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For many years we have been reporting on night-time phenomena such as those who wake up precisely at three o'clock a.m. or about the vulnerability of sleep-time hours, when the active mind -- the alert part of consciousness -- is in a quiescent or perhaps even wandering state.

It is an "in-between" time, and for that reason, as we have also pointed out, it's important to "seal" our sleep with prayer and Scripture before slumber (and then seal our day with prayer upon rising).

There can be spiritual attack (dreams that drain us, that upset us, that insert false notions) and in extreme cases there can even be what they call "night-time terror": a phenomenon that psychologists attribute to tension, particularly in the young: sudden fright or paralysis in that halfway sleep state.  We believe it also may be an assault by evil spirits.

The writer of a book called Purging Your House, Pruning Your Family Tree relates how he was bothered for months by a dark presence that came as he slept. In his case, it was a spirit attempting to stop a new anointing for him -- to thwart God's planned blessings for his ministry. "These paranormal attacks became more common and frequent into the late fall months," wrote this author, Perry Stone. "They included weird buzzing noises, the helpless sensation of being paralyzed, and audible voices mocking me, cursing the Bible, blaspheming Jesus Christ, and threatening me with physical harm. This was not my mind playing tricks or an overworked imagination." He conquered it by trusting in God -- releasing it all to Him. God always delivers us when we remain steadfast.

Sometimes it comes immediately; sometimes, it comes eventually; but always it comes with faith.

"Thank you for sharing the stories about 'sleep paralysis,'" wrote another correspondent. "I am forty-five years old and have had these experiences since I was a child. In my teen years it was all night, every night. Now a handful of times a year. I do wake up at three a.m. often. Not so scary any more. Praise God! Until I read your articles, the information I read on the internet was either from a scientific or an occult perspective. God bless you!"

We continue to receive mail about this.

"I have had several dreams in the last few years, the last one just a few weeks ago, in which the devil is following me trying to catch me as I run away," wrote Jorge Mora of Joliet, Illinois. "Sometimes it's in the form of a person, and at one time it was in the form of a vicious dog. But the attack would stop as soon as I said the Name of Jesus, and also, as I remember I did with the dog in my dream, when I sprayed it with Holy Water. And yes, as other viewers have commented, during these dreams it is sometimes very difficult to say the Name of Jesus. I find myself struggling to say it, until I finally say it and then the dream stops -- in peace. In all this, I feel no fear, but rather a trust in the power of the Name of Jesus."

Wrote Debbie Brady of Lindenhurst, New York: "I am responding to the article entitled 'Demonic attacks in the dark of night.' I wanted to pass along a helpful hint: For the past ten years I have found myself, from time to time, awakened paralyzed, either feeling a weight already on me or feeling something climbing onto the bed. The third time this happened I was able to open my mouth and say 'Jesus!' When I called out, I felt the thing or things back up from me. "Each time I repeated the Lordís Name it would back up more and more and be gone. I would then be able to get up and seal my house with Holy Water. It would then be a span of time until this happened again. I then read that the Blessed Mother said at Medjugorje to cleanse the house with Holy Water every Saturday, thus keeping the house sealed."

We advise casting spirits out in the Name of Jesus and then using Holy Water or blessed salt or both on all windows and doors (for arcane reasons, this seems particularly effective).

Reading the Bible before sleep seems paramount.

And while we are to be bold in the Lord (the devil never wins, when we are in Christ), there must be a level of prudence during intercession.

Never back down from the enemy.

When matters seem too intense, here's a secret: Fast.

And another one: praise God.

When we thank and praise God, never does the enemy win.

[resources: Purging Your House, Pruning Your Family Tree]

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