The Importance of Symbolism in Silent Hill

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”
Stephen King

This is an interesting topic that has been going around in my head for several months now like an annoying bug. It was something that deeply fascinated me at the time when I stumbled upon it purely by chance, and I really wanted to write about it if only to satiate my own selfish desire – plus, this way I finally get myself to publish something here after this never-ending drought. I talked about it in my Twitter account with all the limitations that 140-character posts entail and my followers seemed to enjoy it, so I hope this extended version is also well-received.

The title gives the surprise away: this article addresses several issues within the universe of Silent Hill. More specifically, the symbolism attached to the story and its monsters, and the significance this holds on understanding and fully experiencing the story.

Last winter I became suddenly and helplessly obsessed with this franchise. Even though I liked it before, for some reason it called to me like a siren all of a sudden and I couldn’t help but lose myself deeper and deeper into its lore. This would be the perfect theme for a dissertation if I happened to study something related to Psychology but, sadly, that’s not the case.

If you are actually reading this, I will go ahead and guess you are more or less familiar with these games or at least have seen the movies and have a general idea of what is going on here. For those who perhaps are not so acquainted with this universe, I will make a brief summary anyway, just to cover every front.

Before you continue, note that this piece of writing deals with serious and potentially disturbing topics that may make some readers uncomfortable, like gore, torture and rape. Also, there are countless spoilers about the series, obviously. Consider this a trigger warning if you don’t want to read about those things.


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