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I used to come to this chapel all the time when I was a little girl.
~ Heather Mason remembering Alessa Gillespie's past in the Chapel.
The Chapel, or The Church, is an unofficial name for a chapel-like church that was dedicated to the worship of The Order and the final location in Silent Hill 3.
The entire Chapel itself is an extensive collection of corridors and rooms, and although the interior is fully explored by Heather, the outside of the church is never seen. It is possible that the church is actually underground, as Heather enters through tunnel passages. It is unclear whether the chapel is even located within the haunted American ghost town of SIlent Hill, but its connection through Lakeside Amusement Park makes it appear so. Another possibility is that Heather was physically transported to the church through the powers of the Otherworld or Alessa Gillespie, as Heather had just regained her memories as Alessa prior to entering the chapel.
A map of the church can be found against the wall of one of its corridors; however it appears to be hand-drawn and incomplete. As Heather progresses through the church, more rooms and halls are drawn onto the map. There are two floors that Heather is able to explore, and they can be accessed using a single elevator. Although many doors remain locked or otherwise cannot be opened, many of the rooms within the church do not physically belong within it. Some of the rooms can be attributed to Heather or Alessa's memories; these include Alessa's classroom in Midwich Elementary School and Harry Mason's room in the Daisy Villa Apartments. One of the rooms originally in the church is Claudia's room, and inside a bed, a desk and personal belongings can be found, insinuating that the cult's followers also lived within the church. Other notable rooms include a large library and a belfry with paintings of the cult's saints and a large Halo of the Sun.
The Chapel in the Otherworld
Home? This church is my home. I built it with my power. The power of money that you view with such scorn. Although, I admit this atrocious scenery is all yours.
~ Father Vincent to Sister Claudia, regarding the Chapel.
The Otherworld is particularly explicit inside the church, most likely because it is central to the Order's beliefs. There is no transition to the Otherworld as Heather experiences in previous locations; however most of the church is already under its effects. The floors and walls have become rusted, grated metal and blood is found staining most surfaces. Many dead bodies are also strewn about, and gurneys and hospital equipment litter the hallways. One notable section of the church under the Otherworld's power is the inner chapel, where Heather, Vincent and Claudia meet for the final time. This inner chapel seems to have particular importance, as its design, decoration and location are more in tune with the Order's practices. There are also many monsters infesting the church, some of which have grown stronger due to the Otherworld's effects. Valtiel is often seen inside the church, patrolling the corridors and turning valves among other things. He is also seen near the end, facilitating the birth of God.
There are memos found throughout the Chapel, the last area in SIlent Hill 3. Though not all are required reading, they can be read in order to get a better understanding of as The Order along with their secret religion and their spiritual beliefs, as well as uncover connections to the past Silent Hill games:
Prayer to God
Scrawled in blood along the walls of the tunnel leading to the Chapel is a prayer of the Order to their God:
Stained by the evils of this world, we hold our sorrows within us. Only you can heal us these wounds. Each morning, afternoon, evening and night, we call out your name and pray for the day of the Miraculous Descent. I give to you unreservedly my body and my eternal soul. Whatever darkness may befall me, I will endure with you beside me. As proof of your miraculous power, guide our obedient and willing souls to the Road to Paradise, oh Lord. We will not give in to the power of temptation as long as we have you in our hearts. Oh Lord, save us with your compassion. Oh Lord, shower us with your blessings. Oh Lord, favor us with your abundance.
~ The Order's prayer to God.
Written on the door of the Chapel is some sort of a prayer:
This door is the gate which leads to the Road to Paradise. Embrace the bosom of the Holy Mother. Admit your sins and be forgiven. Eternal tranquility can be yours.
~ A prayer of The Order, regarding the door to the Chapel.
These 6 memos can be read in Silent Hill 3 and build upon the mythology and spiritual beliefs of the Order themselves. They can be read by examining the paintings lining the walls of the main Chapel room:
In the beginning, people had nothing. Their bodies ached, and their hearts held nothing but hatred. They fought endlessly, but death never came. They despaired, stuck in the eternal quagmire.
~ The "origin" myth of the Order's beliefs.
A man offered a serpent to the sun and prayed for salvation. A woman offered a reed to the sun and asked for joy. Feeling pity for the sadness that had overrun the earth, God was born from those two people.
~ The "birth" myth of the Order's beliefs.
God made time and divided it into day and night. God outlined the road to salvation and gave people joy. And God took endless time away from the people.
~ The "salvation" myth of the Order's beliefs.
