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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Is the Scariest Time of Day?

Ghost fear
Ghost fear (Photo credit: @Doug88888)
        It happened again.   In the wee hours of yesterday morning I woke up.  I expected that it was later than it really was, but when I looked through the darkness at the red-glowing digital numbers on my alarm clock I saw the numbers again--1:11.

        After getting up to go to the bathroom and returning to my bed, I lay awake with an unsettled feeling shrouding me.  What was it about the time 1:11 AM?  With greater frequency over the recent past years I've been awakening at that exact time and noting those red numbers staring back at me.  It always seemed like an ominous event.   A uncertain message about something coming.  Due to happen.  I would stare into the shadows of my room with a burden of concern until sleep would again overtake me.  But the memory of the event would come back each morning after it happened.  Was there any reason for me to be waking at this particular time?

       At breakfast I mentioned the waking event to my wife.  She's interested in things like this.  She said that she had heard on television that many people throughout the world have been reporting having similar experiences of awakening to see triad numerated times--2:22, 3:33, 4:44, 5:55.  According to the report that she had seen, this phenomena had something to do with the alignment of the planets.  I'm not sure I buy that explanation, but I don't have a better one either.

       This triple number time phenomena was something I first started noticing after the tragedy of 9/11.  It wouldn't happen every night or even every week, but it started happening enough for me to take notice of it. I seriously doubt that somehow my internal clock was timed so precisely to awaken me with frequency at the exact time of 1:11.  Perhaps it was merely a matter of odds and coincidences.  As I get older I find myself getting up more often to go to the bathroom.  I suppose odds might dictate that I would wake up at that time a certain number of times each month.  But why am I so unsettled about the time 1:11.  Towers?  Triple digits?

       The hours between midnight and daybreak have always seemed the eeriest for me.  My guess is that this holds true for many of us.  There can be a spookiness as dusk closes in.  Bare trees silhouetted against a grey darkening sky.  Midday as a storm approaches can have an equally fear-inducing quality.  But it is the hours of darkness that probably scare most of us to the greatest extent.  The early evening hours of darkness are not so bad, but as everyone heads off to bed and the world is asleep, evil can seem to lurk in those blackest of times.  Sure, there can be a sense of peace, calm, but there is also the uncertainty.

      For me the scariest time of day has become 1:11 AM.  Dark, silent, waiting.  What could come in that hour?  An earthquake? Some medical crisis?  A thief in the night?  I want sleep to come, but sometimes it doesn't come soon enough.  The red numbers on the clock glow like demon eyes.

       What time of the day do you think is the scariest?   Have you been aware of any three digit clock phenomena?    Do you have a theory about people waking up during a three of the same number hour?

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  1. I can understand why you'd find that weird to wake up exactly at 11:11 but I guess you just need to remember that coincidents happen Lee. I remember getting spooked because almost every time I checked the time it was something 37, like 12:37, 20:37, just constantly 37s but I guess that my body clock just became accustomed to the time and started looking at it instinctively and latching onto it although it was very interesting for a while. Good idea for writing Lee, I'm glad that nothing unlucky happened at the time, at least you didn't look at the clock only to see that it was 6:66 because that would have been more than coincidental, that would have been something that should be impossible! Haha, great post man.

  2. This happens to me a lot: seeing 11:11 whenever something in me tells me to check the time. But your wife's right- it's a world wide phenomenon so doesn't really scare me much.

  3. This was very much like myself writing this you see Lee, I too awaken around 1-10pm plus various other times throughout the night.
    As you say as one gets older .......
    I hate it if I can't return to sleep as all the worries and problems emerge which don't do my muddled brain any good. There are two coincidences in my life (1) on the evening my mother passed away I slept throughout the night,(2) Two months later my husband too had left me and again I slept right through, before or since I have always awoken several times.

  4. This happens to me too! I wonder if waking at certain times becomes a habit the brain trains itself to do. However the mystery is still there - and quite spooky!!

