- For the town of Silent Hill in the game canon, see Silent Hill, Maine.
Silent Hill, West Virginia is the version of Silent Hill seen in the Silent Hill film and Silent Hill: Revelation. While the game's version of the town is populated, the film's version is a cursed ghost town, having been abandoned after a fire started in the underlying coal mines on November 1st, 1974. The founders of Silent Hill were witch hunters.
Silent Hill is located along the shore of Toluca Lake, which is located to the north-east of the town, and is surrounded by forest regions. Pleasant River appears to be located to the west of the town (rather than the east, as seen in Downpour), although it is unknown if Pleasant River is a town or simply a river in this universe. Either way, the majority of Silent Hill is to the south of this river. The north of the town is likely the entrance, where a welcome sign greets those who enter the town.
The life of the town is centered around the business district, located in center of the town. Residential districts are located on both sides, the east and west, of the business district. Simmons Street connects the north entrance to the business district.
The town map has a number of streets and roads highlighted, which resembles the Brethren's symbol. In the center of the business district is a main church. To the north-east of the church is Midwich Elementary School, and to the west of Midwich is Brookhaven Hospital, located a few blocks away. To the northwest of the church is the Grand Hotel.
- For a complete timeline of Silent Hill, see Timeline (film)
According to Revelation, Silent Hill was originally a prison colony, built on ground taken from the native "Indians". They called it "The Place of the Silent Spirits". Silent Hill's past isn't touched upon much prior to the events of 1974, though it is known that the town was founded by a group of witch hunters who secretly ran the town. The Brahams Herald suggests that the Grand Hotel has seen its share of hauntings and supernatural occurrences, though the cause is never explained.
The Great Fire
On November 1st, 1974, Alessa was taken to a sacrificial chamber, located next (or part of) the Grand Hotel, where she was burned alive as a witch.
The town was destroyed in a sudden fire that burned into the coal mines beneath the town, leading to its eventual evacuation and abandonment. How much of the town's buildings were set on fire is unknown, but it is extremely unlikely that the entire town was set on the fire. The people tried to evacuate as quick as they could but it was hellish. People were dying and disappearing. Half of the bodies could not be found.
Despite the cult's efforts, Alessa survived the fire and was hospitalized at Brookhaven Hospital for an unspecified amount of time; it could have been for a few hours after the fire began. In the hospital, Alessa was overcome by rage and pain. In her drive to take revenge on everyone responsible for her suffering, Alessa split her soul into a dark manifestation who could help her exact her revenge. Alessa created the Otherworld and the Fog World, two alternate realities infected by her split psyche. She dragged the Brethren into these worlds, where she punishes them for their crimes against her.
The entire town of Silent Hill became evacuated due to toxic fumes from the coals burning underground, and is subsequently fenced off.
The film's version of Silent Hill shows three different parallel universes, each based on the one before it. Two of the universes are created and controlled by Alessa Gillespie, who uses them as a means to punish the people she entraps there. After Alessa is burned alive by the townspeople, she splits her soul, creating Dark Alessa as well as the Fog World and the Otherworld. The shifting of the Fog World into the Otherworld is symbolic of what was done to Alessa's body. The alternate realities are the "darkest dream" of Alessa, and they represent her suffering.
Until the end of the film, neither the Fog World nor the Otherworld can enter the main church of the cultists due to Alessa's belief that they must be shown "the truth" before she can kill them. Rose Da Silva releases Alessa's tainted essence into the church, allowing the Otherworld to overtake it in the final climax scene.
- Main article: Real World
This universe is the real world and shows Silent Hill in its natural state. Christopher Da Silva and Thomas Gucci traverse this world, searching for Chris's missing wife and daughter. The town is run-down and dirty in this state, with the sun shining down on the abandoned buildings.
A past version of the Real World shows Silent Hill as it looked to Alessa Gillespie when she was a child. At that time, the town is a regular small American town, though it's largely controlled by a fanatical cult.