God created beings to lead people in obedience to Her. The red god, Xuchilbara; the yellow god, Lobsel Vith; many gods and angels. Finally, God set out to create Paradise, where people would be happy just by being there.
~ The "creation" myth of the Order's beliefs.
But there God's strength ran out, and She collapsed. All the world's people grieved this unfortunate event, yet God breathed Her last. She returned to the dust, promising to come again.
~ The "promise" myth of the Order's beliefs.
So God hasn't been lost. We must offer our prayers and not forget our faith. We wait in hope for the day when the path to Paradise will be opened.
~ The "faith" myth of the Order's beliefs.
St. Alessa Portrait
Located in the Chapel's Belfry lies a portrait of the seemigly saintly Alessa Gillespie holding a newborn child:
St. Alessa: Mother of God, Daughter of God.
~ Words engraved on the painting of "St. Alessa".
St. Jennifer Carroll Portrait
Located in the Chapel Belfry is a painting of St. Jennifer Carroll, one of the historical well-known members of the Order and she too was honored as a saint in the Order's recorded history:
St. Jennifer: Unwavering Faith Under Death’s Blade.
~ Words engraved on the painting of St. Jennifer Carroll.
St. Nicholas Portrait
Also located in the Chapel Belfry lies a painting portrait of St. Nicholas, a some kind of faith healer who is one of the original members of the Order and he was celebrated as a saint in the Order's history:
St. Nicholas: Miraculous Hands, a Doctor of God.
~ Words engraved on the painting of St. Nicholas.
Silent Hill's Ancient Gods
Located within the archives of the Chapel's Library is a tome called "Silent Hill's Ancient God: A Study of Their Etymology and Evolution":
There is no religion that has remained unchanged from the moment it was founded. This one is no exception. When this religion fell into the hands of immigrants, it was deeply influenced by their own original Christian beliefs. For example, the traditionalrepresentatives of these primal gods may be given the names and descriptions of Christian angels. Thus shared characteristics begin to appear. (There is also one rare example of the chief deity, “Creator of Paradise” or “Lord of Serpents and Reeds”, being dubbed with a demon’s name. Of course, this was not done by believers, but by their opponents.)
~ Silent Hill's Ancient Gods: A Study of Their Etymology and Evolution
Also located in the Chapel Library is a book called "About Tarot" which details the Tarot cards and their symbolic and spiritual significance:
Tarot was based on the 22 Hebrew consonants and is said to represent the entire world. Each card, numbered 0 through 21, has a particular meaning. By reading these cards, fortunetellers predict the future. For example, the first card, “The Magician,” signifies creation, wisdom, beginnings, or destruction and fraud. The second card, “The High Priestess,” denotes intuition, harmony, faith, ordogmatism and arrogance. According to some texts, the Gardner deck had more than 22 cards. (The Gardner deck does not exist today; it is mentioned only in the literature.) It is said that these extra cards were based on lost Hebrew vowels and denoted an otherworldly, transcendental existence: i.e., God.
~ About Tarot
Found within the Chapel's Library is a large book called "Otherworld Laws" which details likely describes the laws and effects of the Otherworld. Heather receives the book from Father Vincent, who was reading it before meeting up with her within the library of the Chapel which is the Order's place of worship. Heather focuses on a specific section of the book that deals with the Seal of Metatron. Vincent most likely hands Heather the large book so that she may know what power the talisman she picked up previously holds. A transcript within the pages of the book deals with the significance of the Seal of Metatron:
This magic square, with strong protective and dispelling properties, is called the "Virun VII Crest" or the 'Seal of Metraton.' It will bring results regardless of whether the target is good or evil; its strength, therefore, places a very high burden on the caster. As it is also difficult to control, it is not usually used. This is why it bears the name 'Metraton,' after the angel Metatron (or Metraton), also known as the 'Agent of God.'
~ The book of "Otherworld Laws".
Harry Mason's Diary
While in the church in Silent Hill 3, Heather Mason comes across a room that is identical to her father's bedroom at Daisy Villa Apartments. On the bed she finds a musty notebook which happens to be a diary of her late father Harry Mason. The transcript reveals that even though Harry had his reservations on Heather being the reincarnation of Alessa Gillespie, he still loved her, but was afraid to tell her the truth about who she really was:
I sometimes have the sense even now that, that girl is a reincarnation of Alessa. I don’t worry about it much now. That’s all been forgiven. You were unloved, Cheryl… Or was it Alessa? Now Cheryl is Alessa again. No matter whose reincarnation she may have been, that girl was my most beloved treasure. But that name was a mistake. At the time I thought of her only as a replacement for my lost Cheryl. When she knows the truth, will she feel bad? That’s what worries me.
