Hans Memling – “Last Judgment Triptych” 1467-1471 detail.
Written by Gene Lafferty
I was thrilled to have been asked to be a guest speaker at a paranormal seminar. After the presentation, the organizers had arranged a question and answer session with the presenters. One audience member asked why it was that people ghost hunt at night. Before I could answer, one of the other presenters responded that it was because, “Jesus died at three o’clock in the afternoon and that demonic actively is heightened at three in the morning since that is direct opposite to the exact time of his Death.”
The seminar ended right after that response and I was not able to pick my jaw up off the floor in time to rebut the aforementioned gibberish, until now. The last thing that home owners want to be told is that they have a “demon” in their home. According to the other presenter, if the activity is taking place at 3:00 a.m., it’s a demon. The 3:00 a.m. statement is complete nonsense based on pseudoscience and the laziness of some people to check their facts before declaring what they put forward as a fact. (Yes, this has been annoying me for almost a year. Where is my soap box?)
“Dead time”, “witching hour”, “devil’s hour”, the “hour of the wolf”, etc, etc, etc, were discussed here. I am just going to focus on the 3:00 a.m. bull shi…err, myth. It is important to note this is not a rant on religion but a rant on how historic “facts” can be bent, twisted and manipulated to fit the needs of some uninformed people in the paranormal field.
Before we can debate on the “exact time” that Christ died let’s take a look at the speculation surrounding just the year of His death. As noted on bibleresearch.org:
“According to various studies into the historical and astronomical data relating to the year of Jesus’ crucifixion, the dates most often cited as the year of his death range from 27 A.D. to 33 A.D.”
This web site continues through over eight pages of information using biblical, historical, astronomical information and some ‘interesting math’ to show Jesus’ death to have occurred in 30 A.D.. After reading all of that information you can see this is still a hypothesis on the “exact” year. Why is this important? If it requires eight pages to narrow down just the year in which Jesus died, how many pages would it require to obtain the “exact” time of death; nine pages, ten, twenty, fifty, ever?
There are many problems with the 3:00 a.m. theory. Perhaps the most glaring of these is the idea that nothing ever happened at night before His death. If 3:00 a.m mocks the death of Christ what time did the demons attack before that? What about time zones? What about daylight savings? What about the ability of the demon to actually be able to tell time? Let’s not forget that according to Religious Tolerance only 33% of the world population is Christian- what time do demons annoy the other 67% of the people? In reality a “demon” is mostly a Christian belief that has evolved from the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, proto-Jews, and Babylonians.
The belief in the 3:00 a.m. myth has been around for several years; however one movie brought this belief into mainstream thinking: The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005). This movie seemed to have lit a fire for internet claims of paranormal activity peaking at 3:00 a.m.. We all know if you read it on the internet it must be true (note sarcasm). Perhaps some people found the statement by the priest to be factual since the movie was based on a “true story.” It is important to understand the factual history of the movie.
The person in the movie, Emily Rose, is a fictional version of Anneliese Michel, a German woman that was reported to have been possessed. However the key words are “fictional version” – this is not a documentary, it is for entertainment. Father Moore is a fictional character created by the imaginative minds of the writers. Father Moore was a combination of two real-life people, Father Arnold Renz and Pastor Ernst Alt. Both men were assigned by the Bishop of Wurzburg to carry out “The Great Exorcism”. A commission of the German Bishop-Conference later declared that Anneliese Michel was not possessed. To solidify their stance her corpse was exhumed eleven and a half years later to confirm that it had decayed as would have been expected under normal circumstances.
Once the general public had the belief that demonic activity peaks at 3:00 a.m., then everything happens at 3:00 a.m.. This is due to how people perceive time. Arguably, each person experiences time in different ways at different times. If you need an example of this just ask some one what time they had lunch. The answer you will most likely get is “around noon”. Is “around noon”, 11:00, 11:15, 11:30, 12:15, 12:30, etc? The same holds true for claimed 3:00 a.m. activity- it happened “around 3:00 a.m.” Albert Einstein once explained the perception of time by saying, “When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”
Would you like another example of the perception of time? Take your pet for example; if they could not perceive time how would they know when it’s diner time or what time their owners will be home?
Enough of my rant, and on to the question- why do people ghost hunt at night?
Is it because that is what is seen on television and in the movies? Well in some cases, sadly yes, but there are other reasons. Humans are diurnal- active during the day and sleeping at night. Therefore during the day the human mind, by nature, is in overdrive. We don’t notice the slight cold spots, subtle noises, items being slowing moved from one location to the next. Another reason is environmental noises such as traffic, telephones, radios, construction. All of these outside influences can make research during the day a challenge, not to mention, most people have day time jobs, and the night time hours allow us to be free to investigate. For these reasons, night time is the best time to investigate…no!
I stated above that humans are diurnal. If a ghost is the disembodied spirit or soul of a deceased person would it not stand to reason that during the day light (brain overdrive) hours the spirit would be the most active? Ghost hunting during the day lends some real aid to the hunters. You can see what you’re doing, you don’t have to worry about your flashlight going off, there are no camera flashes to blind you and you’re much safer in an unfamiliar location. You are also much less likely to allow your subconscious to affect your actions. For these reasons, day time is the best time to investigate…no!
Since I am telling you that the best time to ghost hunt is not during the night time and it is not during the day time; then when?
The best time to investigate is during times when the activity has been reported to take place. Be it sunrise, day time, dusk or night time. This is why I always require a location to keep a journal of the activities taking place. This journal is vital to the investigation. It gives you an insight into the activity, the occupants at the location and most importantly; an exact date and time the activity takes place. This information is vital to develop trends. Once you review this journal, you might be surprised at the amount of 3:00 a.m. activity that is actually taking place at much different times but has been perceived to have taken place at 3:00 a.m.