Discovering one of the scariest titles ever!
While it might look like a normal New England tourist town, Silent Hill has absolutely nothing normal about it. At least not anymore. After all, you don't become the most famous city in the world of video games without a good reason.
Story about the founding of the city
In the past, the land on which Silent Hill would rise was inhabited by a tribe of Native Americans who settled along the Toluca Lake area. They called that land the "Place of the Silent Spirits". Here they celebrated sacred rituals, some of which had the purpose of communicating with the dead.
Around 1600, some English colonists forced Native Americans to leave their sacred land and took possession of it. At the beginning of 1700, a terrible and mysterious deadly epidemic decimated the English colonists. The few survivors left the site, which remained uninhabited for over a century.
In 1810, a penal colony was established. For this reason, a prison and Brookhaven Hospital were built. It is in this period that the city is given the name "Silent Hill".
Shortly thereafter, a second epidemic plagued the community. Brookhaven Hospital was of vital importance for the hospitalization of the numerous infected. Due to the epidemic, the population dwindled further.
Around 1850, a coal seam was discovered underground. Thus the Wiltse Mine was opened, thanks to which the city's economy improved significantly.
During the American Civil War, Toluca Prison was used as a refugee camp and, at the end of the war, it was transformed into a corrective facility.
In 1900, both the Prison and the Mine were closed. Silent Hill became a town that basically lived on tourism. The Sient Hill Historical Society was built on the remains of the Toluca Prison and is used as a museum.
In 1918, a tourist ship called the Little Baroness, sank in the waters of Lake Toluca. The bodies of the passengers were never found.
Starting from 1939 Strange events began to happen on Lake Toluca. Several accidents occurred at sea. Silent Hill's reputation as a resort town was negatively affected.
In 1963, the mayor of Silent Hill died under mysterious circumstances. Like him, the staff members for the promotion of tourism in the city also died one after another. All these deaths were classified as "accidents".
In 1969, was born Alessa Gillespie and Silent Hill is rumored to have been hit by a curse ever since. Legend has it that the city has become a place that attracts all those who hide darkness in their hearts.
It was founded by a group of religious fanatics who came to the city around the same time that Silent Hill became a tourist resort.
Within the Order there is a widespread belief based on the veneration of a God [depicted as a woman] and various angels and saints [among which the best known are Valtiel, Metatron, Lobslel Vith e Xuchibara].
The cult professed by the members of the Order includes practices such as human sacrifice, armomancy and necromancy. Their rituals are intended to bring about the rebirth of God, who will bring Heaven to Earth through the death and rebirth of all humanity, thus cleansing it from sin.
While sharing the same goal, the members of the Order can have a different idea of Paradise from each other. For this reason, various sects within the Order have arisen, among which the main ones are:
Sect of the Holy Woman, which includes Dahlia Gillespie (as priestess), Claudia Wolf, Leonard Wolf and Vincent Smith. They believe that the day God returns to Earth, he will unleash the apocalypse and lead the faithful to Heaven.
Sect of the Holy Mother, whose members turn to God calling him "Holy Mother". They believe that these can only be born through a ritual (i 21 Sacraments) carried out by a chosen one. They run an orphanage called Wish House, built in the woods surrounding Silent Hill. The children of the orphanage are taught the teachings of the Order. Disobedient orphans, as punishment, were locked up inside the Aquatic Prison, located near the shores of Lake Toluca. With the Wish House, the sect aims to raise the chosen one (this is where Walter Sullivan grew up). The sect is also known for its rituals for the resurrection of the dead (such as what James Sunderland can perform in one of the multiple endings of SIlent Hill 2).
Sect of Valtiel, founded by the priest Jimmy Stone, nicknamed “the Red Devil”, due to the triangular purple hat he wore during the rituals. The other members also wear red hoods. The sect venerates Valtiel, considered the closest angel to God and worshiped as his executioner. In the Silent Hill religion, Valtiel is believed to have been created by God to induce people to obey him.
