Below lies a list of the works that inspired the Silent Hill series, as revealed in the extra material for the Book of Lost Memories and other official sources such as interviews. For convenience sake, this list will also include works that inspired the Silent Hill film.
Not included are works inspired by the Silent Hill series (e.g. Lone Survivor), or works that are similar to Silent Hill but not confirmed as an inspiration (for example, Silent Hill 4 is similar to A Nightmare on Elm Street, but it is unknown if Silent Hill 4 was actually inspired by it).
- Arthur Conan Doyle: The Lost World — This is one of Alessa Gillespie's favorite books and is the in-universe basis for the "Air Screamer" monster. There is also the My Flying Lizard memento.
- Stephen King: Carrie and The Mist — Carrie is about a teenage girl who is born with psychic and supernatural powers and bullied at school, possibly an influence for Alessa Gillespie. Carrie also has a fanatical religious mother, similar to Alessa's mother, Dahlia. The Mist is about a town covered in fog with monsters lurking on the streets. As in The Mist, a pterosaur-like creature crashes through a diner window and the game features a radio that gives off nothing but static. Old Silent Hill's Bachman Rd. was also named after King's pen name, Richard Bachman. In Cafe 5to2, King's "Study, Dammit!" poster can be found next to the pinball machine and posters advertising the 1976 film version of Carrie and Pet Sematary can be found directly across from the Green Lion Antiques. An unused storefront texture reads "Misery". The pinball machine in the café is a reference to Children of the Corn. South Ashfield Station has a "King Street". The names Midkiff and Crosby are in a memo in the hospital in Silent Hill 3. They originate from the names of two actors from the movie Pet Sematary. Also in Pet Sematary, there are themes of a husband trying to revive his wife from death, like James attempts to do to Mary in the Rebirth ending of Silent Hill 2.
- Kunio Yanagita: Tōno Monogatari — From this work, the traditions of Silent Hill reference the way prosaic folk traditions should be and their placement.
- Kōbō Abe: The Box Man — Inspired the dangling legs symbolic of Cheryl and Alessa in Silent Hill 3 in the chapel. 
- Ryu Murakami: Coin Locker Babies — Tsuboyama stated in an interview that the scenario for Silent Hill 4: The Room was influenced by this book.
- Richard D'Ambrosio: No Language But a Cry — The name of Laura was taken from this true story about a battered girl who has never spoken a word because of the physical abuse inflicted by her parents.
- Ken Kesey: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — Cited as an inspiration for Silent Hill: Downpour. Murphy Pendleton's name is an allusion to fictional character Randle McMurphy, a convict who was transferred to a mental hospital from a prison work camp in Pendleton, Oregon.
- Ernest Hemingway — In the first game, Harry can find a cafe called "A Moveable Feast" in Central Silent Hill. In Silent Hill 2: Born from a Wish, Maria jokingly asks Ernest Baldwin if his last name is Hemingway. In Origins, Shattered Memories and Downpour, there are "Hemingway" brand cigarettes. In Shattered Memories, there are two mementos as references, A Moveable Feast and Hidden Fire.
- The Call of Cthulhu — Cited as an inspiration for Downpour.
- Daijiro Morohoshi: Shiori and Shimiko's Incident Involving a Freshly Severed Head
- Junji Ito: The Town without Streets
A list of authors whose names were used to name the streets in Silent Hill.
- Nathan Ave.: Robert Nathan
- Wiltse Rd.: David Wiltse
- Lindsey St.: David Lindsay
- Vachss Rd.: Andrew Vachss
- Martin St.: David Martin
- Katz St.: William Katz
- Sanders St.: Lawrence Sanders
- Neely St.: Richard Neely
- Harris St. Thomas Harris
- Saul St.: John Saul
- Munson St.: Ronald Munson
- Rendell St.: Ruth Rendell
- Carroll St.: Jonathan Carroll
- Finney St.: Jack Finney
- Matheson St.: Richard Matheson
- Bloch St.: Robert Bloch
- Bradbury St.: Ray Bradbury
- Midwich St. (a street from the film Village of the Damned)
- Levin St.: Ira Levin
- Bachman Rd.: Richard Bachman (pen name of Stephen King)
- Ellroy St.: James Ellroy
- Hawthorne St.: Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Sagan St.: Carl Sagan
- Koontz St.: Dean R. Koontz
- Crichton St.: Michael Crichton
- Wilson St.: Colin Wilson
- Simmons St.: Dan Simmons
- Shelley Rd.: Mary Shelley
- Sandford St.: John Sandford
- Craig St.: Kit Craig (pen name of Lillian Craig Reed)
- Weaver St.: Unknown, possibly a reference to Sigourney Weaver who portrays Ellen Ripley in Aliens
- Scott Boulevard: Ridley Scott
- Kubrick Avenue: Stanley Kubrick
- Carpenter Avenue: John Carpenter
- Craven Avenue: Wes Craven
- Friedkin Road: William Friedkin
- Lyne Street: Adrian Lyne
- Barker Street: Clive Barker
- Walton Avenue: Robert Walton, a character in Frankenstein
- Shelley Rd. - Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. There is also a Frankenstein's Monster toy memento that the player can get from the machine in the cinema.
