|“|| Happy birthday to you... Happy birthday to you... Happy birthday, dear... Oh, I forgot your name...
Silent Hill 3
Upon hearing a phone ringing while in the Otherworld Brookhaven Hospital, a confused Heather opens the bloodstained locker from which the ringing is originating. She finds a payphone inside and hesitantly picks up the receiver.
The person on the end of the line starts to sing "Happy Birthday" to Heather, despite her trying to convince him that it's not her birthday. This is mysterious and unnerving, since the phone she answers is a payphone, and therefore her identity is anonymous. As the caller sings, he arrives at the line of the verse in which he must address her by name. Sounding apologetic and confused, he admits he has forgotten who she is. Since it is not her birthday, and she does not know who could be on the other line, it would seem that the caller (who is possibly just a manifestation of the town) is using that line symbolically to hint something to Heather. Heather then asks "Who are you?", and, in the confusion, he addresses her as "Hooaryou", apparently thinking that what Heather said was actually her stating her name.
Once he is done singing, he says, "Happy 31st birthday!", and Heather asks if the caller is Leonard Wolf. To this, the caller replies that "Leonard" is the "murderer's name", and not his name, and that he is not her "beloved Stanley either". He then states that Stanley is "underground now" and that his new name is "number #7", after which he laughs and tells her not to worry about it and to instead celebrate her birthday. Heather then replies that he has gotten her confused with someone else, because it's not her birthday; the caller then angrily disregards this and states that it is indeed her "24th birthday" (despite the fact that she is seventeen and he previously stated it was her thirty-first birthday).
He then changes his tone to a calmer one and states that he has a present for her: to give pain or to receive it, and that she can have the one she hates the most, then quietly chuckles before saying "Happy birthday to you!" one more time and hanging up the phone. Heather then states, seemingly not yet aware that she's talking to herself, "But you're wrong... It's not my birthday."
The birthday wishes given to Heather represent the different ages she would be as the different manifestations of Alessa Gillespie. The caller begins by wishing her a happy 31st birthday, which is Heather (17) and Alessa (14) combined. The second age the caller gives her is 24, which is Heather (17) and Cheryl Mason (7).
The caller also uses the phrase "who are you" as Heather's name when she asks the same question. While a seemingly comedic happenstance, this could also allude to the fact that Heather is not sure who she truly is: Heather or Alessa. She shares her mind with Alessa, having her own memories as well as Alessa's. Heather is plagued by the cryptic messages from Claudia Wolf, who asks her to "remember her true self". As she continues on her journey after the call, she begins to find out more about herself. In one of the endings of the game, she asks Douglas Cartland to call her Cheryl, as if perhaps she is finally confident in her identity.
The Happy Birthday Caller appears to be a paranormal phenomenon of the Otherworld, brought on by Heather's hidden memories of her true self, Alessa. It would seem that Heather is trying to remember her past lives at this point, as she is in the Hospital after her father's death and after reading the story of her origin in the memoirs Harry Mason left for her to read. The fact that this happens in the hospital, even though it is Brookhaven and not Alchemilla, could allude to the fact that Alessa spent most of her life in a hospital, and so Heather's hidden memories are surfacing in the familiar environment of a medical facility.
The caller makes constant reference to Heather's birthday, which might be the caller raising significance to not only Heather being Alessa, but to the Aglaophotis, which Harry Mason gave to her on her birthday. When the caller tells Heather that she can either give pain or receive it, it may further link to the Aglaphotis, where Heather can either give pain to the God by swallowing the Aglaophotis, or to receive the painful birth by not swallowing it.
- Near the room C1 in the Otherworld Brookhaven Hospital, the words "Happy first birthday!" can be seen written on the wall in some sort of white paint, presumably having been written by the mysterious caller. If the player doesn't prompt Heather to listen to the mysterious caller, the words do not appear.
- After the cutscene, upon examining the phone, Heather will point out that it is not connected to anything.
- In the morgue is a body on the gurney labeled 7. When Heather gets close to this gurney, if the player listens closely, they can hear it struggling to say something. This is a reference to the Happy Birthday Caller saying that Stanley is "underground now" (dead) with the new name of "Number 7."
- A birthday card found inside Room C1 (the room containing Heather's "present") wishes her a happy 38th birthday, which she ponders as "14 plus 7 plus 17 = 38?" in text. Again, these are the ages of Alessa at the conclusion of Silent Hill (14), Cheryl's age at that time (7), and Heather's current physical age (17). On a similar note, the "Happy First Birthday" message outside of room C1 may in fact refer to the "first birthday" (i.e., actual birth) of the God inside Heather.
- If the player doesn't answer the mysterious caller, Room C1 will be locked.
- As Heather passes by a set of public phones in the subway, one of the phones begins to ring, before it is almost instantly cut off. It is never known who, or what, was trying to make the call, but it is possible that the "Happy Birthday Caller" was trying to contact Heather at this point. If this was the case, the caller has been aware of Heather's movements before she entered Silent Hill. Taking this interpretation further could mean the Shotgun that Heather can access in Hazel Street Station is another, earlier "gift" from the caller, possibly supported by the fact that the shotgun comes in a gift-wrapped box and how Heather questions if it's a birthday present upon examining the box.