A large lake surrounded by forest, Toluca Lake, as well as the areas surrounding it, typically make up the key settings in the Silent Hill series.
Though its precise size is unknown, Toluca Lake must be large enough to accommodate the construction of two mid-sized towns upon its shores, with those towns being a boat-ride apart from each other. Numerous hills encompass it, suggesting it may rest in a valley. In addition to hills, rivers and swaths of pine forest are also shown to be plentiful.
Once part of an area claimed as 'Holy Land' by indigenous native tribes, the area containing the lake entered into the hands of European settlers in the late 1600s when the original inhabitants were forced out of the area.
Toluca Lake began to become a famous touristic destination even before the coal mines closed. Many tourist offices opened across the town of Silent Hill, as well as boat launchers, hotels and motels, giving the tourists many options to choose where to relax during their trips in the region.
The Lakeview Hotel, for example, was one of the most notables ones, and has been built right on the shore of the lake, offering the tourists immediate access to the lake for swimming at warm periods.
Even with the lake being an attractive destination for many tourists, some infamous but mysterious maritime accidents occurred in the lake at past times. It's a possibility that the area has seen a steep decline in terms of tourist economy.
Notable landmarks and destinations
- Lighthouse - A lighthouse built on the northern shores of Toluca Lake, found in the Resort Area. It's said to be one of Silent Hill's older structures.
- Lakeside Amusement Park - A theme park, overlooking the lake. It contains several entertainment attractions typical of venues of its type, such as a merry-go-round, a roller coaster, a haunted house, and a divination tent.
- Lakeview Hotel - A once-prominent feature of Silent Hill's Resort Area, the hotel has since been consumed by fire.
- Cybil Bennett says there is a lookout tower on the opposite side of the lake in the Silent Hill film.
- Toluca Graveyard - A small graveyard and church, overlooking the lake.
- Log cabin retreats, where tourists can stay overnight during their time in Silent Hill.
- Devil's Pitstop - A diner near the shores of Toluca Lake.
Notable maritime disasters
With the influx of visitors to the area over time, accidents, in particular boating accidents, were an inevitability.
- During the year of 1918, a ship named Little Baroness goes missing. Its fate is unknown.
- With the closing of the area coal mines in 1939, coupled with an increase in tourism, a rather prolific rash of boating accidents occurs on the lake.
- During an argument with his brother Alex Shepherd, Joshua Shepherd accidentally drowns. His death marks the beginning of the dark times that have befallen the town of Shepherd's Glen.
- During his transfer to Wayside Maximum Security Prison, Murphy Pendleton and Anne Cunningham (among others) crashed their transport bus on the shores of Toluca Lake.
- In Silent Hill: The Arcade, the lake is shown to have an Otherworld version of itself, with bloodied waters and many monsters hidden within the deep.
- Although portrayed as a fictional place in the games, a real-life Toluca Lake does exist. It also may be possible that Toluca Lake (or at least its name) is based on Toluca, Mexico.
- It is known that in the comics, Silent Hill is built on the shores of Toluca Lake. Any history regarding that incarnation of the lake is unknown.
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