  5. Scariest is five to ten minutes before my alarm goes off. I wake up thinking it's the middle of the night and I still have hours, and then I realize the alarm is about to go off.
    Not sure I buy the planets aligning either.

  6. I woke up the other night at 2:22 with a pounding headache. Hmm? Something my sinuses and achy muscles. And I often wake up just a few minutes before the alarm too. Obviously there's a timekeeper in us that never sleeps. Wish my bladder would.

  7. What a powerfully written post, Lee. One of my favorites of yours, despite the "eeriness" of the subject.
    I, too, have troubled sleep these last few years. I can't explain the numbers issue, but age and stress certainly play a part with the sleep problem.

  8. This happens to me a lot, too. I think sometimes it might be a message from the future, or possibly the other side. A letter would be more convenient, though.


  9. Stange Arlee. I hope nothing bad does happen at that time. With little ones running around, if I wake up, I am in zombie mode and ignore the clock to steal a few more minutes of sleep.

  10. Back home they used to say that 2:22 Am seemed creepy to a lot of people because our planet Earth was near some weird celestial body. I am wondering if they meant only that hemisphere of Earth or the whole Earth.
    As far as I am concerned, the rush hours of morning and evening scare me the most when I am behind the wheel.

  11. My "scariest" time is 9:29. I don't know why but every morning when I check the computer clock at work it says 9:29. I'm always wondering the same thing as you... what is going to happen? Maybe it's the date, or time. I have a cousin who's birthday in 9/29... is something going to happen to her? Very eerie.

    1. I have a similar experience that happens to me at 9:11. I ALWAYS seem to check my phone or the clock at that time.

  12. Generally, psychologists will say that's, um, I'm forgetting the term, but, basically, you take note of it because of the "oddness" of it and, then, remember it. Usually, when you look at the clock, your brain doesn't take any note of it beyond the fact that you wanted to know the time and you quickly forget about it. Sometimes, there are things that make those times "stick" in our memories so that it seems we are only ever seeing that particular time because we are only remembering that time. I had the same kind of thing when I was in middle school with it being X:13. It seemed like it was always whatever:13, and it bothered me for a while. Basically, though, because of my fixation with the number, I always looked up at that time, because, yes, your body can be that exact with its timing.

  13. Yeamie -- You must have either read my mind or between the lines about the 6:66 thing. I almost included that in my piece.

    Ghadeer -- It's probably all a matter of coincidence, but some claim there's some sort of psychic or spiritual energy involved. It's just something that made me think in the night.

    Yvonne - Perhaps the waking part is just a matter of habit. The sleeping part for you might have been a means of escape or merely exhaustion.

    Pat -- The idea of habit persists for me, but the exactness of the time is curious.

    Alex -- It's probably more common for me to wake up hours before it's time to get up and think it is time to get up. It's always a relief to know I have more time to sleep.

    Em -- I nearly always wake up before the alarm goes off--usually by twenty minutes or more. I rarely can go back to sleep if that happens so I just get up and start doing things--starting with going to the bathroom.


  14. Karen -- Thank you for the compliment. Sleep just ain't what it used to be for me either.

    Mooderino-- A letter might be more convenient, but it would also be more uncanny and scary. I'd like to get a letter like that--proof positive that I could show others.

    Slamdunk -- I hope nothing bad happens as well. I think in the middle of the night I sometimes just tend to think the weirdest and scariest things.

    Munir -- I was thinking the time going to work also as I was writing this, but since I don't work now I don't have to experience this. Actually I've never really had to deal with rush hour do to work. I've been fortunate in that respect.

    Dani -- Interesting. This morning as I was discussing this with my wife she said she often looks at the clock and sees her mother's birthday. Her mother passed away several years ago so nothing bad can happen to her, but maybe it's some sort of mental message to my wife. Eerie indeed.

    Andrew - This is a logical explanation and I'm inclined to believe more in that direction. If waking at exactly 1:11 happened every morning without fail then I'd go with a biological clock thing, but the fact that it's a sporadic event makes me just think of it as odds and noting the sameness of the event. However, I don't remember ever seeing the triplicate event with any other number combination. Maybe it's the significance of "11" in our age.


