Alright, so I thought of this awhile back, and working on the Maria page reminded me of it again. I'm sure someone may have already pointed this out but here we go.
Maria's being is sort of left a mystery. How she was formed, who she is, her properties. She has memories of working at Heaven's Night, and of Laura. So the two main theories seem to be that either a) Maria is completely made up or b) Maria is a real person that Silent Hill is using. (B seems to be the one I see the most.)
But I think both ideas may be wrong.
I think Maria was created just like Pyramid Head was.
Ito has confirmed that the town has a large impact on the form of the monsters, not just the person's mind. And Pyramid Head takes the form of the executioners that were there, but have long sinced passed. So what if Maria used to be a stripper/dancer at Heaven's Night, but she died (due to PTV overdose or s/t, doesn't matter why, really) and the town has brought her form back? The manifestation is simply taking form of a previous figure in town?
It may not seem like that big of a deal, and I'm sure it's been brought up before, but I think it fits the Maria/PH dichotomy well. They are, in a way, polar opposites, yet the same.
Pyramid Head being this aggressive, violent monster that hurts James, and essentially tortures him.
Maria being a gentle, more-human-than-human manifestation that seduces James, and simply wants to please him.
Heck, they don't even look like they belong in the same game. Yet their paths cross multiple times. And I love this about them. Maria is James running from his issues, Pyramid Head is James facing it head-on. Maria is James listening to a plesant lie, Pyramid Head is James coming to terms with the truth. So to me, I think them having similar creation stories is really fitting. They're worlds apart, yet, they're exactly the same. And since Pyramid Head's design is also affected by how the women around James view him and other men, Maria may be based on how James and the men in the story view Mary and other women. I think this polar play, this dichotomy, is perfect. It works so well, and tells you so much about how James is truly torn asunder mentally. It's something that really speaks to me, and I'm sure others understand that feeling as well.
Anyways that just turned into me praising the game so I'll end here. Thoughts?