- The term Alessa has many uses. For more information, please see Alessa.
|“|| But Mommy, I just want to be with you. Just two of us. Please understand.
Alessa Gillespie is a major character in the Silent Hill series, whose first appearance took place in the original Silent Hill video game. She is presented as a driving force of the events of the series, a mysterious catalyst of the current state of Silent Hill's alternate reality, and is arguably one of, if not the, most influential character in the series plot-wise.
Besides being an important part the game canon, Alessa also plays a major role in the 2006 film adaptation of Silent Hill.
Alessa is considered to be a misunderstood, tragic and tortured soul who wanted empathy and love. The absence of Alessa's father may be the cause of her attachment to certain individuals (i.e. Claudia Wolf, Lisa Garland, (as Heather Mason) Douglas Cartland and Harry Mason). Alessa has also proven that once she's given one her affection, she clings to them, never forgets them and treats them like family. In a strange sense, she cared about Cheryl Mason/Heather more than herself, wanting to spare them the hellish nightmare she endured at the hands of her mother and the the Order. As Heather, she loved Harry Mason like a father due to the seven years of proper love and care he showered on her other half, Cheryl, and the fact that he, one way or the other, ended her torment and fulfilled her dearest wish of being accepted and loved.
Alessa has a great deal of spite, which is shown most in Silent Hill: Origins, though this likely stems from the cruel and malicious treatment of her peers, the cult and her mother. Alessa is also known to be vindictive, scorned and dark-spirited. The Otherworld and Fog World are representations of Alessa’s distorted perception of Silent Hill and her experiences there. In addition, Alessa is undoubtedly wrathful and easily lost sight of her pleasant visions of Paradise and the desire to be loved. However, it has been shown that Alessa has astounding amounts of willpower, demonstrated by resolutely enduring seven long years of pain, fear and madness and refusing to let herself be used.
Alessa is the daughter of Dahlia Gillespie, a priestess of a cult known as the Order that operates out of the resort town of Silent Hill. Any information regarding Alessa's father is unknown. Dahlia and Alessa lived together in a house at Silent Hill's business district. Alessa kept a butterfly collection in her room, and had two dolls, one of which she named "Scarlett".
Alessa was born with vast mental powers, including telekinesis, premonition and astral projection, which could enable her to kill someone with her thoughts by projecting her desire for them to die into their body. Her powers eventually led to her being ostracized at Midwich Elementary School, where she was branded a witch. At her elementary school, her friends abandoned her and scribbled on her desk statements such as "Go home", "Drop dead", and "Thief". Alessa's teacher, K. Gordon, noticed her bullying.
|“|| 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.
Alessa's only friend during childhood was Claudia Wolf, who empathized with her because she also came from an abusive family background. Their relationship was strong, as Alessa thought of Claudia as a "little sister", despite not being related. On Claudia's 6th birthday, Alessa gave her a card that stated "I love you as if you were my real sister. Here's to you!" They did activities such as drawing and playing cards, which often made Claudia cry, given that she had a difficult time winning. Alessa would draw monsters whenever she was alone and wished for a "nice daddy and mommy and a fun school, and a happy world where everyone smiled and laughed all day long," which was in short everything Alessa and Claudia never had.
Alessa dreamed of the arrival of Paradise, another world with no hatred, disease, starvation or old age. Alessa believed that their world must be cleansed with fire before creating another one and shared these thoughts with Claudia with good intentions of eternal happiness and bliss.
As a young girl, Alessa grew up with the teachings of the Order. Dahlia brought Alessa to the Order's chapel frequently and Alessa often looked up at the stained glass which depicted God and the man and woman who birthed her. Alessa came to worship God and to ask for her prayers to be answered, however, this wish was never granted.
Silent Hill: Origins
When Alessa was seven years old, Dahlia became convinced that a ritual to summon the cult's God would likely be a success if she used her daughter as its birth mother, due to the vast powers possessed by Alessa. The technique had been performed on other girls abducted by the Order, but all previous attempts had failed. Alessa was offered as a sacrifice by Dahlia on the second floor of their house by immolating her body. 
Despite the interfering actions of Travis Grady, the plan was a success, with Alessa becoming pregnant with the deity in embryonic form. Dahlia fled the scene of the fire and people believed that she became crazy due to Alessa's supposed "death".