  15. Interesting. I'm opposite, I find that dusk is the scariest. The time when evil things come out and I'm still running errands. Middle of the night with a thick comforter and I'm happy as a clam.

  16. Hi Lee .. thankfully I don't have a scary time of day - and would rather not get one! I hope you can get some rest and get this out of your system ... sleep tight tonight ...

    Cheers Hilary

  17. That is seriously creepy, no matter the possible explanations. I had never heard of this happening to a large number of people with the triple digit thing.I seem to wake up regularly at 4:38AM. It does not make me happy, as I have a hard time falling back to sleep. I figure that there is probably some 'event' like a noisy vehicle heading up the road that I don't actually recognize, but it disturbs me enough that I wake up.

  18. I wonder if it would help if you set your clock about ten minutes ahead. It is strange how many of us have internal alarm clocks. Hope you're able to get a good night's sleep. Julie

  19. Mine has always been three o'clock in the morning, right at 3. Makes you wonder ...

  20. I'm tempted to say 5:55 in the afternoon when everyone's cranky and my children both want dinner...the witching hour. But actually, I hate the hour of 3:30-4:30. It's the dead of the night and if I wake up then I'm always certain dead are actually walking.

  21. It's a long shot but I don't suppose that your alarm clock could make a small noise when all the numbers align? No? Oh well, it was just a thought.

  22. Eerie. One of my kids had night terrors at exactly the same time every night for 18 months. I got to the point where my eyes opened just before it happened. Now I wake up in the night, but never at the same time. The compulsion to check the time is interesting. I do it every time.

  23. Reading down your comments, waking in the night seems to be so common that it isn't even unusual! Weak bladders are a trend too. Everyone knows the significance of 9.11 but other numbers?... I reckon we are just an over-sensitive breed, we writers. I am often awake at 4 - wide awake with that certain knowledge that there's no point in trying to go back to sleep until I've had a cup of tea and done a crossword - but I don't know why it's always 4am. Possibly a neighbour gets home at that time and disturbs me. Or maybe that's the time I shall die, hopefully in the far distant future. Who knows? Numbers are only numbers - there are enough real things to frighten us without looking for more :)

  24. Southpaw -- If I'm asleep I'm fine, but if I awake in the wee hours sometimes my imagination can run away. I remember all the fun I used to have as a child as dusk settled in--games, stories, and fireflies. I never wanted bedtime to come then, but now I look forward to it.

    Hilary -- The scary times only come when I start thinking of them. Sometimes the old imagination revs up into activity--the writers mind at work I guess.

    Faraway -- I hadn't heard about the triple digit thing anywhere. My wife heard it on Spanish language TV, but they're always coming up with weird things there, like astrology and the like. Then I googled the concept and discovered that there was some buzz about this topic. Hmm--I don't know what to think.

    Julie -- I'm a stickler for precise time. I think as my age progresses waking up and sleeplessness will be a natural part of the process of aging. That's what I'm getting from other people my age and older. My wife takes a sleeping aid and tells me that I should do the same. I'm not a big fan of those kinds of drugs though.

    Tami -- Maybe we all have a significant number in our lives. Perhaps I need to find what 1:11 means to me. Does 3 mean something special to you?

    Johanna -- I agree about 3:30 to 4:30. Not about the dead walking, but that if I wake up fully during that time I often don't go back to sleep and it's very frustrating.

    Rosalind-- My clock is very very quiet. And it's over 20 years old which to me is kind of amazing. It was a very cheap digital combination phone, radio, cassette player. It just keeps on ticking without actually making a sound.


  25. Tonja -- I like to know what time it is when I wake up during the night. It is rarely the time I expect it to be.

    Lizy -- I think most of us are fascinated by numbers and try to attach significance to them. The more I ponder this, the more I think I should try to figure out what 1:11 means to me.


