The Screamer is a monster in Silent Hill: Downpour and has the ability to stun Murphy Pendleton with a piercing scream. Her attacks vary from concentrated jabs to wild swinging with her fists. She can also alert or call other Screamers to aid her in battle, making her a tough enemy if surrounded. They are the weakest enemies in the game.
The Screamer is humanoid in appearance and resembles a woman wearing a tattered dress and high-heeled boots. They have dark, gray-toned skin with deformed, stretched-tight flesh on their face, inhumanly wide mouths, thin, wispy hair, and empty, bleeding eyes. Screamers' weapons are their hands, which are permanently affixed in a fist thanks to the several nails driven from the top of their hands through their fingers, which they jab and slash with. Their garb is ripped in many places, exposing tattered flesh underneath. A Screamer's dress is also hugged close to the figure, as too is the monster's hair, which suggests her being soaked by rain.
Screamers are among the most common enemies in the game. The player will encounter more powerful enemies, but the Screamer's unique abilities make her a dangerous opponent. At close range, the Screamer usually just attacks with quick strikes. From farther away, however, this creature tends to make use of her incapacitating scream. When the player sees a Screamer inhale, they should run in to interrupt the attack, run out of range, or take cover behind a suitable object. If Murphy allows a Screamer to slip behind him, the creature might jump on his back. When this happens, the player must follow the on-screen prompts to shake the Screamer loose. The Screamer's incapacitating attacks are particularly troublesome when other creatures are in the area. When the player faces multiple opponents, they should consider dealing with any Screamers before they deal with more imposing enemies.
The Screamer may represent:
- The alarm sirens at Murphy's prison and how they would ring if he tried to escape his cell, and, by extension, police sirens as well.
- A murder victim. Her body is covered in decaying flesh, and her screams may reflect the screams that a victim lets out during their struggle.
- Murphy's wife, Carol Pendleton. When idle, the Screamer sometimes holds her arms close, rocking back and forth with head slightly tilted, as if cradling a child. This could represent Murphy's concern about how Carol dealt with Charlie Pendleton's death and Murphy's fear of Carol, thinking that she blames and hates him for their son's death. Thus, he sees the woman he loved now as a woman that is twisted, distorted, and hostile.
- Part of Sanchez's psyche, a possible rapist or sexual predator due to the way he treats Anne Marie Cunningham during the bus transfer representing his possible misdeeds. This seems to be supported by his use of derogatory language towards the Screamer ("Bitch!"). The Screamer is not overtly sexual (she has a very flat chest beneath a heavy coat) and this may demonstrate his own predatory nature of possibly forcing sexuality upon them. Sanchez is shown repeatedly beating her face, which is heavily scarred with slashes, and her skin is stretched very tightly as if she has had plastic surgery; this could suggest that Sanchez has previously beaten his victim(s) so badly that they required facial reconstructive surgery. Her flesh-like coat is torn most around where her breasts would be, possibly hinting at a link to sexual violence and sadism. As Murphy displays no signs of sexual aggression, this further supports that she is Sanchez's monster.
- Anne Cunningham's response to her father's murder. It is given in the game that she is distrustful of Murphy and suspects him to be Frank's murderer, and the various cutscenes between the two are characterized by volatility. The Screamer's intense shriek, followed by her vicious attack on Murphy, could be representative of Anne taking out her anger upon the protagonist.
- Killing or incapacitating 10 Screamers in the game unlocks the Achievement/Trophy "Silence is Golden".
- During the point in the game when demonic police patrol vehicles chase Murphy through the streets of Silent Hill, large groups of Screamers are called in by the car's siren when the car catches up to Murphy. The summoning of these creatures by the siren is further evidence that the Screamer may represent the alarms and sirens from police vehicles.
- When a Screamer is killed, her dying scream is cut short by a static sound, like a police communication radio turning off.
- At Devil's Pitstop, shortly after Murphy finds a change of clothes and a Police Badge, a Screamer will attack him near a chainlink fence. However, if Murphy never picks up the badge, the Screamer will consistently never show up.