After Travis saves Alessa from the house, he faints and the Order takes Alessa's body to a secret ritual site located in Dahlia's antique store. Alessa uses astral projection to guide Travis through the town, giving him hints to help her to create the Flauros, an artifact that would "trap" the evil side of her. Alessa seems quite indifferent to Travis throughout the game; even when he helps her continuously, she remains quiet. Though Travis becomes angry with her, she continues to use him for her plans.
She later appears at the end of the game, holding a baby in which she is then reincarnated. Alessa's other half is then found by Harry Mason and his wife on a road outside of Silent Hill. They name the baby Cheryl and begin to raise her as their own daughter.
|“|| The fire in the business district? How awful. I heard about that. No one knows how it got started. And that poor girl, Alessa Gillespie... To die like that.
Due to the ritual's fire, Alessa had received innumerable burns on her body which should have put her in a terminal state. The ritual performed by Dahlia was kept secret and the residents of Silent Hill assumed that the Gillespie house burned down due to an antiquated boiler, which was popularized by a newspaper article. A substitute body was also left at the scene by Michael Kaufmann. 
Alessa was then taken to Alchemilla Hospital and was hidden inside a room in the hospital's basement by Dahlia and the director of the hospital, Michael Kaufmann, who had an alliance with the cult centered around drugs. To the public, Alessa was thought to have died in the fire, and was declared a "saint" by the Order as the "Mother of God and Daughter of God". Only Dahlia, Michael, a few members of the Order, and a young nurse working at the hospital knew that Alessa was still alive. The young nurse, Lisa Garland, often cared for Alessa and in return, was supplied with PTV from Michael Kaufmann.
|“|| That child...that demon... When I think of the endless pain it will bring when it is birthed... I decided that, instead of the suffering and cruelty I endured in that sick room, that I would like to bestow a more gentle and peaceful death on "myself".
Although the God was inside of Alessa's womb, Alessa was unable to deliver Her. Every day was driving Alessa mad with suffering, as "God" was eating away at her from within. Dahlia had kept Alessa alive using a magical incantations; as well, the malevolent deity protected its mother's body.
Alessa suffered a fate "worse than death", described as being trapped in an endless nightmare from which she never awakened. Alessa wished that she would die and end her suffering, however, the nightmare continued for seven years. At the age of fourteen, Alessa was eventually saved by Harry Mason.
In order to lure the missing portion of Alessa's spirit back to its point of origin, Dahlia intentionally keeps her daughter in a state of excruciating pain for the seven years prior to the first game to compel Cheryl to return. Alessa is confined to Alchemilla Hospital's basement and tended to by Lisa Garland. In endless agony, Alessa reaches out to Cheryl, calling her to the town with the intent of reuniting her soul and committing suicide, thus ensuring the God could never be born from her womb. Upon Cheryl's return, Alessa's latent psychic abilities are triggered and she shrouds Silent Hill in fog and an altered reality to prevent her mother's scheme from advancing. Many of the drastic changes that befall the town in the game, such as the horrific creatures that come to inhabit it, are conjured from her imagination and delusions.
While searching for the missing Cheryl in Silent Hill, Harry Mason is manipulated by Dahlia into believing that Alessa possesses the "Mark of Samael", a demon of the Order. She instructs him to use a sacred item, the Flauros, to stop Alessa from completing Samael's five crests and permanently plunging the entire town into a hellish alternate dimension known as the "Otherworld". Taking the bait, Harry neutralizes Alessa, only to learn that she was really trying to contain the Otherworld herself with the "Seal of Metatron".
At the end of the game, Dahlia finally captures Alessa, who recombined with Cheryl after the car crash, and uses her to birth God. Depending on the player's actions throughout the game, Alessa emerges either as a white-clad figure named Incubator or the demonic Incubus, the latter coming about by Dahlia's former associate Dr. Kaufmann throwing a sample of Aglaophotis onto Alessa to prematurely expel the God. In either case, the birthed deity kills Dahlia and fights Harry as the final boss.
Following the defeat of the Incubus, a fading apparition of Alessa creates a small portal back to the real world to enable Harry's escape after handing him a newborn child containing the fused soul of herself and Cheryl, who is still pregnant with the God. Alessa then points towards a light as a path for Harry to escape. Harry looks at the reincarnation of Alessa and ponders what to do, and eventually decides to carry her with him as he escapes. Alessa, with her remaining power, stops the fire surrounding Harry before collapsing to the floor.
From then on, Alessa's soul lives on in the new baby whom Harry names Heather Cheryl Mason. With no memories of her previous life as Alessa, Heather lives a life without pain or suffering, the life Alessa had wanted.