  26. I think this is very interesting. Someone mentioned setting your clock a few minutes ahead. What if you set your clock precisely 11 minutes ahead? Then it would be precisely 1am when you woke up? That would be something you would still remember.

    Frankly, if I were waking up at the same time often enough (even if it wasn't repeated digits) I would begin to remember the time. Why? Because that is just beyond odd. If I then researched it and found that other people were waking up all over the world at more or less the same time (you must consider the time difference), then I would would begin to give it some credence.

    I guess I would be doing some research by now. But that is just me. Where is it happening? How often? When did it start? And I don't think I buy planetary alignment.

    BTW, very interesting post.

  27. What time of the day do you think is the scariest? Have you been aware of any three digit clock phenomena? Do you have a theory about people waking up during a three of the same number hour?

    I think that 2:32 AM is the scariest time of day for me. The only three digit phenomena I keep experiencing is 6:11 am. I think it's because that is the time closest for my departure for work in the morning and 6/11 is my birthday. :D

    I think that people have their own circadian, and at times when schedules and routines are disrupted, it effects their internal clocks.

  28. I've never had the experience of waking up at the same time multiple nights but the only time I have trouble getting back to sleep in the wee hours is if there's a strong wind blowing. Something about that sound messes with my head. Visually, it's that time in the evening when it's almost dark but the sky still holds enough light to backlight the darkened branches of the trees. Spooks me every time.

  29. Robin -- I'd accept the principle of coincidence or internal clock before I would planetary alignment or spiritual messaging.

    Shah - I can understand things like birthday connections since they are so ingrained within us. My internal clock becomes very disrupted by things like the yearly time changes or travel to other time zones.

    LD -- You've conveyed a rather spooky image with your example.


  30. I wake up at night but don't particularly register the time. Just that its time for another bathroom visit.

    You have a very vivid imagination Lee.

  31. Years and years ago I used to wake up at 3:33. It happened for a few weeke and then hasn't happened since. Since then I've found that time creepy too. Bizarre stuff :)

  32. Very interesting that it has happened on more than one occasion for you to wake up at 1:11; some inner clock? Scariest time for me in the night is waking up and realizing son (who is 23 and capable of being on his own and will be soon) is not home from driving back from his girlfriend's (70 miles away). Always makes me wonder if his car broke down, etc.


  33. Jo -- I have that clock with the glowing red numbers right beside my bed so I can help but see it when I get up at night. Sometimes my imagination gets a little too active.

    Jemi-- So maybe now that I've made you think about it you'll start waking at 3:33 again. Let me know if that happens and I can add that data to what I have so far.

    Betty -- When my girls were still living at home I would often not be able to sleep if they weren't home yet. Some of the most worrisome times of my life.


  34. There's a time in the late night/early morning that is especially eerie, as it seems to be at its most quiet. I think it's between 3 and 5 AM, really. If I wake during that time, that utter stillness, that pure darkness, can really make it feel frightening. Especially as I tend toward nightmares, so often wake during those hours from a nightmare.

    I've had periods of time where I've awakened at a specific time over and over. It hasn't lasted long enough to really freak me out yet, though.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  35. Shannon - They say the darkest hours are those right before dawn breaks. I probably wouldn't have noticed the repetition of time if it hadn't had looked so strange as 1:11.

  36. For me the scariest time of day is anytime I hear a child vomit. I am vomit-phobic. For the sake of the others like me out there, I'll not go into detail. I *hope* there are others out there like me...

    As to the time thing, my youngest son has this "thing" about 7:11, either am or pm. I think because for years we've done Friday treats, which means I send each kid into 7-11 with a dollar to pick a treat if they've gotten into the car before the last timer goes off each day that week. There's a series of timers..."time to scrape the ice off the car", "time to pack up all your stuff, brush teeth, get shoes on", and then the final "be seated in the car" timer. Anyway, 7-11 has been a big part of our lives for 10 years of schooling. So the youngest gets really excited if he happens to get a glimpse of a clock that says 7:11 and will happily do his 7:11 dance...Yes, I have interesting children...

