Lurking somewhere between midnight and dawn is the "witching hour." Some say it lives between 3-4 am; however, my Witching Hour hovers timelessly in the murky channel betwixt yesterday and tomorrow.
As a child in my room, I'd find myself awakened by the mysterious energy of The Hour. It was then I recognized that under the dark blanket, illuminated by only a promise of dawn, senses grow heightened and the imagination roams untethered.
The Hour gives us power and focus without distraction--a gift that allows us to believe that beyond it is magic that breathes wild dreams to life when its veil is lifted by light.
In that stillness of night, thoughts become whispers from a muse; the heart dances with ghosts of lovers past; and spirit touches flesh.
While reading Charles Dickens on Christmas Eve, I found this passage from The Haunted House, written in 1859, and found a fellow devotee of The Hour.
"No period within the four-and-twenty hours of day and night is so solemn to me, as the early morning. In the summer time, I often rise very early, and repair to my room to do a day's work before breakfast, and I am always on those occasions deeply impressed by the stillness and solitude around me. Besides that there is something awful in the being surrounded by familiar faces asleep--in the knowledge that those who are dearest to us and to whom we are dearest, are profoundly unconscious of us, and in impassive state, anticipative of that mysterious condition to which we are all tending--the stopped life, the broken threads of yesterday, the deserted seat, the closed book, the unfinished but abandoned occupation, all are images of Death. The tranquility of the house is the tranquility of Death. The colour and the chill have the same association. Even a certain air that familiar household objects take upon them when they first emerge from the shadows of the night into the morning, of being newer, and as they used to be long ago, has its counterpart in the subsidence of the worn face of maturity or age, in death, into the old youthful look. Moreover, I once saw the apparition of my father, at this hour. He was alive and well, and nothing ever came of it, but I saw him in the daylight, sitting with his back towards me, on a seat that stood beside my bed. His head was resting on his hand, and whether he was slumbering or grieving, I could not discern. Amazed to see him there, I sat up, moved my position, leaned out of bed, and watched him. As he did not move, I spoke to him more than once. As he did not move then, I became alarmed and laid my hand upon his shoulder, as I thought--and there was no such thing.
"For all these reasons, and for others less easily and briefly statable, I find the early morning to be my most ghostly time. Any house would be more or less haunted, to me, in the early morning; and a haunted house could scarcely address me to greater advantage than then."