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Complete Guide to Understanding the Witching Hour

Complete Guide to Understanding the Witching Hour


Aoife O.
Jan 21, 2021

There’s something about the devil’s hour that instills a sense of dread into your soul. You know you’re safe in your bed and there is nothing in your room that wasn't there before. But, waking up suddenly at 3 am has a tendency to fill your body with fear. What is it about this hour that has such an impact and is it a universal construct? Let’s find out.  

What Is the Witching Hour?

Some say nothing good happens at 3 am but those people have never been to a nightclub! Dancing in the middle of the night, surrounded by friends, and immersed in music is heaven. But, being startled from a dream at 3 am unfortunately doesn’t have the same good vibes. In fact, that takes on a more witches demons vibe, not cool!

According to folklore the witching hour or devil’s hour is when ghosts, witches, and demons are most active and supernatural events take place. The thin veneer between the living and the dead crumbles during this time of night and the presence of otherworldly beings are more felt by humans and animals. 

What Time Is the Witching Hour?

Depending on your philosophical or religious beliefs the witching hour could be between 3 am and 4 am. Or, be from sunset to sunrise. The devil’s hour of 3 am is a more christian belief but for many, a more cautious approach of looking out for supernatural activity between sunset to sunrise is favored. 

It is believed that Christ died at 3 pm and as the Devil works in inversions, 3 am is when witchcraft, exorcisms, and demonic activity are taking place. Despite Satan having nothing to do with witchcraft, the two tend to be lumped together as the cloak of darkness makes it ideal for naughtiness.   

How long do dreams last? find out here

What Causes It?

A witching hour or devil hour is ubiquitous to the human condition. Every human being has circadian rhythms and sleep cycles. The REM phase of sleep is when you dream and you cycle through roughly 6 stages every night. Growing up you probably read ghost stories and watched scary movies from behind the couch. Your life experience and dream sequences play a role in how you feel when you suddenly wake up at 3 am. 


What does it mean if you dream about someone? find out here.

Where Did the Witching Hour Get its Name?

The ‘witching hour’ has been in the western vernacular since around 1775 and appears in a poem by Rev. Matthew West “Night, an Ode” of that year. (“Along whose banks at Midnight’s witching hour (So wayward Fancy dreams) aerial Beings pour!). Witches cast their spells in the blackness of night when the veil between life and death is weakest. 

Tips to Beat 3 A.M. Insomnia

Experiencing insomnia can play with the mind and fool your eyes into believing something is there that is not. If you wake up in the middle of the night and feel fearful, remind yourself that there is nothing there that wasn’t there before. A tired mind plays tricks but you don’t have to play along. 

  • Create a sleep schedule that fits your lifestyle
  • Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep every night (even at weekends)
  • Wind down 1 hour before bed, no electronic devices, no TV
  • Have a relaxing bath or shower before bed
  • Keep a journal on your nightstand to note your thoughts and dreams
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal before bed, have a small banana and a glass of milk if you’re peckish
  • Exercise is one of the best insomnia treatments, start a routine that is fun for you
  • Enjoy fresh air every day and drink lots of water to hydrate and flush out toxins


If you wake up at 3 am with an elevated heart rate, don’t despair, a lot of people experience the dreaded middle of the night fears. It’s dark, the shadows play on the walls, you’re half asleep and the house is pitch black. Perhaps you’ve watched one too many horror movies and now your mind is playing tricks on you. The devil’s hour is a time when you can face your fears head-on. A lot of people enjoy working at this time because most of the world is asleep, it’s quiet, and creativity can flow freely without distractions. Take control of this time of night and unleash your inner strength and desires.  

Disclaimer: Nolah does not provide medical advice. All resources on the Nolah blog, including this article, are informational only and do not replace professional medical counsel. Talk to your doctor about any health, mental health, or sleep-related issues.

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