- Levin St. - Ira Levin. Best known for Rosemary's Baby and Stepford Wives. Levin Street was also an important area in Silent Hill 1, because it was the only house in the first area with the doghouse in front of it.
- Matheson St - Richard Matheson. He is best known for writing I Am Legend and several episodes of the Twilight Zone.
- Harris St. - Thomas Harris, author of The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising.
- Sagan St. - Carl Sagan, astronomer and author.
- Hawthorne St. - Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gothic fiction writer.
- Wilson St. - Colin Wilson, British writer who has written a lot of true crime and occult-related books.
- Craig St. - Lillian Craig Reed, who uses the pseudonym Kit Craig and has written several psychological thrillers.
- Navidson St. - The Navidson family from Mark Z. Danielewski's book, House of Leaves.
- Centralia, Pennsylvania — Inspired Silent Hill, West Virginia (not the game version).
- San Bruno, California — Inspired South Vale in Silent Hill 2.
- David Lynch: Lost Highway, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Dune. — Lost Highway is described as "A mystery that depicts psychological terror like a maze which the protagonist falls into after having lost consciousness from the shock of having seen a mysterious video tape". In the film, Patricia Arquette portrays two women with contrasting hair colors and personalities, like Mary Shepherd-Sunderland and Maria. In Blue Velvet, the scene in which the protagonist hides in a closet is suggestive of Silent Hill 2. The bar in Blue Velvet looks very much like Heaven's Night. South Ashfield Station has a "Lynch" Street.
- Twin Peaks: Red curtains are seen in the Black Lodge of Twin Peaks, and similar curtains are seen in Silent Hill 3 around two sets of girls' legs. The Black Lodge has similarities with Silent Hill's Otherworld. Doppelgängers are often seen in Twin Peaks as well, such as Agent Cooper's at the end of the series, reminiscent of the Silent Hill 3 mirror room scene and the Mary/Maria duality. Characters like Mary and Maria have similarities with Laura and Maddy. Laura died before the series began, and the story revolved around solving her murder. Her cousin Maddy, portrayed by the same actress and looking very similar, comes to stay with the Palmer family. Laura was extroverted and blonde; Maddy is shy, dark haired, and wears glasses. She is eventually killed by the same person who killed Laura. Leland's recreating Laura's death through Maddy is similar to James Sunderland witnessing Mary's death again and again by seeing Maria die multiple times. Drugs are hidden in the gas tank of a motorcycle, like Michael Kaufmann's Aglaophotis. An overturned wheelchair with a single spinning wheel is seen in Season 2; the same can be found in the hospital basement in Silent Hill 3.
- Stanley Kubrick: Full Metal Jacket, Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining — In Lolita, the car driving through the fog in the beginning is reminiscent of the opening from the first game. When development first began on Silent Hill, Harry Mason was given the name "Humbert Mason" because of his role as the doting, dutiful father, which was referenced from Lolita. There are many nods in the Silent Hill games to The Shining, such as "Redrum" in Silent Hill and posters in Silent Hill 2.
- Alejandro Jodorowsky: El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre — In Santa Sangre, the protagonist's mother, who is a devotee of a cult religion following a female saint, was also a model for Claudia Wolf. There is a church with paintings detailing the saint's life, much like the chapel paintings in Silent Hill 3. The end area with the bodies in Silent Hill 4: The Room is very similar to the scene with people from various planets in The Holy Mountain.
- Terry Gilliam: 12 Monkeys — A sign reads "floor 1" in the lobby of the Otherworld Midwich Elementary School in the first game.
