- The name Dahlia may refer to multiple subjects. Please see Dahlia for other uses of the term.
|“|| The time is nigh. Everyone will be released from pain and suffering. Our salvation is at hand. This is the day of reckoning.
Dahlia Gillespie is a character in Silent Hill, its Play Novel, the film of the same name, and its subsequent sequel. Dahlia also appears in the game's prequel, Silent Hill: Origins, and is re-imagined in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. She is one of the series' first antagonists and is responsible for most of the terrible events that have occurred in Silent Hill.
Although her reported age is 46, she appears much older. She is seen wearing a ceremonial dress and headdress with a red and black striped tie, and always seems to be barefoot.
According to the European game manual, Dahlia is the proprietor of the Green Lion Antiques store in Silent Hill. It is also rumored that she has a side business of magic spells and fortune telling to her customers.
Dahlia is the leader of the Order, a cult that worships its own God, and is the mother of Alessa Gillespie, whose presence has summoned poltergeist activity since she was a child. These disturbances, along with Alessa's latent telekinetic abilities, branded her as a witch by her classmates. Dahlia knew of her daughter's powers, and surmised they were linked to the dark "God" which the Order worshiped. Hoping to "birth" her God through Alessa, Dahlia used occult-like rituals to impregnate her. One of these rituals resulted in a house fire, with Alessa trapped inside. Although the fire was ruled an accident, Alessa was left completely disfigured from the resultant burns.
Through the use of a magical incantation invoked by her mother, Alessa lingered despite her injuries (which should have been fatal) and was placed in the care of Dr. Michael Kaufmann, a cult affiliate. While the constant torture of her wounds helped refine Alessa's reality-bending powers, she had resisted being used as a container for the 'God', and her soul split in two halves, using a form of bilocation in order to escape her torture. Her other form, a newborn, was discovered by Harry Mason and his wife, who named her Cheryl and raised her as their own.
At some point over the course of her captivity, Alessa overheard a conversation about a 'special visitor' she was to receive, and became aware of her mother's intent to still carry out her plan to use her to 'birth' the God. Alessa realized that for however long she continued to live, this remained a possibility. Knowing that Cheryl held the other half of her power, Alessa summoned her telepathically back to Silent Hill so she could end her life and prevent the God's birth.
During this time, Kaufmann grew impatient after waiting for the return he had been promised (wealth, presumably) for his role in the conspiracy, leading to a falling out with Dahlia. Kaufmann stashed vials of Aglaophotis, a chemical capable of 'aborting' the demon in Alessa and ending Dahlia's plans, in case she ever turned on him.
Beyond her involvement in Silent Hill and Silent Hill 3, Dahlia has also been given connection to the serial killer Walter Sullivan. When he was just a young boy, he was told by Dahlia that his mother was "asleep" in Ashfield. Throughout the diary entries in the Forest World, Walter wrote of an important lady named Dahlia. Further connection of Dahlia and Walter can be found in the Wish House Orphanage just before the death of Jasper Gein, where Henry Townshend can find a note asking if Alessa has been found and also requesting a report of Walter's progress that is supposedly involved with the "21 Sacraments" and the hastening of God's arrival.
Dahlia gives hints to Harry Mason throughout the game of where he might find his daughter. She also confides that the town is being devoured by darkness. During the game, seals are carved throughout the town, and Dahlia refers to them as the "Mark of Samael". She tells Harry that if all of the seals are complete, all is lost. Dahlia emerges a second time in Alchemilla Hospital and impatiently tells Harry that he is wasting time. She appears a third time to both Harry and Cybil Bennett, on a boathouse, where she commands them to destroy the final two seals. She does not appear again until the finale, when Harry has become completely removed from reality. Dahlia waits with Alessa in a void at the edge of the Otherworld, known as "Nowhere", a reflection of Alessa's memories.
As the player uncovers evidence, it gradually becomes evident that Dahlia is hiding her true motives and is actually responsible for demons overrunning the town. She is the leader of Silent Hill's cult, which is devoted to engineering the birth of their "God". Although Dahlia envisions a "Paradise", the benevolence of the cult's deity is in doubt. Adding to the urgency of Dahlia's mission is the Mark of Samael, a mystical crest which Alessa is allegedly inscribing throughout the town. The function and meaning of the symbol is unexplained, but Dahlia is most anxious to capture Alessa before she can create any more. She later confesses that the talisman Alessa is using does not belong to Samael, but to Metatron. Dahlia fully intends for Harry to survive, despite Alessa using her reality-bending powers to hinder his progress. In that sense, Harry is Dahlia's pawn.
