Silent Hill is a pretty fucked up franchise. Resident Evil is arguably more iconic in the grand scheme of things, but the encounters in Konami’s horror franchise really mess with your mind.
With that in mind, GamesRadar+ recently did some seriously grim homework and dredged up the unsettling backstories of five Silent Hill monsters.
You can check out their video at the bottom of this article, but if you’re not feeling tons of gore, I’ll quickly talk you through their findings – plus a couple of our own – right now. Spoilers, obviously.
Scarlet can be found in the brilliant Silent Hill: Homecoming, where her hobbies include being hacked to pieces by her father, being reincarnated as a freaky porcelain spider-thing, and biting her dear old dad’s head clean off after rising from a pool of her poppa’s blood.
As a young girl (you know, pre-dismemberment), Scarlet was a big fan of dolls, with hands ‘as pure as porcelain’ according to her dad, before he literally tore her limb-from-limb.
That’s why her monstrous reincarnated form appears severed at each joint, and why there’s a fleshy element underneath all the porcelain. Ew.
If you weren’t aware, the name Two-back is a reference to ‘making the beast with two backs’, which itself is a cheeky references to sex. Charming, isn’t it?
At any rate, GamesRadar+ posits that Two-back is a walking, killing interpretation of protagonist Travis’ sexual deprivation, rage, and ultimate failure to really connect with other people.
This theory is cemented in the bad ending of Silent Hill: Origins, which strongly implies that Travis was a serial killer who murdered (and then photographed) a number of women.
Another monster where the clue is very much in the name. Asphyxia is another murdered child-turned-monster from Silent Hills: Homecoming – what a lovely game.
To be fair, compared to Scarlet, Asphyxia got off relatively easy (she was suffocated by her mum, which is a bit better than being hacked apart).
But here’s where things get grim: Her love of Alice in Wonderland – particularly the Caterpillar – led to her coming back as a Human Centipede-style creature. Seriously, it ain’t pretty.
The first creep you come across in Silent Hill 2, the Lying Figure has one of the bleakest backstories in any horror videogame – the Lying Figure is an armless beasty with strangely feminine legs and a stylish (if fleshy) pair of heels.
The novelization of Silent Hill 2 (because that’s a thing) states that the Lying Figure spawns from protagonist James’ feelings of resentment and confinement at having to stay home and look after his ill wife, with the poison mist that comes from its mouth possibly a reference to the verbal abuse he received from his wife at that time.
Oh look, another twisted monster from Silent Hill: Homecoming. Siam is a reference to conjoined twins, and – apparently – a disturbing visual representation of marriage.
The most prevalent theory surrounding Siam is that it’s actually a throwback to James and his wife from Silent Hills 2, with the BDSM themed get-up calling back to James’ repressed sexual desires, while the feminine part of Siam is tied to the back of the beast, implying a heavy burden.
I thoroughly recommend checking out the full GamesRadar+ video below, as it’s genuinely interesting (if a little grim).
Based on the fine work of the GamesRadar+ piece, I decided to do a little more digging myself, and examine the stories surrounding some of Silent Hill’s other freakish creations.
If you’ve the stomach for it, then please do read on with me…
Pretty much all of the monsters in Silent Hill 2 are representations of James’ feelings of guilt, resentment, and general mixed feelings towards killing his terminally-ill wife.
Perhaps the most enduring icon of Silent Hill, many believe old Pyramid Head to be the ultimate manifestation of James’ guilt, a monstrous judge of sorts, who exists to guide James through his torment.
Plus, he fucked a mannequin that one time, which is a pretty clear indicator that he mirrors James’ sexual repression, to a point.
The Nurses have popped up in a number of Silent Hill games, but it’s their appearance in Silent Hill 2 which I would argue is the most interesting.
Once again (unsurprisingly), they represent James’ repressed sexual desires – this is pretty obvious, given the fact that they wear fairly, skimpy nurse outfits with an emphasis on cleavage.
What’s more interesting about these medical monstrosities is that they apparently also represent James’ anxiety surrounding terminal illness (which stems from his wife, see?). This, along with the sexual connotations depict a beast that James truly struggles with on an emotional level.
So this is it. This is without a doubt, the most disturbing monster in any videogame, let alone the Silent Hill franchise – Abstract Daddy is a hulking mass of flesh that seems to be two figures, with the larger, dominant one atop a smaller figure who looks to be trying to get away.
As it turns out, Silent Hill 2’s wayward waitress Angela Orosco was sexually abused by her father as a child. Abstract Daddy is her guilt towards having killed him in a fit of revenge made real.
I guess if any game was gonna have an actual visual representation of something as genuinely abhorrent and disgusting as child-rape, it’d be Silent Hill – let’s move on quickly.
Here’s a fun (if a little disturbing) fact: The Grey Child only appeared in North American versions of Silent Hill – the PAL and NTSC-J versions of the game replaced them with Mumblers, as they were deemed too similar in appearance to actual children.
Chillingly, these knife-wielding nippers are actually a manifestation of school bullies, which is why they appear in Midwich Elementary School, often emitting a weird high-pitched giggle, or tightly hugging the legs of protagonist Harry.
Well, I think we’ll leave it there. Clearly, Silent Hill is a franchise chock full of some genuinely twisted creations.
As such, looking into the backstories and sordid details of every single one is not something I think anyone can do in one sitting without losing their mind. I know I certainly can’t.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.