- Jacob's Ladder — The film has many settings in common with Silent Hill, such as the hospital and subway. In the first game, Harry Mason dies and everything was just a hallucination in the "bad ending". In the second game, James Sunderland shares the initials of Jacob Singer and his jacket is very similar to Jacob's U.S. Army jacket. There is also a "Lyne House Key" which refers to Adrian Lyne, director of Jacob's Ladder. In the third game, Heather Mason must find the Bergen Street platform. There is a scene of Jacob, strapped to a gurney, going down a nightmarish hospital hall that is reminiscent of the scene in which James is wheeled through a hall on a gurney in Brookhaven Hospital. In the texture files, the same poster Jacob Singer sees in the subway can be found. Among other things, the "twitch" that many monsters do with their heads, one example being Valtiel, was inspired by the film. The hospital scene in the movie depicts a bicycle's wheel turning by itself, similar to a wheelchair seen in Brookhaven's basement by Heather or the wheelchair Harry sees in the alley in the first game. A few moments later, a humanoid is seen in a sort of frame/box, which has also been seen in the series, such as the corpses in Pyramid Head's lair in the Labyrinth, and around bosses such as Mary and Abstract Daddy.
- Alice — The scene where Alice descends in an elevator is similar to Heather descending in an elevator to the Otherworld. The scene where Alice tries to open the drawer is also similar to when Heather uses the screwdriver to open the drawer in the Hilltop Center. Among other things, the canned lightbulbs from Silent Hill 2 were influenced by this film.
- Betty Blue — Likely inspired the scene in Silent Hill 2 where James smothers Mary with a pillow.
- The Exorcist III — Various aspects of this movie such as imagery and direction have been referenced since the first game. "What a wonderfull world" can also be seen in the third game, just before Heather passes by Valtiel in the hospital on a wall.
- Event Horizon — Members of a rescue team board the ship and have hallucinations based on emotional wounds from their pasts. Also likely inspired the Death Machine.
- The Cell — The Cell depicts the realm of the mind of a macabre killer with surreal and abstract surroundings. This bears a strong similarity to how Henry Townshend travels through Walter Sullivan's Otherworlds in Silent Hill 4: The Room.
- Session 9 — The image of a wheelchair behind a sheet of glass in the film's opening sequence is found in Silent Hill 3.
- Solaris — A man is forced to deal with the memory of his deceased wife when a mysterious presence on a newly-discovered planet begins to generate hallucinations and imagery based on his deepest thoughts.
- Fantasma d'amore — A man is convinced his old lover is still alive and continuously chases after her spectre through the dark foggy streets. She appears to him in two versions; a sexy and gorgeous woman and a haggard sickly wretch. In the end, he learns her ghost came back for retribution and closure. In a couple of scenes, Romy Schneider wears a hairstyle similar to Mary's and towards the end of the film, the main character rows a boat in a large fog-covered lake.
- Kindergarten Cop — Midwich Elementary School appears to have been modeled after the Astoria school in the film. In addition to the exterior, many posters on the walls are taken directly from the film, such as the white dog poster. The reception area, along with the calendar and blue and white poster, is the same, as well as the cabinet in the infirmary.
- Suspiria — Cited as an inspiration for Downpour.
- The Walking Dead — Cited as an inspiration for Downpour.
- The Shawshank Redemption — Cited as an inspiration for Downpour.
- The Fugitive — Cited as an inspiration for Downpour.
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents — Director Christophe Gans lists this as an influence in the opening sequences of the Silent Hill film. He likens the story of Rose Da Silva leaving home and being isolated to themes seen in the show, as well as pointing out themes involving small towns and protagonists who must flee from police officers. In particular, Gans had Alfred Hitchcock Presents in mind when he filmed scenes of Rose arguing with her husband at Smitty's.
- Hieronymus Bosch — Influenced the hellish Otherworld and the Insane Cancer.
- Rembrandt — Cited as an art style influential inspiration for Silent Hill 2.
- Pieter Brueghel
- Francis Bacon — One painting of Francis Bacon's seems to have been used in the Labyrinth of Silent Hill 2. Another painting, titled Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, inspired monster mouths like the Mandarin, Flesh Lip, and Closer.
- Salvador Dalí — Known for his surrealism.
- Andrew Wyeth — The design of the Gillespie House was inspired by Andrew Wyeth's 1948 painting Christina's World. The house in the painting is based on the Olson House, which is located in Maine. The town of Silent Hill is also located in Maine.
- Christina Maria Aguilera — Maria's outfit is almost identical to what she wore at the 1999 Teen Choice Awards.
- Mary and Laura's outfits are almost identical to wife and daughter characters of the main protagonist in the movie Con Air.
The series features references to old fairy tales, nursery rhymes and Shakespeare's works, whether it be in the form of a puzzle or findable item. They have become motifs in the series. 