~ Harry Mason about Heather (Cheryl).
About the Cult's Symbol
"About the Cult's Symbol" which is a memo discovered by Heather Mason in Silent Hill 3, is a manuscript copy of a book's chapter that explains the meaning of the Order's symbol known as the Halo of the Sun, and it is found in the bedroom of an unnamed member of the Order at the cult's chapel:
Represents the deity known as “The Halo of the Sun.” In heraldry, symbolizes a religious group. The two outer circles are charity and resurrection; the three inner circles are present, past, and future. Usually drawn in red. Occasionally drawn in black or other colors, but blue reverses the meaning into a curse on God and is therefore forbidden.
~ "About the Cult's Symbol".
A series of complaints written on a couple of notes in an old bedroom within the Chapel belonged to Father Vincent. The letters, written by a member of the Order identified only as "L.S.", clearly show that he/she disapproves of Vincent's position as a pastor of the cult, since he has supposedly using the money of the church for his personal benefit, although L.S. also says he/she cannot deny all what Vincent has done for the Order to grow:
People are starting to voice their dissatisfaction about Father Vincent using the Organization’s money for his own personal benefit. I’ve also heard rumors that Father Vincent has been extorting donations from some followers. Is he really the right person for such a position? I’m in no place to deny all he’s done to make the Organization grow. Even though we believe in God, if there were some sort of gathering, shouldn’t we be valued not for our limited talents or our talkativeness, but for the depth of our faith?
~ L.S., a member of the Order.
A diary belonged to Claudia Wolf is within her bedroom in the chapel. This notebook explains that Claudia had indeed heard of Alessa Gillespie's sacrifice, but did not quite understand why it was done so soon. However, she'd love to see her god reborn as the very benevolent deity Alessa imagined, whom could also be born out of Dahlia Gillespie's twisted image of god, or just see her reborn at all. From an unknown pastor, she receives a mythology book about how to awaken God, though she finds it too cruel and contemplates how she'll do it when she meets her. She later reads about slavery, which she strongly dislikes, as she hates to be a bystander to anyone's pain. Everything in Claudia's diary are written and read:
November 10: She didn't die then; she was born. I knew that for a fact. But then why haven't I found her yet? They were supposed to need her power to build Paradise, for the happiness of the people. She was supposed to be reborn for that. I'd really like to see her.
~ A page of Claudia's Diary written on November 10th (about her fellow Order members' attempt to revive their God).
November 14: Read "The Book of Praise". I want to thank Father for lending me such an invaluable book. I found what I'd been searching for in there — how to awaken God. But it's much too cruel. Will I be able to pull it off when I see her?
~ A page of Claudia's Diary written on November 14th (about reading the "Book of Praise").
November 16 I was free all day, so I read "A Modern History of Refugees" and "Young Slaves: Child Exploitation". I don't want to be a mere bystander in this world. I can't do anything now, though, and that's what's hard.
~ A page of Claudia's Diary written on November 16th (about reading "A Modern History of Refugees" and "Young Slaves: Child Exploitation").
Old Birthday Card
An old birthday card which is a memo Heather Mason found, is located on the first floor of the chapel in Silent Hill 3. She (then Alessa Gillespie) gave it to Claudia Wolf on her 6th birthday, and as Alessa was Claudia's treasured friend, she kept it for good luck:
To little Claudia, Happy 6th birthday! I love you as if you were my real sister. Here's to you!
~ Alessa Gillespie's words on Claudia Wolf's Old Birthday Card.
Alessa's School Desk
Words scrawled and inscribed on Alessa Gillespie's old school desk by her cruel classmates who called her a witch during her childhood days at Midwich Elementary School:
~ One of the words scrawled and inscribed on Alessa Gillespie's old school desk.
~ One of the words scrawled and inscribed on Alessa Gillespie's old school desk.
~ One of the words scrawled and inscribed on Alessa Gillespie's old school desk.