Silent Hill 3
In Silent Hill 3, seventeen years after the events of the first Silent Hill game, Alessa's reincarnation, Heather, is approached by Claudia Wolf, who is now a priestess of the Order. Claudia intends to bring about the descent of the cult's God to usher in Paradise; for this to happen Heather must remember her "true self" (Alessa). To nourish the growing fetus within her with hatred and also as seventeen years of revenge for taking Heather/Alessa away, Claudia has Harry murdered. During the game, Heather slowly regains her memories of being Alessa.
The Memory of Alessa, a dark emotion mimicking Heather's likeness, is encountered by Heather in Silent Hill's Lakeside Amusement Park. The Memory of Alessa attacks Heather as a boss enemy, intent on ending Heather's life herself to spare her and everyone else from further pain after the God is born.
Heather then enters Nowhere, and revisits several of Alessa's memories from the past. In a confrontation with Claudia, Heather swallows a tablet of Aglaophotis given to her by her father, causing her to vomit the God out of her body. Claudia, in desperation, devours its remains to birth the God herself. Being born of Claudia's womb, God again makes a re-appearance as a boss and holds a resemblance to Alessa, due to Claudia's mental association of God with Alessa. Heather survives the ordeal, and it can be presumed she lives a happy life afterwards.
- Main article: Alessa Gillespie (film)
In the 2006 film adaptation of Silent Hill, Alessa Gillespie is portrayed as three entities sharing one identity; Alessa (an adult woman, burned alive as a child, confined to a hospital gurney), Dark Alessa (the corrupted portion of Alessa) and Sharon Da Silva (the innocent side of Alessa). Young Alessa is portrayed by Canadian actress Jodelle Ferland and as an adult by Lorry Ayers.
As with the game series, Alessa is depicted in the film as mysterious and a driving force of the events occurring in the town, as well as being the creator of the monsters seen within the alternate reality. Alessa's powers are downplayed in the film, however, she is shown using her powers to break a metal chain, wilt flowers and create the alternate reality, as well as creating two doppelgangers of herself. The film version of Alessa is much more vengeful and unbalanced than her game counterpart, and seeks revenge on the religious fanatics responsible for burning her alive as a witch thirty years earlier. Unlike in the game series, the film shows that Alessa was responsible for the creation of the Otherworld and the Fog World, rather than using a previously existing reality to her benefit.
In Silent Hill: Revelation, Alessa is portrayed by Erin Pitt. The past Alessa has a relatively minor role in the film. Her child form is only seen once, being pushed and teased by her classmates. Her dark side, Dark Alessa, is seen creating the Otherworld and attacking the fanatics. An older version of Dark Alessa, portrayed by Adelaide Clemens, confronts Heather Mason on the Happy Carousel, and merges with her.
|“||In the initial stages of development we used the name Asia, which is taken from the daughter of the Italian film director, Dario Argento. However, because it's an uncommon name, we decided to rename her.||”|
- "No! Get away from me!"
- "Let me burn!"
- "Perhaps it's because he doesn't want to disturb me? Even the hospital director has not come to see me much lately. I don't like the director very much, so I am honestly quite happy."
- "Everyone has been in a rush for some reason since before sunrise this morning. Something about a dead person coming back to life. Does that really happen?"
- "The cold soup is disappointing."
- Alessa was likely inspired by Stephen King's Carrie. Both are teenage girls born with supernatural powers. They also have fanatical religious mothers and were ostracized at school. There are many other Stephen King homages in the series, including Carrie posters across from Green Lion Antiques.
- Alessa is the first character to appear in the Silent Hill series, making her debut within seconds of the opening sequence of Silent Hill.
- One of Alessa's favorite books, Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, is the in-universe basis for the "Air Screamer" monster. Alice in Wonderland, another of her favorite books, is referenced in a puzzle that unlocks a door in Alchemilla Hospital. It can even be found on the bookshelf in her bedroom, if examined.
- The Book of Lost Memories refers to Alessa as "The Empress", the third of the Major Arcanas of a Tarot Deck, due to her absolute dominion over the town.
- Alessa is the only major character in Silent Hill that does not appear in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- In Origins, Alessa's school uniform has a red tie, rather than a red ribbon seen in the original game.
- Alessa in Italian means "defender of mankind". This may be an allusion to her mother using her sacrifice to birth a "god" and bring about a "paradise".