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz — The three Keys for Eclipse in the original Silent Hill are references to the characters in the Wizard of Oz. Lisa Garland was also named after Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in the film (and her daughter, Liza Minelli). The book can also found on Alessa Gillespie's shelf in her room.
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland — It was one of Alessa's favorite books. The four plates in Silent Hill are named after characters from the book, such as the Plate of Hatter or Plate of Queen. In Silent Hill: Homecoming, the boss Asphyxia resembles the Caterpillar. Nora Holloway loved reading Alice. In Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, there is a shop named Wonderland Burger which has an Alice in Wonderland theme.
- William Shakespeare
- Macbeth — Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle.
- Hamlet — Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology puzzle, and possibly a memento in Shattered Memories.
- Romeo and Juliet — Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology puzzle.
- Othello — Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology puzzle. In Silent Hill: Origins, there is also a Two-Back monster.
- King Lear — Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology puzzle.
- Twelfth Night — One of the answers required to reset the password of the principal's computer in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- The Tempest — Referenced in monsters (Ariel and Caliban) and notes in Silent Hill: Origins.
- In one of Shattered Memories endings, Dahlia Mason slaps Harry Mason and says, "You think your crap is Shakespeare?! Your piece of shit novels?! No one even reads them!"
- Fairy tales and nursery rhymes
- Snow White — In Silent Hill 2, Snow White has her own music box. She is found as a statue in Silent Hill 3, and the doll head must be placed in her hand in order to move on. Also near her statue are three of the seven dwarves. The other four are subtly hidden underneath transparent floor panels in the same room. In Shattered Memories, there are billboards that read "Sno-White" and show a smiling face, probably advertising a tooth-whitening product.
- Cinderella — In Silent Hill 2, Cinderella has her own music box. She is found as a statue in Silent Hill 3 and her red shoe must be placed in her hand in order to move on.
- The Little Mermaid — In Silent Hill 2, the Little Mermaid her own music box.
- Mother Goose — Found in Alessa Gillespie's shelf in her room and referenced in Crematorium Puzzle.
- Ring Around the Rosie — Laura sings this to herself in the trailer for Silent Hill 2. Alex also hears children singing it while playing when he enters Shepherd's Glen's park.
- Arbatel de magia veterum — This grimoire inspired Aratron, Bethor, Hagith, Ophiel and Phaleg in Nowhere.
- Tu Fui, Ego Eris — A Latin phrase that Heather speaks in Silent Hill 3, found engraved on tombstones
- The Bogeyman — A creature in folklore used to frighten children into behaving that Joshua mentions many times in his drawings. It appears in Silent Hill: Homecoming as Pyramid Head. It also appears in Silent Hill: Downpour as a being which manifests as a large cloaked figure with a gas mask and a hammer.
The Order takes inspiration and draws elements from other real-life religions, such as the origins of Christianity, Japanese folklore, Aztec rituals and Native American beliefs.
- ↑ "I think that another obvious influence, at least in this first part, is the series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which I love. This consisted, like the series The Twilight Zone, of tales with a twist, usually stories of wives running away from home, of isolated people in little towns, bumpkins confronted with certain problems, being chased by a policeman and so on. That was on my mind when I shot this scene, on the one hand because of Radha Mitchell’s “Grace Kelly” aspect, which really attracted me to her, and, on the other, by her action of taking her daughter without telling her husband, whereby she ends up in this state of feeling guilty that will cause her to make mistakes." Gans, Christophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- Side by side comparison of Silent Hill with the works of Jodorowsky
- Side by side comparison of Silent Hill with Blue Velvet
- Book of Lost Memories
Some of the Secrets and Unlockables articles contain inspirations unmentioned here:
- Silent Hill Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill 2 Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill 3 Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill 4: The Room Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill: Origins Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill: Homecoming Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill: Downpour Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Secrets and Unlockables
Many inspirations are also scattered throughout the wiki, usually in Trivia sections in the articles related to that specific subject.
|Silent Hill games|
|Main series||Silent Hill · 2 · 3 · 4 · Origins · Homecoming · Shattered Memories · Downpour|
|Ports / Adaptations||Play Novel · Mobile · HD Collection|
|Spin-offs||The Arcade · Orphan · 2 · 3 · The Escape · Book of Memories|
|Cancelled||Silent Hills (P.T.)|
|Production||Konami · Team Silent · Climax Studios · Double Helix · Vatra Games · WayForward Technologies|
|Extras||Inspirations · Features|