Neely's Bar is an accessible building on the corner of Neely and Sanders Streets in Silent Hill 2. Given Team Silent's well-known propensity for referencing horror authors, it could be a reference to Neely's Prismatic Library, the publisher who first printed The King in Yellow in the late 1800s, a seminal book highly inspirational for writers like H. P. Lovecraft. A message in the motor home on Saul Street reads I'll wait at "BAR Neely's", which directs the player to Neely's Bar; however, it is not a requirement to visit the motor home first. At Neely's Bar the player will discover an important clue to obtaining the apartment gate key scrawled on a map. There is also a strange message written on the window which reads: There was a HOLE here. It's gone now. A second message can be found here later in the game.
There are various explanations for the first message found in Neely's Bar. Here are a few common interpretations of what the "HOLE" referenced could mean:
- One could assume this message was written by the same person who wrote "I'll wait at "BAR Neely's" due to capitalization of one word. Also, the words "hole" and "bar" are both capitalized, which could mean they are interchangeable.
- "Watering hole" is common slang for bar, and it's possible this is just an allusion to the bar itself.
- The "hole" could represent a missing piece of James Sunderland's life which is filled later in the game when Mary forgives him.
- The "hole" could refer to one of the numerous holes James must take leaps of faith into while in Toluca Prison. There could have been such a hole in Neely's Bar.
- The "hole" could be a reference to the future sequel Silent Hill 4: The Room, where Henry Townshend must enter mysterious holes to travel between worlds in his apartment.
- Taking the message more literally, the "HOLE" could be referring to the window that was formerly there, which was then covered up with newspapers by someone.
If the "hole" does reference Silent Hill 4, then Team Silent must have been planning the future game well in advance. It's quite possible with the references to Walter Sullivan and the murders of the Locane twins in the game that Team Silent had initially prepared Silent Hill 2's storyline and gameplay to be much like the later Silent Hill 4 game. Possibly Neely's Bar was to be a hub area which connected to other areas via these holes which would explain the message. Another possibility is that Silent Hill 4 and Silent Hill 2 were meant to be interwoven stories from the beginning similar to how the original Silent Hill and Silent Hill 3 were. It's likely then that the stories for both games were being developed at the same time.
A second message appears after leaving the Otherworld Brookhaven Hospital. It reads: If you really want to SEE Mary, you should just DIE. But you might be heading to a different place than MARY, James. It appears to mean that while Mary is already in heaven, James may be going to hell instead. This message increases the player's chances of receiving the "In Water" ending. Also other actions such as examining Angela's Knife and reading the diary on the hospital roof also add towards getting the ending.
There is also a possibility that the second message is created by James himself, or to be more specific, it is his subconscious realization or a vague epiphany of what he had done and what really happened to Mary. Since the message only appears after Maria was first killed by Pyramid Head, it can be inferred that the message is hinting the beginning of his slow realizations.
It's possible that the person who wrote both messages is the same person. The Born from a Wish side story shows that other entities, namely Ernest Baldwin, in Silent Hill are aware of James and what he has done so it's possible it could be him.