The Void is an enemy in Silent Hill: Downpour that resembles a bright red light, similar to a vortex. It pursues Murphy Pendleton relentlessly through the game's many Otherworld levels and sucks in everything around it. When it gets close to Murphy, the environment visually distorts, time slows down, and Murphy's body begins to "flake off"; if Murphy doesn't quickly escape, he will die. The Void cannot be killed, and Murphy's only option is to flee until he reaches a safe haven.
The Void first appears in the otherworldly Devil's Pitstop diner. Realizing he can't fight it, Murphy sprints down a hallway and eventually escapes. He escapes by fleeing up a never-ending staircase where the Void eventually stops pursuing.
The Void returns in the Centennial Building Otherworld, chasing Murphy through a looping series of corridors until he finds the right exit. It soon reappears and chases him through an upside-down version of the building.
In the Otherworld version of St. Maria's Monastery, the Bogeyman drops Murphy into a cavernous area where he encounters the Void once again. He runs through another circuitous route before finding a hidden path that leads back to the upper levels.
During the game's climactic sequence at Overlook Penitentiary, the Void appears immediately after the prison's shift to the Otherworld and chases Murphy through a maze of branching corridors. The entity reappears near the end of the Otherworld, at a series of staircases going up past several tiers of cell blocks. Once Murphy reaches the elevator taking him down to the Wheelman's room, the Void disappears for good.
The Void could be a manifestation of Murphy's life in prison and fear of being caught and imprisoned again.
The Void could be a manifestation of the guilt Murphy feels about his crimes, torturing him for his inability to let go of the past and "running" from his past. In the first Overlook Penitentiary chase sequence, Frank Coleridge's voice can be heard saying, "You can't outrun yourself, Murphy," and in the Centennial Building sequence he says, "Truth is like the sun, boy. You can shut it out, but it ain't going away."
It may also represent Murphy's darker side. While Murphy doesn't seem to be a particularly violent or aggressive person, his "dark" side pulls him in, threatening to consume him.
The Void may be a representation of Murphy's Thanatos. The Thanatos is a post-Freudian concept of the "death instinct" which embodies the desire to destroy oneself because it is easier to not exist than to have to struggle through life or to accept the guilt and consequences of one's actions. It may also reflect the painful outcomes of seeking revenge. A book in the Centennial Building discusses the behavior of honey bees and how they will sting an opposing force if pushed to an extreme. It states, "When the bee attempts to flee the scene of the crime, it finds that a large part of its abdomen, guts, nerve, and muscle tissue are torn from its body and left behind. Eviscerated, the bee dies shortly after, paying the ultimate price for revenge." This is very similar to the behavior of the Void stripping the flesh off Murphy.
It might be a representation of grief emptiness; when a person has lost someone very dear to them, a situation can occur whenever that person simply shuts down completely, becoming essentially an empty shell. This is the opposite of the effect Charlie Pendleton's death had on Murphy, but it may perhaps be what Carol Pendleton was feeling inside after her son's death.
- While being chased, Murphy can knock over Tormented Souls to slow down the Void. In this respect, the Tormented Souls could represent the innocent people who have indirectly suffered due to Murphy's actions and little regard for others after his son's death. In pushing them into the path of the Void, he is essentially sacrificing the defenseless creatures at his own convenience.
- Originally, the Void looked like a cloud of black smoke. That appearance is gone because the developers explained that it was just a placeholder for the Void's final design.
- The Void's appearance and its pursuit of Murphy are reminiscent of the red fog/light that appears in Silent Hill 3, chasing Heather Mason through the last two hallways of the Borley Haunted Mansion. The first hallway even has a trick wall that closes one path to open another, which is similar to numerous tricks encountered while running from the Void (closing gates and lengthening hallways). They're also reminiscent of the chase sequences in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, which featured several chase sequences interspersed throughout.