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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, and at which black magic is thought to be at its most effective because the period from 3AM to 4 AM is the span where there are no Catholic church services and prayers which are marked by the Canonical hours which are also three regular hours in length, but in modern times that fact is mostly forgotten so the terms is usually used to refer to midnight and 2 AM recognized as the witching hour by some neopagans.
Adversely, the terms 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 terms 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.