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|“|| Some things we forget, and some things we can never forget. It's funny... I'm not sure which one is sadder.
Ernest Baldwin is a lonesome, rather agoraphobic, and misanthropic entity that is found inside the Baldwin Mansion of the West South Vale district in Silent Hill 2. Ernest appears only in the expanded version of the game in the Born from a Wish scenario as a voice coming from behind a shut door.
Silent Hill 2: Born from a Wish
Ernest requests aid from Maria for a ritual, which he intends to use to resurrect his late daughter Amy, who accidentally fell out of a window in November, on the day of his birthday, 10 years prior to Silent Hill 2.
He discusses Maria's nature and her role in the rest of the game and also knows of James Sunderland's sin. When Maria decides to open Ernest's door, the room is empty instead. On the table is a pair of gloves and a birthday card — Amy's birthday present to her father.
Ernest appears to be a ghost, indicated by the fact that he is never seen by Maria. This could be the reason why he is so reluctant to show himself to her; he claims to be unable to leave his mansion and when Maria finally enters the room he's apparently in, it is empty. "Keep out of haunted mansion!" is also written on the mansion's exterior.
|“||The souls of those who died suddenly by suicide or accident don't realize they're dead. Sometimes they stay put and haunt that particular place.||”|
It is unknown how Ernest died. One theory is that after his daughter's death, Ernest died by suicide. From the amount of toys in Amy's room, it is evident that Ernest loved his daughter very much and Amy's death could have caused him to slip into a severe depression, as he mentions he's "never forgotten" it. Another theory is that the corpse outside is supposed to be Ernest's and that he was killed by a monster.
Maria gives Ernest Amy's birthday card and Ernest realizes the reason why she died. Ernest then says to Maria: "So you must be...! So that's why... that's why you could see me". It is possible that, by this, Ernest means that Maria is the one who will help him move on to the afterlife, which is why he isn't there after she opens his door. In addition, it implies that ordinary people can't see or hear Ernest, but Maria can because she's a spiritual manifestation.
James's manifestation theory
There is a possibility that Ernest is a part of James's mind, a manifestation much like Maria, as he is never seen and always wishes to be left alone, shutting away the truth of his situation, and the death of his daughter mirrors the death of Mary Shepherd-Sunderland. He is aware of James's crime, calling him a "bad man", and knows Maria is not real and is merely a shadow of Mary, to which Maria promptly cuts him off when he tries to explain she is not real.
Upon James's arrival in town, Maria appears, so it is possible Ernest may have only appeared in the presence of James and is the part of him wanting to shut himself away from the world. His wish to resurrect Amy is the same as the "Rebirth" ending, where James uses the same four objects described by Ernest to resurrect Mary. Maria will also find the White Chrism in the same place James did in the apartments before James ever arrived there, suggesting that Born from a Wish may coincide with the events of Silent Hill 2.
- "(sigh) Is it really necessary for me to answer all your tedious questions?"
- "I want to be alone. Other people just irritate me."
- "But how can you say that it is this town that is insane? Perhaps it is we who are insane. Both of us... hopelessly insane."
- "Are you satisfied? Would you leave me alone?"
- "No need to apologize. You didn't remind me. I've never forgotten..."
- "So perhaps that means that I can hope for a miracle as well?"
- "Do you believe in fate?"
- "This is a dead end. There's nothing beyond here."
- "That James, he's a bad man. He's looking for the you that isn't you."