Shepherd's Glen sect, founded by four families who left Silent Hill separating from the Order, while maintaining some basic beliefs (primarily faith in God). The four founding families are the Shepherd, the Holloway, the Fitch and Bartlett. After escaping from Silent Hill, the founders of Shepherd's Glen made a pact with God to appease his wrath. The pact provides that every 50 years each family must offer their own child as a sacrifice. Each family must sacrifice their child in a very specific way: the Shepherds must offer their child to the Water (the child will drown), the Holloways must offer their child to the Noose (the child will suffocate), the Bartletters must offer their child to the Terra (the little one will die buried alive) and the Fitches must offer their son to the Knife (the little one will die dismembered).
Halo of the Sun: the emblem of the Order
The Order has adopted this symbol as its emblem. It represents the image of the God. The Halo of the Sun is made up of a series of symbols belonging to the Scandinavian runic alphabet, to the ancient Hungarian one and to the Native American one. It is made up of two outer circles (representing charity and resurrection) and three smaller circles inside (representing past, present and future). It is usually depicted with the color red, more rarely with black. On the other hand, the yellow and blue colors are prohibited, as they would change the meaning of the symbol into a curse / imprecation to the God.
Outer Ring: in high an eye is depicted representing the sovereignty and omniscience of God; to the right there is a sword-like symbol representing Sagittarius; down there is a symbol that resembles a trident and represents the union of the zodiac signs of Pisces and Capricorn, similar to the signature of Lucifer; to the left there is the symbol of a libra that represents the homonymous zodiac sign. There are also some runic writings. Among these interesting are the one at the bottom right which stands for "Alessa", the one at the bottom left which stands for "Dahlia" and the writing at the top left which stands for "Incubas" (and probably refers to Incubus or Heather , since "incubas" means "illegitimate possessor" and the girl, in Silent Hill 3, carries the God in her womb).
Inner Ring: along the edge are a series of small signs, some of which represent chemical elements while others are invented. Top right there is the Hungarian symbol AMB, union of the zodiac signs Taurus and Aries; right, bottom the Hungarian symbol TPRU, which represents the zodiac sign of Cancer; top left the Hungarian symbol TPRUS, union of the zodiac signs Gemini and Aquarius; finally center there is an unknown symbol (probably the sign of Leo), which represents the omnipotence of God.
Three Circles: they represent past, present and future.
Drug trafficking in the Order
The Order produced a drug called PTV and distributed it around town for tourists. Its effects are devastating and include memory loss and the development of manic behaviors. It creates a high dependence, such as to push consumers to do anything to get a dose. Lisa Garland was among those who developed PTV addiction. The director of the Alchemilla Hospital, Michael Kaufmann, used this weakness to force her to look after Alessa Gillespie.
The PTV is created from White Claudia, a plant characterized by hallucinogenic properties. It grows near waterways and Native Americans are known to use its seeds during religious ceremonies.
White Claudia is thought to be used to produceAglaophotis, a red liquid that is said to have the power to dispel demonic forces and protect those who use it from them (as Heather did before the final boss fight in Silent Hill 3).
The three dimensions of Silent Hill
Probably the Native Americans settled in the Silent Hill area precisely because they knew that that place possessed a strange power. Power that, following the arrival of the colonists and the outbreak of epidemics, became more and more dark and stronger. The city is considered a real entity, which calls to itself all those who hold the darkness in their soul. A sort of Purgatory from which one can come out purified or sink into the bowels of hell for eternity. Silent Hill manifests itself in three dimensions: the Real World, the Misty World and the Otherworld.
Real world. It is where the city resides in a state of normality, in which citizens live their lives in the dark about the evil forces that control it and everything that happens to the protagonists of the various chapters of the saga, who often begin their "adventure ”From here to find themselves inexplicably trapped in the Misty World. In this dimension, Silent Hill is a quiet and safe place, as monsters do not manifest.
