Silent Hill

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The name of that town is Silent Hill. Although it is known as a scenic resort area, it is a cursed place where the town's former inhabitants were once driven away, brutal executions were once carried out, and a mysterious plague was once prevalent. The town is centered around Toluca Lake, from which a thick fog perpetually enshrouds the area and makes vague the reality and dreams of those who visit the town. And according to those who have seen them, there are also times when "things" that should not naturally exist appear. A few incidents that have occurred in this town up to this point have gone unaddressed, leaving behind a great number of mysteries. Here and now, looking back on it all, let's elucidate these mysteries one by one.

~ The Book of Lost Memories (about the town of SIlent Hill).

Silent Hill is a fictional ghost town located in the Northeastern United States and the titular main setting of the supernatural survival horror videogame series Silent Hill. It is situated around Toluca Lake, which helped to make Silent Hill a tourist town in later years. It is the home base of a powerful religious cult called The Order, whose goal is bring their God back into this world and usher through the apocalypse, a perfect paradise and an eternity of bliss.

Thoughout the entire Silent Hill series, the town's actual location has yet to be disclosed, although several clues and facts suggest that Silent Hill is in Maine. The Silent Hill movies, however, revealed Silent Hill to be located in the state of West Virginia.

Areas

Old Silent Hill

Old Silent Hill is the main residential area of the town, and the place where some of the first game takes place. It lie to the east of Central Silent Hill, and is seperated from it by a river. Balkan Church and Midwich Elementary School are located here.

Central Silent Hill

Central Silent Hill is the main business district of the town, and as such is dominated by shops and the Silent Hill Town Center. It is also the location of Alchemilla Hospital and most of the municipal buildings such as public records and the town hall. The Green Lion Antiques store is located at the northern end of the business district. It is there that an Order priestess named Dahlia Gillespie kept a secret altar which she referred to as the "Other Church".

Paleville

Paleville is the resort area of the town. The lighthouse is situated here, a very important location in the first game. The main tourist attraction is the beloved Lakeside Amusement Park, featured prominently in the first and third games. Almost directly across the street is the Lakeview Hotel, where the second game reached its conclusion. Also in the area is Norman's Motel, a link in the drug trade operated by the Order and Dr. Michael Kaufmann, director of Alchemilla Hospital.

South Vale

South Vale is located directly opposite of Paleville, on the south side of Toluca Lake. It is a more urban area than the north side, but also contains several attractions. Many come for here for its restaurants, but there other things to see. More historical markers exist here, suggesting that this is the older side of town. Rosewater Park is located here, and contains two historical monuments, one to Patrick Chester, a Civil War hero, and one to Jennifer Carroll, an Order saint who was martyred by the town's puritanical Christian citizens for her beliefs. Silent Hill Historical Society is also situated in South Vale, a small museum that was built on the site of the old Toluca prison. The entirety of Silent Hill 2 takes place here (apart from a piece set in Paleville), as well as a portion of Silent Hill 3.

History

The area around Toluca Lake was originally inhabited by a Native American tribe known as Kwekwasawe Kanesda ("Nest of the Raven" in their native language) who worshiped a deity known as Kwekwasawe, and whose name is now lost to history. They called their home "The Place of Silenced Spirits" and believed that they could communicate with their dead ancestors there. It was considered a sacred place and had no negative associations at this time. In the late 1600s, the natives were forced out by European colonists. Their settlement had not been long established when it was all but wiped out by a mysterious epidemic. The survivors fled the area, and it was not resettled until the early 1800s, when the town of Silent Hill was first established as a penal colony. This led to the founding of Silent Hill Prison and Brookhaven Hospital. However, a second epidemic weakened the town around 1840 and caused the prison to be shut down. Silent Hill was only saved by the discovery of coal in the area during the 1850s and the establishment of Wiltse Coal Mine. When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, Toluca Prison was founded as a POW camp. After the war, it was converted to a normal prison. Around 1890, a series of people vanished without a trace, and ten years later, Toluca Prison was shut down. This and the mine running out of coal caused the town to be restructured as a tourist destination.

The Town's Power

The area around Toluca Lake was always believed to contain some sort of spiritual power. This power was viewed positively by its Native American inhabitants, and was what made the land sacred to them. However, 2 epidemics, countless executions, the American Civil War, and The Order's activities, especially Dahlia's attempt to revive God in 1973, corrupted it completely. The power manifests in the form of The Otherworld, which produces a personal hell for any who feel guilt and was subsequentally called to Silent Hill. It has 4 divisions, the Real World, the Fog World and the Otherworld, and Nowhere.

The Real World

As the name would imply, this is Silent Hill in reality--a deserted town, granted, but lack of monsters, supernatural fog, and any other supernatural concepts. This world is strictly bounded in reality and inhabitants in this world literally cannot see the manifestations shown in the other worlds. It has been implied that only those who are pure of heart can see Silent Hill in it's reality state. A clear example of this world is seen through Laura in Silent Hill 2, where it was strongly implied that she just sees Silent Hill as an empty resort town and has no acknowledgement of the town's monsters or supernatural qualities.

The Fog World

This world may always have existed in one form or another. It appears to all who are pulled in as a foggy, abandoned version of the town. It is here that monsters manifest, based on the subject's own fears and anxieties.

The Otherside

The Otherside is a Hellish mockery of the Fog World and, by consequence, reality. Supernatural darkness, walls of flesh, blood, and rust, and powerful monsters are frequent in this world. The monsters, as well as the scenery, tend to manifest the subject's personal deep fears and insecurities.

The Otherworld began as part of Travis Grady's personal Otherside. It was "piggybacked" by Dahlia's daughter Alessa, who needed a conduit in order to regain her powers, which had been contained by her mother in a device called the Flauros. The Otherside has now become a permanent fixture in the Otherworld, although those who are unconnected to Alessa all see it differently depending on said person's peronal sins and lifestyle.

Nowhere

While connected with the Otherworld, Nowhere is a unique part of it and is quite distinct. It condenses an approximatization of all the locations the subject has visited in Silent Hill and manifests it all into a complex impossible geometric shape for the subject to explore (you go upstairs to find yourself enter the basement, for example). It is considered to be the "Heart" of the Otherworld. It is been said that Nowhere is a manifestation of our deepest horrific memories located deep inside our hearts.

It is possible that Nowhere is actually created as a result of the subject being physically close to Alessa, who is the catalyst for the Otherworld. In both games that Nowhere was revealed, the player was literally right next door to Alessa's physical body.

Trivia

  • Many works have served to inspire the town of Silent Hill, as well as inspirations for the series as a whole.
  • Though the town of Silent Hill is presented as an American town, many of the maps and city layouts were borrowed from Japanese locales.
  • Many of the streets in the town are named for people who have had a large impact on the horror/suspense genre of movies and literature. Such homages include "Koontz Street" being named for author Dean Koontz, "Bradbury Street" being named for author Ray Bradbury, "Crichton Street" after Michael Crichton, and Bachman Road, which is named after Richard Bachman, a pseudonym used by author Stephen King.
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