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Witching hour is a term in occult belief that refers to the time at which creatures such as witches, demons, and ghosts are thought to appear and to be at their most powerful. Black magic is thought to be most effective at this time. The period lasts from 3AM to 4AM, when there are no Catholic church services and prayers, as marked by the Canonical hours. In modern times, the term usually refers to midnight and 2 AM, recognized as the "witching hour" by some neopagans.
Adversely, the term Devil's hour applies to the hour of 3 AM or 3:15, the suggestion being that this is an inversion of the time at which Christ died at Calvary.
The term may be used to refer to any arbitrary time of bad luck, or in which something bad has a greater likelihood to occur (e.g., a baby crying, a computer crashing, stock market volatility, crimes, etc.).
In medieval times, midnight was when it was believed that witches emerged to practice the occult. Women caught out late at night could have been suspected of witchcraft if they did not have a legitimate reason to be out.
- Witching hour (Investing)
- Triple witching hour
- Hour of the wolf
- The Witching Hour (novel) by Anne Rice from 1990.
- Manning-Schaffel, Vivian. "Cry, Cry, Cry: The latest (not entirely reassuring) research on colic". Babble.com.
- Malik, Om (27 October 2009). "3 Times Unlucky or the Start of a Larger Trend?". GigaOM.
- Little, Ken. "Beware of Stock's Witching Hour". About.com.