revolution Square Place de la Révolution.

The first stanza contains the reference to the Witching Hour.

“Now MIDNIGHT spreads her sable vest
With Starry Rays light tissued o’er;
Now from the Desart’s thistled breast
The chilling Dews begin to soar;
The OWL shrieks from the tott’ring Tow’r,
Dread watch-bird of the witching hour!
Spectres, from their charnel cells
Cleave the air with hideous yells!
Not a Glow-worm ventures forth,
To gild his little speck of Earth!
In wild despair Creation seems to wait,
While HORROR stalks abroad to deal the shafts of FATE!

(Spenserians. cath. vt. edu)

Frankenstein Author Mary Shelley, references Witching Hour in 1816

“Night waned upon this talk and even the witching hour had gone by before we retired to rest.”

Whilst this was in the Georgian Era Victorians would have had a copy of this book or know of the character in this gothic horror story with a touch of early science fiction.

Another Scientific, rational view of what might be ‘Witching Hour’

The evolution of modern thinking has gone some way to changing the way our ancestors understood the world around them. Religion and Folklore from old have now been joined by Google, Twitter, and Facebook, and the odd scientific lecture. so one interesting twist to the 3 am Witching Hour phenomena.  At around this time, the average person goes through a deep sleep phase (REM – Rapid Eye Movement). The body cycles into this deep sleep, the heart rate lowers and body temperatures drop slightly. In the unfortunate circumstance that you wake up, right in the middle of this phase, you will not be in the best of places emotionally, feeling odd or weird even or heaven forbidden even scared, add perhaps some candlelight into the mix here. You get the picture. Weird, Superstition or is it just our own biochemistry? comment below.

The Witching Hour DC Comics

Running from 1969 to 1975 for a total of 85 issues, the comic series followed the exploits of three witches Cynthia, Morded and Mildred.

Note on the Moon Picture – photograph by https://unsplash.com/@aronvisuals

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