There is a lot of evil in the world. There are murders, and rapes, and abuses. There are wars, and power hungry governments and corporations. There are children stuck in sweat shops providing slave labor so we can wear designer clothing. There is thee utter disregard and destruction of our environment. A lot of evil. Too much to catalogue in a simple post.
But itís possible to fight this evil. It can be a difficult battle sometimes, but it is possible. If you want it bad enough.
Then thereís the evil you canít battle. Because you donít know how. I saw The Exorcism of Emily Rose tonight. Yeah, itís a creepy movie. Yeah, I thought it was a good film. The filmmakers sure did their research. Some of it is pure dogma, based on practices and beliefs which the Catholic Church took from other religions as it organized itself, and the film stayed true to that dogma.
But some of it is less dogmatic, and moreÖ supernatural.
Specifically, the idea of supernatural activity tending to occur at 3am. Iíve talked to a few people whoíve had supernatural occurrences, or what theyíve felt to be supernatural, and strangely, most of them occur at 3am.
The film calls it the demonic witching hour, an inversion of the holy trinity. Iíve heard it called the witching hour simply because that is when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest.
Regardless, I believe very strongly in the 3am occurrence.
When I was six years old, I became, more or less, an insomniac. Not that I couldnít fall asleep at night, I was just too scared to do so. It seem like something to laugh at, the idea that I was scared of the dark, and Iíve chuckled over it a few times myself. But from age 6 until age 12, I was too scared to chuckle.
It was summertime, in Orange County. Even at night it can stay pretty warm if you aint near the coast. So Iím sharing a room with my brother at the time, and temperatures only allow a thin sheet for covering in bed at night, if you donít mind sweating in the morning.
I wake up this one night, sit up and look at my brotherís bed. Empty. I check the clock: 3am. I look through the doorway of my room into the room across the hall from mine, and see a shape appear. Human-looking, but it was glowing purple. And it steps into my room and stands at the foot of my bed. I say it was human-looking, but it was the scariest thing Iíd ever seen in my life. Pure evil. I felt a sliver of fear, sharp as a knife and cold as glacier ice, slide down my spine. I was shaking, I was so scared. I tried to call for help, but nothing would come. Just a wheezy sort of whisper, if you could call it that.
It was like in E.T., when it first appeared to Elliot, and he tried to call for his brother but could only whisper. Except I was terrified.
So itís standing at the foot of my bed, and itís glaring at me, an awful hate burning through his gaze. It looked over itís shoulder suddenly, then turned and walked back into the room across from mine, and then disappeared.
Needless to say, I pulled the sheet over my head and lay there, shivering. But through the thing fabric of the sheet I could see the silhouettes of various objects in my room. And then I saw the silhouette of a hand, walking, like Thing from the Adams Family, up and down the side of my bed, taunting me. Back and forth it went, mere feet from my face, my sheet the only thing protecting me, much good it was doing. Then a toilet flushes, and my brotherís shuffling footsteps come into the bedroom. At that point I couldnít take anymore, and I started screaming.
Scared the hell out of my brother, my parents come running in to see what the problem was. I try to tell them around my sobs and dry heaves of fear.
And they shake their heads and tell me it was just a bad dream. And tell me to go back to sleep.
Yeah right, that happened. All night, I lay under my covers, praying that God would save me.
The very next night, Iím asleep, dreaming a regular dream, when a sliver of fear, sharp as a knife and cold as glacier ice, slid down my spine. And the dream shifted. Everything got darker, like a shade was pulled over the sun. And then ďitĒ appeared in my dream. And started chasing me with its evil glare. And I knew, right then, that if I didnít wake up before it got to me, Iíd never wake up. And so I started thrashing about, telling myself to wake until I finally, with great effort, wrenched myself awake.
I was shaking, shivering with fear and drenched in sweat. I happened to glance at the clock, and it was 3am exactly. Thereafter, for the next six years of my life, if I ever fell asleep at night, I would have a nightmare, and in that nightmare, ďitĒ would chase me. And when Iíd wake up, it would be 3am. Always.
So I stopped sleeping. For quite a while, I would only go to bed if there was a nightlight in my room. I plugged it into the socket on the wall next to my bed, and stared at it all night, curled up in the fetal position.
I still canít sleep if there is a door open, closet or otherwise, in my room. And occasionally, Iíll still get the nightmare. And when I thrash myself awake, the time is always 3am.
Watching The Exorcism of Emily Rose, occasionally something would happen, and Iíd get a slight tingle of that sliver of fear, brushing ever so slightly across my spine, and it wasnít the scare in the movie that would get to me then, it was the sliver of fear, sharp as a knife, and cold as glacier ice.
Now tell me, how is a kid supposed to battle that kind of evil? I asked a pastor about it once, since I grew up in a very religious home, and went to a very religious school. He told me I should pray more. Did he think, that as a child, every night for six years I wasnít praying? I wasnít pleading with God to save me, to take this evil away? Asking what Iíd done that this should have happened to me? How is someone supposed to battle that kind of evil?
I still donít have an answer, and I still get scared occasionally. Big surprise.