Foggy World. It is the dimension that resides in the middle, between the Real World and the Otherworld. The city of Silent Hill is completely covered by a thick fog and pours into a state of decay and neglect: deserted streets characterized by cracks that open into bottomless chasms, abandoned cars near the sidewalks, corpses, empty and decrepit buildings. Most of the doors are broken and prevent access to a large number of buildings (this is wanted by the city, which wants to lead the unfortunate to their fate). Sometimes snow (Silent Hill) or ash (Silent Hill Homecoming) falls from the sky. In the Misty World it is extremely rare to find people on the streets, as in this dimension the city is populated by monsters.
Otherworld. It is the darkest dimension and certainly the most disturbing. Instead of fog, the city falls prey to total darkness. Silent Hill looks like a rotten and sick place. The environments change. They are covered in blood and rust. Grates, fences, barbed wire, walls made of meat or other organic material appear. Fans are often noticed, representing one of the recurring themes of the series: rebirth. When Silent Hill is about to "shift" into this dimension, it is possible to hear the sound of a siren in the distance.
The Otherworld is the manifestation of a person's psyche, therefore it can differ from individual to individual. For example:
- In Silent Hill, the Otherworld reflects everything Alessa hated or feared.
- In Silent Hill 2, James Sunderland's Otherworld often appears wet by water gushing from walls and roofs, hospital beds and stretchers are everywhere and the walls are covered with blood and plastic sheets. This is because the Otherworld mirrors James' guilt over his wife's death, his hospitalization and the degraded condition he felt.
- Also in Silent Hill 2, Angela Orosco's Otherworld is characterized by walls entirely made of flesh, you can see walls with orifices penetrated by pistons and surrounded by fire. This is because the Otherworld for her represents the sexual abuse suffered by her father.
The Otherworld obviously is the most dangerous dimension of Silent Hill, also due to the many monsters that groped there in the dark. Its power, however, is not limited to Silent Hill alone, as darkness can reach other places: Shepherd's Glen (when the covenant made with the God was not respected), Ashfield and the city of Heather (due to the strong connection between the protagonists and the city).
Silent Hill Geography
Silent Hill is a town located in Maine (New England). It was built on the banks of the Toluca lake, which over time has become a tourist destination. Along its banks, tourist offices, ports, motels and hotels opened. The most famous is theLakeview hotel, built directly on the shores of the lake, to offer tourists a nice swim in the warm periods of the year. James Sunderland and his wife Mary stayed in room 312 of the hotel. Later a fire devastated it.
Among the main attractions of the area (known as "Silent Hill Resort"Or"Tourist area"), In addition to the Hotel Lakeview, we remember:
- Il Lighthouse;
- Il Motel Norman, clear reference to the Motel Bates of the film Psycho (where Michael Kaufmann hid the Aglaophotis);
- Il Lakeside Amusement Park (of which the mascots Robbie the rabbit, Kathy the kitten, Huey the horse and Dawn the duck are famous);
- La Renaissance Church (built on a small island in the middle of the lake);
- THEIndian Runner, a shop selling cigars, souvenirs and other accessories (the owner of which used the business to house the White Claudia);
- Il Bar Annie (where Harry Mason meets Michael Kaufmann for the second time);
- Il Jude's DIner, a diner located on Craig Street;
- Several small cottages, where tourists spend their nights on their visit to Silent Hill.
The lake is notorious for the ship's tragedy Little Baroness (whose remains lie on the seabed) and the death of little Joshua Shepherd (drowned by his brother Alex).
The Silent Hill Districts
The entrance to the city is indicated by the icon welcome sign which reads "Welcome to Silent Hill". Note that on the side from which you leave the city it only says "Silent Hill", as if to warn that there is no way out of the town.
Toluca Lake ideally divides Silent Hill into two districts: Paleville (the northern part of the city) e South Vale (the southern part of the city).
It is divided in turn into the areas of Old Silent Hill, Central Silent Hill and the already described Silent Hill Resort.
