If you’ve ever woken up at around three in the morning and felt like something wasn’t quite right, then you may actually be onto something.
It’s not just a case of middle-of-the-night jitters but you are slap bang in the middle of the Devil’s Hour - and, if you believe the myths, you may not be alone.
The 3am time slot is regarded by paranormal experts as a time when pure evil - either demons or entities from the spirit world - make their presence felt.
Many of us will wake up in the middle of the night, either from a bad dream or without any reason at all, feeling a chill in the air or a worrying feeling in your gut.
We might simply put this down to our brains not quite being in state that is able to think rationally - but there are also those who believe the reason is a lot more sinister.
The thinking behind the specific time of 3am is that it is a deliberate mocking of the death of Jesus Christ, who, according to ancient writing, died in the middle of the afternoon - at 3pm.
Horror: Bad things happened in The Conjuring at 3:07am (Rex)
Just like the turning of the cross upside down is a deliberate lack of humility or respect to Christ, the inversion of 3pm to 3am is thought to be demons using the opposite hour to torment humans.
The number three is also synonymous with Christianity - the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Many horror films have used the Devil’s Hour as a pivotal moment - in The Conjuring, the clocks stop at 3:07am and events take a seriously bad turn.
Names being called and walls banged three times in succession, as seen in the movie, are seen as a direct insult to Christianity.
Ronald ‘Butch’ DeFeo Jr - the man who inspired The Amityville Horror - murdered six members of his own family at three in the morning, while multiple strange occurrences take place at around the same time in The Exorcism Of Emily Rose - another film supposedly based on true events.
But why would this particular time be the one part of the day we would be visited by the supernatural rather than when we’re not asleep?
Possessed: The Exorcism of Emily Rose also references the Devil’s hour (Rex)
Psychics believe that the veil between our world and the spirit world is lifted at this time and our relaxed state of minds - especially in a state of deep sleep - may be more susceptible to paranormal activity.
Paranormal researcher Ben Eno explains: “The belief in such a time, the Devil’s Hour, could be fuelling its power.
“If you go on thinking something spooky is going to happen, something spooky will probably happen.”
So if you wake up feeling panicked at this time of the night, have you been visited by a demon or in the company of spiritual entities? Xavier Remington, the founder and president of Mystic Investigations, seems to think so.
He said: “Legend has it that if you wake up at exactly 3:00am for no reason in a state of terror then the Devil has paid you a visit literally or in your dreams.
Explanation: Could we be waking up at three because of simple sleeping patterns (Rex/posed by model)
“A mere state of heightened agitation might indicate demonic or poltergeist visitation.”
There are no doubt many of you who do wake up at around this time every night who might be starting to worry - but there is a scientific explanation to all this - sleep patterns.
After several hours asleep, we may enter a lighter sleep at around this time - meaning we are more prone to waking up easily.
Our bodies are also hardwired to wake up as night becomes day - so are we simply waking up at a time when the darkness has reached its peak and daytime is preparing to make an appearance?
Whatever the reasons, try not to think too hard about them if you do wake up at 3am tomorrow or you’ll never get back to sleep…
Top pic: Rex/posed by model