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

  37. Your waffles person cracked me up. Maybe it's someone from another dimension trying to break through and he/she doesn't realize you aren't in a lab to help them. lol

    I enjoyed it.
    love, LinnAnn

  38. Tina -- I've been through the vomiting in the middle of the night phase. Fortunately my girls didn't have too many episodes when they were growing up, but, yes, the event can be pretty disconcerting. I can understand a kid's appreciation of 7:11 if associating the numbers with the stores. The stores are like the little neighborhood groceries I remember as a child. I loved the candy aisle.

    LinnAnn -- YeamieWaffles aka Matthew is one of my most faithful commenters. A wonderful young man.


  39. Lee,

    This is a very interesting post and the comments are all so entertaining. I loved it - had me laughing out loud at times.

    First of all, this phenomenon happens to a lot of people. Not always with 1:11, but 2:22 , 3:33, 4:44 or 5:55 etc. It happens to me a lot and has for years. Usually it's with 3:33, but lately it has been 4:44. Sometimes this goes on every night for days. I'm usually never in bed before 1 am, so I guess the 1:11 has only happened when I glance at the clock before I go to sleep.

    Second there are no coincidences. The universe is trying to tell you something about your life or current circumstances.. It sounds like you are not a believer in planetary alignments, or astrology, or numerology, etc., so I probably shouldn't even go there. However, I will tell you what this means in numerology and leave it there. You can take it or leave it.

    Seeing 1:11 means: "Monitor your thoughts carefully, and be sure to only think about what you want, not what you don't want. This sequence is a sign that there is a gate of opportunity opening up, and your thoughts are manifesting into form at record speeds. You are on the right track for a personal change.

    This is a sign used to indicate that your thoughts are related to the start of a new cycle in your life.

    What you are thinking about doing or changing is correct for the new phase of your life. This number sequence signifies taking the lead in creative expression, and it also has connotations of social leadership in the sense of directing the energies of groups of people who resonate well with each other."

    So there you have it. Of course only you would know what this means in your life. Generally, the number one is new beginnings after the closing of old doors. You can also chant/say an affirmation during that minute in time if you wish (something to help you toward your goal).

    You should research this a little yourself. There is plenty on the net about seeing a number sequence like this.

    Anyway, I love the night and am not scared at all. I love the peace and quiet, especially if there's a full moon. It's hard for me to go to bed at all on those nights. But then this is coming from someone who can have a scary dream too and not even be scared when it's going on. It's only after I wake up with it painted vividly on my memory that I wonder why I wasn't frightened out of my mind.

    Great post!


  40. Sunni - Thank you for your outstanding in depth analysis. I like much of what you say here. I especially like the idea of entering a new phase of my life. This is something I keep sensing and working towards.

    Actually I am not afraid of the night or darkness either. In fact this was something I wrote about in one of my earliest blog posts back in 2009. And as you do I will have dreams that seem scary but I actually enjoy them as though I'm watching a horror movie. I sometimes get story ideas from such dreams. Darkness and night are fun to play with in stories since traditionally so many people associate these with evil and frightening circumstances.

    Great comment!


  41. Interesting. I wasn't aware of this triple digit phenomenon. I think as the world becomes more technological, perhaps there is a little magic and mysticism creeping back into the world unnoticed. We humans are waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, doomsday predictions are coming closer together. Perhaps you've attuned yourself to this time as that of your own personal doomsday.

    Or, something from your past reasserting itself. A long forgotten memory.



  42. I can really relate to this Lee. For me it's 11:11. I never fail to look at the clock when it's that time day or night. The number 11 by itself has also played a very significant role in my life. Lots of birthdays, deaths, marriages, etc. are always on the 11th. There have been literally hundreds of things. It's all too weird to just be a coincidence, by like you, I have no idea what it could mean!

  43. 5:17 for me... my dog died on January 7, at 5:17. Every single day since her death, I have looked at the clock and even though it's only one minute, it feels like 20.

  44. Always neat to get a comment long after the post has gone up..



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