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Warning: May be susceptible to demonic possession.   —   Macabre Mind

Sleep. Me and sleep go way back. We've got history. A past. We understand each other in intimate ways, and we never judge each other's need for more attention. I love sleep. I experience it in odd ways. I'm always acutely aware of the posture of my body, the comfort level of the bedding based on whichever way it's bunched, how my pajamas are laying, the firmness of my pillow. My bedroom is fairly scentless but if there's ever a time when someone is cooking and I'm asleep, those are the best. The smell of food wraps around me like another sheet and it invades my dreams. The same goes for the window being opened and smelling rain or grass, I smell it in my sleep. And sound. I love going to sleep when someone is watching TV in a distant room or listening to music, I can't hear the words but the sound of life comforts me. I love falling asleep to the sound of traffic or heavy rains. I can feel every fiber and weight on and near me, every hair on my head. They say that sleep is when your body rests but I feel like my body is always at work when I'm sleeping, adjusting its form and struggling with the perfect body temperature, I often wake up sore as though I'd been exercising for hours. And dreams. My god. If there was some way I could broadcast my dreams for all to see, I might be the NEW Master of Horror. My sleeping mind if brutal. And now that I've fluffed up my love of sleep, allow me to darken the mood with the fear of waking up.

I rarely sleep through the night undisturbed. I often wake multiple times through the night, whether it be to a chirping head-butting Commodore, or a random noise outside, but mostly it's for no reason at all, and mostly it's around 3:00AM. 3:00AM is sort of a legend as it turns out. There is nothing concrete on the matter only hints and gossip on if and why the hour is significant. Many of you know that George Lutz from the infamous Amityville hauntings claimed that he woke up at 3:15AM every morning, later discovering it was also the time of the DeFeo killings that happened in his house. There's also the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose (loosely based on a true story) where the girl, Emily, is possessed by a demon at 3:00AM. It is explained in the movie that 3:00 AM is the demonic witching hour, which evil spirits use to mock the Holy Trinity. Significantly, it is the opposite of 3:00 PM, traditionally taken to be the hour at which Jesus died. In Swedish and Finnish folk religion it is the hour when most people die and are born. They believe it is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fear, when ghosts, demons and nightmares are most powerful. The human spirit is supposed to be most vulnerable at this time.

It's no surprise then that I have a phobia over 3:00AM. For about four years now I've been waking up almost every night between 3:00AM and 3:20AM. I wake up, note the time, and immediately feel ill at ease. Sometimes I just lay in bed, refusing my full bladder the comfort of release, and I listen intently in the dark, imagining a dark slumped over figure shuffling slowly through the living room. I imagine a pale face twisted into an eternal agonizing scream, peering through the window on my front porch. I make sure my feet and hands are not hanging over the bed, fearful of cold fingers gripping my flesh and yanking me down into a bottomless black pit that has opened in the floor under my bed. I stare at our partially opened closet, waiting for a set of glowing eyes to appear from within the darkness. Or sometimes I just sigh and roll over, not allowing my imagination to flex its gnarled and diseased muscles. But the worst of it occurs when I get out of bed. Sometimes my bladder is insistent and I simply must brave my softly lit bathroom at 3:00AM. I already have a fear of being alone in bathrooms so combining that fear with my 3:00AM fear really makes for one helluva party in the middle of the night. Sure, the mystery and uncertainty of what may or may not be behind the shower curtain is always a hair raiser, but what really scares me is the view from my bathroom door. Sitting on the pot, if you leave the door open, you can see right out into one of the living rooms. I mentioned the slumpy shuffling figure before, right? Yeah well, what if he shuffled right into view? Or what if something came rushing toward me in the dark while I've got my underwear around my ankles and am all peeing and vulnerable? So maybe I decide to close the bathroom door instead? Then here comes the fear of being alone in a closed bathroom. The door could lock at the precise moment something came crawling out of the drain. You don't know, it could happen. Most of the time I opt for the partially closed method. Here, I'm not locked in but I don't have a full view of the shuffling man, instead I just wait for long bony fingers to slowly curl themselves around the slightly ajar door, and a face to ever so slightly peer through the crack.

Man I love to be scared. Sweet dreams! Don't wake up at 3:00AM! But if you do, whatever you do, don't go into the kitchen!!! I didn't even tell you what happens in there in the dark...

Posted 5.17.2009 3:11:16 PM

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