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Gravedigger
 Post subject: The Really Super Real Silent Hill Experience!
     
         
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Missing since: 09 Jun 2010
Notes left: 494
I’ve decided to take the time to ruin it for everyone. I’ll go through several controversial (read; dead horse) issues and theories and nitpick the shit out of them in one definitive topic. I’ll also be linking to a few already well thought out critiques for easy access. Each theory will have its own dedicated post so this doesn't turn into a formatting nightmare. I’m also open to any suggestions on matters worth investigating.

No rock unturned. . .
No hapless condescension
NO FUCKING GRAPE SODA
GET READY FOR . . .


The Boiler Explosion/Accidental Fire (AKA Single Bullshit Theory)

A common theory brought up since at least 2007 (though I have it on good authority that this theory probably pre-dates Silent Hill 4) is that the fire was unintentional, and a result of a boiler explosion during the impregnation ritual. This is demonstrably not the case.

The evidence usually mentioned is a memo not found in the North American version of the game [01] as well as the Manifestations of Delusions [02] article found in a classroom.

Fire Article wrote:
Fire broke out in town.
6 homes destroyed.
Charred body of Alessa Gillespie (7) found in aftermath.
Cause of fire currently under investigation.
Investigations show source as basement of Gillespie home.
Blaze now believed caused by malfunction of antiquated boiler.


Manifestations of Delusions wrote:
Poltergeists are among these. Negative
emotions like fear, worry or stress
manifest into external energy with
physical effects. Nightmares have, in
some cases, been shown to trigger them.
However, one such phenomenon doesn't
appear to happen to just anyone. Although
it's not clear why, adolescents, especially
girls, are prone to such occurrences.


I submit that these 2 articles provide insufficient proof of such an occurrence. I also submit that the Manifestations of Delusions article has nothing to do with the nature of the fire itself.

As for the Fire Article- A simulacrum so as not to draw attention to the cult’s deeds. Which leads me to. . .

The Ritual
The ritual in question was to impregnate Alessa to act as a surrogate mother for the cult’s god. The controversy revolves around whether the fire was intentional or not.

Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition Q&A [03] wrote:
Q: What was the cause of the fire that broke out seven years ago?
A: A ritual that Dahlia performed using Alessa.
. . . The ritual process involved a great deal of fire, which consequently escalated into a conflagration. . .


Some people cite Silent Hill Origins as incorrectly interpreting the events of the first game and depicting the impregnation ritual as some sort of immolation rite.

They also claim that the fire was a result of a boiler explosion caused by Alessa’s heightened stress level during the impregnation ritual. Cited is the Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition saying that “. . .the ritual involved a great deal of fire. . .”, this is however taken completely out of context.

We observe during the events of Silent Hill 3, when reading Harry’s notebook that he mentions the immolation ritual. . . [04]

Harry’s Notebook wrote:
17 years ago —, I came to Silent Hill.
I heard the girl's pleas and took her with me, not knowing why
she wanted us to go there. And it was there that the girl went
away. Not that she actually went anywhere, nor did she die.
'Returned to her original self'...that's what Dahlia Gillespie said.
'Original self'... That was the young woman burned by her mother as a
sacrifice to God... Alessa Gillespie


True, Harry’s word is worth nothing as he was not at the ritual, but this does act as developers intent [05], and acts as a recap for people who have not played the first game.

Further, why would the ritual would involve “a great deal of fire” but not be the scene of an immolation of some sort?

The Coverup
Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition Q&A wrote:
Q: Did Alessa die in the fire seven years ago?
A: She survived.

After Alessa was successfully impregnated with the God, she was placed in a basement storage room at Alchemilla Hospital under the care of Lisa Garland. There, she was kept in a state of constant agony for 7 years. To prevent the God from being born she split her soul. Half of which became Cheryl.

The fact that a basement storeroom is cleared out in advance (or at all) raises a few flags. This shows that they had no intention of keeping Alessa with the rest of the patients in the facility, which is indicative that there is quite a lot they accounted for. What could this mean. . .? Let’s see. . .

In the Nowhere section of Silent Hill 1, we are treated to a cutscene depicting Kaufmann, Dahlia and a few doctors crowded around Alessa’s bedside. Dahlia makes a comment about how “everything is going according to plan” [06]. Kind of odd for someone whose daughter was nearly killed by the ritual and further had her plans delayed by years. That seems like quite the opposite of “according to plan”. Personally, I’d consider that quite the setback.

Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition wrote:
In the game, it is reported that Alessa's "charred body was found." Although the records show that she had died, she was secretly taken to Alchemilla Hospital and nursed for seven years in the hospital basement. Kaufmann prepared a substitute body; it's possible he was also the one who performed the "autopsy."


Why would Kauffman prepare a double if the fire was completely accidental? The game already demonstrates that he’s involved in the course of events. He also assigns a young nurse to Alessa’s care at some point. In Silent Hill 3, while in Brookhaven Hospital we’re shown a cutscene with an audio recording of her at Alessa’s bedside. [07]

Lisa wrote:
Still has an unusually high fever...
Eyes don’t open... getting a pulse.
But just barely breathing.
Why! What is keeping that child alive?


What is keeping Alessa alive is the demon god within her. [08]
Dahlia Gillespie wrote:
It's been a long seven years...

For the seven years since that terrible day, Alessa has been kept alive, suffering a fate worse than death. Alessa has been trapped in an endless nightmare, from which she never awakens.

"He" has been nurtured by that nightmare. Waiting for the day to be born. That day has finally come


Odds and Ends

According to the Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition- it's heavily implied the cult has attempted the impregnation rites before- and failed. . .

Silent Hill Official Guidebook Complete Edition wrote:
The technique to impregnate the womb of a human mother with the malevolent god had been
carried out many times in order to achieve that end, but it had always failed. Among the mysterious disappearances that took place in town, there are cases in which young girls were abducted by the cult as prospective surrogate mothers (although most of them were simply young people who grew tired of the countryside and left for the city).


According to this, the cult has been kidnapping young girls, it is not known whether or not they’d survived the ritual but considering the nature of it and no mention of their return- it’s safe to say they didn’t.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • It’s also worth noting that Silent Hill 3 contains several references to immolation, specifically in the context of ritual sacrifice.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Q-If all this is true- why didn’t Claudia try to burn Heather at every encounter they had
A- A common straw man, as the baby handed to Harry at the end of Silent Hill 1 already contained the seed of god within it- another impregnation ritual was not necessary. We see later that the Memory of Alessa tries to kill Heather to prevent the God from being born again to corroborate this.

This did however necessitate Claudia inflicting a profound amount of pain on Heather in a way she knew Heather couldn’t ignore. To do this, Claudia murdered Harry in cold blood.

Q. This tweet from Masahiro Ito mentions the boiler explosion- so it must be true!
A. Ito was the monster/background designer- not the scenario writer. He also said that he forgot.

Epilogue
From all this we can discern that the cult has been trying to summon the god for quite some time now, but have failed repeatedly. Dahlia gets it in her head that she can use Alessa as the vessel and hastily carries out the ritual in the basement of her own home. Afterwards, she splits her soul, which necessitates Dahlia to use a special incantation in order to bring the other half back.

Alessa is then placed in a basement storeroom in Alchemilla Hospital under the care of Lisa Garland, and a few other doctors who were in on the plot. Kaufmann (who is only using the cult for his own ends) then used his status as a public figure to falsify reports, come up with a cover story and prepare a substitute body. And we’re supposed to believe that all this planning, preparation, and accounting for nearly every possible variable was just a big cosmic oopsie?

You decide.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sources
[01]http://silenthill.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Article
[02]http://silenthill.wikia.com/wiki/Manifestations_of_Delusions
[03]http://silenthillchronicle.net/shkgb.htm
Q: What was the cause of the fire that broke out seven years ago?
A: A ritual that Dahlia performed using Alessa.
[04]http://silenthill.wikia.com/wiki/Harry's_Notebook
[05]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorial_intent
[06]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSuQ_gjpW4s [50:45]
[07]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foR0qrEFY18
[08]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSuQ_gjpW4s [53:22]


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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: The Really Super Real Silent Hill Experience!
     
         
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Missing since: 26 Mar 2010
Notes left: 1879
Last seen at: Los Angeles
I look forward to the future topics you will post on!

I have been rather frustrated with the perpetuation of this train of thought, as it always seemed ridiculous to me. To seriously entertain the thought that the fire was coincidental seemed so ridiculous to me that it did not really make any sense.
Nice work, Trauma.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: The Really Super Real Silent Hill Experience!
     
         
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Missing since: 12 Oct 2010
Notes left: 1446
Last seen at: Chicago
Weird theory. It seems so obvious that "Blaze now believed caused by malfunction of antiquated boiler." was the cover-up story.

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