Dahlia runs into Harry at the Alchemilla Hospital because she has come to ransack Kaufmann's office and destroy his sample of Aglaophotis, but Kaufmann merely left it there as a decoy. If Harry decides to save Kaufmann from a monster attack in Annie's Bar, Kaufmann immediately heads off to retrieve another vial.
When Harry finally reaches Dahlia, Cheryl and Alessa have merged and she attempts to explain their connection, although her cryptic speech frustrates Harry. She prepares the ritual, and at this point, the player's actions affect the outcome of the scene, although Dahlia's fate is the same:
- If Kaufmann is dead, Alessa morphs into her Incubator boss form and sets Dahlia on fire (as poetic justice).
- If Kaufmann lives, he appears unexpectedly and shoots Dahlia with a revolver. He then throws his vial of Aglaophotis at Alessa, which shatters and causes her to mutate into the Incubus, which resembles a winged Baphomet (a 'premature' birth, of sorts). Wounded but still living, Dahlia is then set aflame by the demon and dies.
Silent Hill: Origins
She appears later in the game in the Cedar Grove Sanitarium, telling Travis to quit his quest to help her daughter. As well, she fully admits to burning her daughter.
After Travis explores Alchemilla Hospital, she appears to him just before Alessa unleashes all her power on Silent Hill. When Travis reaches the ritual room in Green Lion Antiques, her voice is heard along with Kaufmann's.
During the Good ending, she and Dr. Kaufmann plot to return the young, pure baby to Silent Hill. Dahlia states that she will use a summoning spell to compel Cheryl to reunite with her other half, Alessa.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
- Main article: Dahlia Mason
Dahlia's appearance is drastically altered in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, instead appearing to Harry Mason as his lover and then wife. She is far younger and more sexualized than the original Dahlia.
Silent Hill film
- Main article: Dahlia Gillespie (film)
Dahlia appears in the Silent Hill film and Silent Hill: Revelation. She retains her role as a member of a fanatical cult and the mother of Alessa, but with her motives switched.
This version of Dahlia loves Alessa, but she allows her sister Christabella to trick her into letting the Brethren "purify" Alessa. To Dahlia's horror, this turns out to mean they intend to have her child burned alive. As punishment for failing Alessa, Dahlia is dragged into the Otherworld, where she is forced to watch her daughter's murderous rage manifest itself.
|“||She is named after a former wife of film director Dario Argento. Argento has made many horror movies, like Suspiria, and is a master of the genre.||”|
- A character named Parkins Gillespie appears in Stephen King's novel 'Salem's Lot. Given the influence King's works has had on the series, he may have inspired Dahlia's surname.
- In the opening FMV of the game, Dahlia appears running away from something in a temple, though it is unknown exactly what she was running from.
- Dahlia's character and personality frequently change throughout the Silent Hill franchise, more than any other character. Almost every new interpretation of Dahlia is separate from the last. In the original game as well as Origins, she was a religious zealot, whereas in the film, she was a sympathetic victim of the Brethren. In Shattered Memories, she was completely re-imagined as Harry's wife/Cheryl's mother. No other character has been so drastically altered both physically and emotionally between different installments of the series.
- Dahlia is the only member of the Order (besides Vincent Smith) to aid an outsider, being Harry Mason, even if it was for her own gain.
- In the scene at the end of Silent Hill where she announces the birth of Samael, there is a typo in the speech text, spelling "neigh" instead of "nigh".
- Dahlia says that she used Gyromancy to foretell Harry's involvement in Silent Hill. This is most likely a lie, as she set the events in motion, but if it were true, perhaps she was adept in black magic.
- In the earlier levels of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, a teddy bear can be seen in a dumpster wearing the same striped tie Dahlia wore in the original Silent Hill.
- In Silent Hill: Downpour, when protagonist Murphy Pendleton is practically forced to ride the Devil's Train in order to continue through the Devil's Pit Mine, he hears the recorded history of the mines. It was in fact established in 1816 by a company known as Gillespie Iron & Coal, implying Dahlia's actual family history within the town.