K. Gordon's Notebook
An old journal belonged to Alessa Gillespie's old school teacher Ms. K. Gordon and an item that Heather Mason finds during her visit to the chapel in Silent Hill 3. It is located in a classroom that is identical to the one belonging to Alessa as seen in the first Silent Hill game. The notebook is located on the teacher's desk, and the protagonist will find a letter between its pages. The transcript of the letter reveals that K. Gordon was a teacher and had some concerns regarding Alessa, who was one of her students:
There's a girl named Alessa in my class. If your memory is any good, you may remember her. She's the one I said they called a witch. Most likely her mother is abusing her. I've never seen her come in without some sort of scrape or bruise. Her expression is pitifully dark for a 6-year-old. Something like this may not be so uncommon. Rather than coming up with pointless ideas, it's best just to watch and wait. But isn't there something I can do to help? I'm considering consulting a lawyer, but I do have my reservations. That's why I thought I'd ask you, my friend, for your opinion first.
~ Ms. K. Gordon's Notebook.
Book on Aglaophotis
The Book on Aglaophotis is a tome with information on the red liquid with spiritual properties known as Aglaophotis and a memo found in Silent Hill 3 by Heather Mason. It is located on Alessa Gillespie's hidden hospital room on the basement floor of the Order's chapel. Between the book's pages, Heather can also find the Fool tarot card. As its name says, the book explains what is Aglaophotis and its utilities:
Aglaophotis Red liquid or crystals resembling blood. According to the Kabbalah, the name is taken from an herb with the power to dispel evil spirits. It is said to grow in Arabian deserts. It may be vaporized or applied as a poultice to guard against demons. It is powerful, but as it is rare, it is extremely difficult to obtain.
~ Book on Aglaophotis
Harry Mason's Memo 2
This second memo written by Harry Mason can be found inside a room within the chapel that is identical to Alessa's bedroom, on the same table where a save point was found in the first game:
She's just beyond this door.I don't know how, but I can sense it. But she's not the only one there. I sense the presence of something extremely dangerous, even sickening...or maybe what they call 'God'. Nevertheless, I will open the door. Enough of this idle chit-chat. 'God' I'm not, but I fully intend to save her... no, them.
~ Harry Mason's second Memo.
The stained glass windows of the Chapel.
These paintings represent the beliefs and mythology of The Order.
St. Jennifer Carroll
Heather Mason finds the Halo of the Sun symbol within the Order's Chapel.
A painting depicting the "origin" myth of The Order's religion.
A painting depicting the "birth" myth of The Order's religion.
A painting depicting the "salvation" myth of The Order's religion.
A painting depicting the "creation" myth of The Order's religion.
A painting depicting the "promise" myth of The Order's religion.
A painting depicting the "faith" myth of The Order's religion.
The Chapel's Belfry.
The bell in the Chapel's Belfry.
God's inner sanctum beneath The Chapel.
Though it is the stronghold of the Order, no members of the cult are seen. Furthermore if one considers the voice recorded tape, it is possible that many of the cult members chose not to follow Claudia's ambitions.
Heather states that, as Alessa, she used to visit the Chapel very often when she was young. This suggests that it is not just a stronghold, but also a communal place of worship.
Many of the rooms found in the Chapel are the same rooms or similar to the ones found within Nowhere in the first Silent Hill videogame.
There is a confessional located in the hallway just outside the main chapel. Inside Heather will hear a woman begging for forgiveness for killing a girl who murdered the woman's daughter. The identity of the woman is unknown and Heather can choose to forgive her or not. The creators wanted to add this confessional scene to symbolize that not every choice is the right choice, for to forgive her or not will ultimately contradict Heather's actions and vengeance towards Claudia.
This is very similar to a scene in Silent Hill: Homecoming in which Alex enters a confessional in the Church of the Holy Way and must choose whether or not to forgive a voice representing his father. Also, the map of the Chapel that Heather receives outside of the confessional bears resemblance to the maps drawn by Alex's brother Joshua.
In certain areas there are bloody footprints accompanied by sounds of a crying woman. Heather must follow these footprints as they open new passages which are also required to proceed.
There is a corridor that leads to a dead end where Valtiel appears twisting a valve with two pair of legs that are visible but covered by a large red curtain, representing Cheryl Mason and Alessa. This peculiar stage is seen many times in the game's intro.
According to the Book of Lost Memories, the map's foundation was based on a drawing by one of the designers' daughter; her representation of "France". According to the "Making of Silent Hill 3", the purpose of this was to add realism.
The hole in the inner chapel which Heather jumps down to face God resembles a woman's vagina leading to the womb. This supports Silent Hill 3's theme of birth.
The painting over the hole in the inner chapel is very much akin to the work of Dutch painter Hieronyms Bosch. His work illustrates moral and religious concepts as well as narratives of Heaven and Hell.
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