Beginning at 3AM, and lasting for one hour: the Devil’s Hour, known also as the Witching Hour.
According to pious folklore, these sixty minutes are prime for ‘supernatural’ activity. Witches, demons, and ghosts appear at that most powerful and practitioners of ‘black magic’ are at their utmost peak ability. Above all, Satan himself is at his strongest – where the Devil’s Hour owes its namesake.
The phrase Witching Hour was first used in 1793 in Mary Robinson’s poem entitled “A Fragment. Supposed to be written near the Temple on the Night before the Murder of Louis XVI.” During pagan witchhunts, women caught outside during the Witching Hour without an adequate reason were often executed on suspicion of witchcraft.
But why is the Devil’s hour from 3AM to 4AM?
The answer lies in the Liturgy of the Hours.
Some believe the absence of prayer between Matins, traditionally starting around 1AM, and Lauds, traditionally starting around dawn, is responsible for the supposed increase in demonic activity.
While the Church has never ruled definitively on the matter, it can be said for sure that prayer is an effective spiritual weapon against Satan.
“When the soul is clothed in faith the devil is ignorant of how to hinder it, neither is he successful in his efforts, for faith gives the soul strong protection against the devil, who is the mightiest and most astute enemy.” – Saint John of the Cross