Old Silent Hill it is the residential area of the city, therefore it is visited little and nothing by tourists. The street names are those of famous writers of the horror and thriller genre, such as Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King), Robert Bloch (Psycho), Richard Matheson (I am legend) and Ray Bradbury (The People of Autumn) . In this part of the city there are:
- Il Cafe 5to2, a small diner (where Harry Mason wakes up at the beginning of Silent Hill);
- La Midwich Elementary School, attended by Lisa Garland and Alessa Gillespie and where Professor K. Gordon, who cared a lot for his young pupil, taught. (in Silent Hill the garage door of his house is covered in blood, indicating that the Order probably silenced the teacher for trying to save Alessa);
- La Balkan Church, a Christian church between Block Stret and Bachman Road (Henry Townshend has a picture of the church hanging in his bedroom);
- Il Discount 8, a convenience store inspired by the 7-Eleven;
- Il Theater Metropol, at the corner of Finney Street and Bachman Road (inspired by the theater of Dario Argento's film Demons);
- A pharmacy;
- A book store;
- Il Virginia's Bridal, shop for wedding ceremonies;
- Il Cute Rite Chainsaws, shop inspired by the film Don't Open That Door - Part II;
- La Hell gas station, inspired by the Shell logo;
- Il Poston Market, inspired by the Boston Market;
- Il Queen Burger, inspired by Burger King.
Central Silent Hill it is the work area of the city as well as its main economic center. You can find small shops, offices, banks, the hospital, a shopping mall, restaurants, parks and hotels. In this area of Silent Hill you will find:
- La Police Station, at the corner of Chrichton Street and Sagan Street;
- Il Silent Hill Town Center, a shopping center that houses several shops inside;
- Il Green Lion Antiques Shop, belonging to Dahlia Gillespie (inside which there is a secret room with a small altar, this being one of the Order's places of worship);
- THEHospital Alchemilla, one of the two hospitals in the city. This is where Alessa Gillespie was brought after the fire started in her home. She was kept in a basement room under the care of Nurse Lisa Garland. Also in this hospital they produced the White Claudia;
- La Church of the Holy Via, the main church of the city and of the Order. It has the appearance of a Gothic cathedral and a series of anti-aircraft sirens have been installed on the top of the main entrance. In the central hall there is an organ, behind which there is a passage that leads under the church, into the Order's Den, where the members meet. Here we can find torture chambers and a room where they took children to be sacrificed to God;
- Il Penitentiary Overlook, a prison abandoned for years and therefore in a state of absolute decay. It seems that the prison staff suddenly disappeared, leaving the inmates alone to die. The Order locked up its prisoners there (the name is inspired by the Hotel Overlook in The Shining);
- La Power Plant of the Toluca Lake, which supplies power to almost all of Central Silent Hill;
- Il Large Hotel, a structure now abandoned and inspired by that of the film (in Silent Hill Homecoming, Mayor Bartlett buried his son still alive in the hotel lobby);
- Il Family Butcher, a butcher shop located between Low Street and Toluca Avenue (Travis Grady crosses it to reach the asylum);
- Il Theater Artaud, named in honor of the French playwright Antonin Artaud. It has hosted various plays and musicals, many of which are drawn from Shakespeare's plays;
- Il Motel Riverside, which also includes a laundry room, game room and swimming pool (Travis Grady's father hanged himself in room 500 of this motel);
- - Our Apartments Greenfield, a residential complex that mainly housed tourists. Here lives the owner of the shop "Andy's Books", who lives in apartment 213 (inspired by apartment 213 where serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer used to carry and kill his victims);
- La Cedar Grove Nursing Home, psychiatric hospital located on Acadia Road (Travis Grady's mother was locked up here);
- Il Konami Burger, fast food restaurant located in Crichton Street (clear reference to Konami);
- Il Nail Nail Nail, beauty center for nails;
- La Disco Moondance;
- Il theater 3, the Silent Hill cinema, where the films “Crusher Dan”, “Ezekiel” and “Shoot” are screened;
South Vale District
It is surrounded by mountains and a dense forest. The district is connected by the road Country Road 73 in Pleasant River [city where Walter Sullivan attended college]. South Vale is home to several places, and the main ones are:
- Il Observation Point, a panoramic point that houses a toilet and a parking, from which it is possible to enjoy the view of the lake and the surrounding forest (this is where Silent Hill 2 begins)
- Il Toluca Cemetery, which you cross in order to enter the city if you come from the Observation Point (this is where James Sunderland first meets Angela Orosco in Silent Hill 2);
- Il Rosewater Park, which contains several monuments: the statue of Jennifer Caroll (one of the founding members of the Order, who for this reason considers her a saint, accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake in 1692), the statue of Patrick Chester, a monument to memory of 67 deaths from illness and another dedicated to the 14 missing passengers of the Littlle Baroness;
- - Wood Side Apartments, which are located on Katz Street. This is where James Sunderland first meets Pyramid Head and Eddie Dombrowski. In room 205 is a mannequin wearing Mary's clothes, including a flashlight. In that 208 there is the corpse of a man sitting in front of a television (symbolizing James Sunderland]. In 301 there is a shopping trolley with a gun inside [metaphor and criticism on the ease with which one can enter America holding a firearm). Finally, in room 307, James encounters Pyramid Head intent on raping two monsters;
- - Blue Creek Apartments, located next to the Wood Side ones (here James meets Angela Orosco for the second time; probably the woman's mother lived here);
- Il Jacks Inn, a small motel south of Rosewater Park (room 106 will house Heather Mason and Douglas Cartland in Silent Hill 3);
- Il Pete's Bowl-O-Rama, a bowling alley located between Nathan Avenue and Carroll Street;
- THEHeaven's Night, a strip club where Maria worked (inside there is a bar inspired by that of the Blue Velvet film);
- THEHospital Brookhaven, founded in 1860 during the Civil War. Over time it has become a psychiatric hospital (in Silent Hill 3, along a staircase there is a wall with the words “What a wonderful world”, a reference to the film The Exorcist III);
- La Silent Hill Historical Society, museum on the history of the city. It exhibits several artifacts and paintings, including one entitled "Remains of the Judgment" depicting Pyramid Head. It was built on the Toluca Prison, in fact one of the walls of the museum leads to a hole through which the prison is reached. In the courtyard of the prison there is a gallows used to hang prisoners (on the gallows there are three ropes, probably metaphorically intended for Angela, Eddie and James);
- Villa Baldwin, the home of Ernest Baldwin and his daughter Amy. The man committed suicide following the death of his daughter, who accidentally fell out of a window on her birthday (this is where Maria meets what is probably her ghost, in the scenario dedicated to her).
Places related to Silent Hill
Outside of Silent Hill is a wood, within which it is possible to find theWish House Orphanage (run by the Order and where Walter Sullivan grew up), an abandoned factory and an old cemetery (where Walter Sullivan was said to have been buried).
Brahmsinstead, it is a city located 265 miles from Silent Hill. This is where cop Cybil Bennett (Silent Hill) and Murphy Pendleton (Silent Hill Downpour) come from.
Ashfield is a city about half a day's drive from Silent Hill. It is divided into North and South Ashfield. There you can find the apartments South Ashfield Heights (where Henry Townshend lived and where Walter Sullivan was born in apartment 302), a subway station, theSouth Ashfield hotels,San Jerome Hospital (where Walter Sullivan was taken after being abandoned by his parents) and the North Ashfield Junior High (high school attended by Cynthia Velasquez).
Centralia: the source of inspiration for Silent Hill
In Pennsylvania, a city became infamous after a fire that broke out in 1962. A fire that still burns underground today, the latter being rich in anthracite (a type of coal). It is about Centralia, a city that made its coal deposits its main source of wealth. When the fire broke out (due to causes still partly unknown) it was not possible to extinguish it. Soon the effects manifested themselves on the surface: ashes, clouds of white smoke, death of trees and the melting of the asphalt with consequent formation of cracks on the roads and chasms in the ground. The city seems to have inspired the creation of Silent Hill, at least as far as the 2006 film of the same name is concerned. Centralia is practically a ghost town. It is estimated that the fire that still burns underground today will still be active for another 250 years.