- Main article: Fog World
The most seen universe in the film is the Fog World. In this universe, the sun never shines through the thick, gray fog that smothers the entire town. Ash rains down from the sky and everything is covered in a layer of ash and dust. The Fog World appears to have been built off of Alessa's memories of the town she grew up in, and contains exact similarities to the Real World version of the town, including perfect replicas of abandoned buildings and cars. The Armless Man is seen in the Fog World, despite the cultists generally considering it to be "safe", though those that stray too far from church are required to wear mining uniforms for protection.
- Main article: Otherworld
The Otherworld overtakes the town every few hours, affecting only those already trapped in the Fog World. Birds in this alternate reality often alert the cultists of the rising of the Darkness, who then set off air raid sirens to warn any cult members caught outside of the church. When the Otherworld takes over, the town goes through a dramatic shift. Blood drips from the walls, wood melts away to reveal rusted metal, corpses and monsters appear from every area, and the whole town goes completely black. Eternal fires burn beneath the town, with vents in the floors allowing steam to rise into the air.
The Otherworld symbolizes the hatred and pain of Alessa, and the twisted creatures that appear there also represent her and things she saw during her life. A permanent version of the Otherworld exists in Brookhaven Hospital, where the adult Alessa lies in a hospital bed, and her doppelgänger, Dark Alessa, watches over her.
- Four sets had to be built for most of the locations seen in the film to show the current state of the town, the past state of the town, the Fog World, and the Otherworld.
- Silent Hill, West Virginia is based on the real town Centralia, Pennsylvania, while the game's version in Maine is unrelated to Centralia.
- Parts of two small towns in Canada, Brantford, Ontario, and Hamilton, Ontario were taken over to film the outdoor scenes.
- The film setting of Silent Hill, West Virginia is likely loosely related to real town Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Point Pleasant being a town on the border with Ohio, near both the Ohio and Kanawha River, and home to horror legend The Mothman.
- The fact that the cultists in the movie carry a canary in a cage to detect when the Otherworld is coming is a reference to mining. In reality, miners often took a pair of canaries with them into the mines to detect leaking gas such as carbon monoxide, which has no smell or taste, and henceforth humans cannot detect it. With their heightened sensitivity and fragile breathing structure, the birds would react by showing signs of distress, prompting the miners to leave quickly. The canary in the movie, as well as the birds that fly from the roofs of buildings before the "darkness" arrives, supports the fact that animals can either smell or sense something humans cannot. This is now considered archaic animal abuse and animal cruelty, however, as the birds were often poisoned and killed from this. Gas detectors are used for this purpose.
Silent Hill: Revelation
|Rose Da Silva - Christopher Da Silva - Cybil Bennett - Dahlia Gillespie - Thomas Gucci - Anna - Christabella - Sharon Da Silva - Alessa Gillespie - Dark Alessa|
|Sister Margaret - Eleanor - Colin - Lisa Garland - Jennifer Carroll|
|Armless Man - Colin - Creeper - Dark Nurse - Grey Child - Red Pyramid|
|Brahms - Brookhaven Hospital - Church - Da Silva House - Gans County - Grand Hotel - Midwich Elementary School - Nathan Drugs - Pete's Bowl-O-Rama - Sacrificial Chamber - Silent Hill, West Virginia - Smitty's - Toluca County Archives - Toluca County Mining Museum - Toluca County Orphanage - Toluca Lake|
|The Brethren - Monster - Flashlight - Manifestation - Otherworld - Fog World - Real World - Siren - Great Knife - Welcome Sign - Brethren Symbol|
|Heather Mason - Christopher Da Silva - Vincent Cooper - Claudia Wolf - Leonard Wolf - Dark Alessa - Douglas Cartland - Alessa Gillespie|
|Rose Da Silva - Dahlia Gillespie - Suki - Travis Grady - Order Soldier - Detective Santini - Mannequin Girl|
|Armless Man - Delusion - Leonard Wolf - Lobotomy - Mannequin Monster - Memory of Alessa - Missionary - Nurse - Pyramid Head - Valtiel|
|All Hallows High School - Brookhaven Asylum - Central Square Shopping Center - Jacks Inn - Sanctuary - Silent Hill, West Virginia - Lakeside Amusement Park|
|The Brethren - Halo of the Sun - Monster - Manifestation - Otherworld - Fog World - Real World - Robbie the Rabbit - Seal of Metatron - Siren - The Order - Great Knife - Welcome Sign|