Where the hell is Silent Hill? (Geographically)

Posted: March 4, 2011 by ryanlecocq in Off-topic

EDIT:  SHwiki was kind enough to inform me that the developers have decided on Maine.  Although there are references to other states throughout and many of the nearby town names exist in several US states, the official answer is now Maine.

I realize I mentioned in passing that the official location of Silent Hill has moved in my “Washington is the new Africa” article.  That wasn’t just a joke, Silent Hill has been referenced as being in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania depending on which game or the movie you take it from.  In the official Silent Hill website in 1998, Silent Hill was said to be located in the ‘mid-west’ and was referred to as being in Ohio.  In Silent Hill 2 and 3, there are documents that say State of Pennsylvania or have other state abbreviations on them in the background.  Silent Hill 3 and 4 both take place partially in Ashfield, Massachusetts, which would fit with SH being in Pennsylvania based on how far away Silent Hill is supposed to be (Ohio and West Virginia are both more than the “couple hours away” that both Heather and Henry mention as they are on the far side of PA).  The Silent Hill movie puts the town in West Virginia, probably in no small part to director Christophe Gans’ love of John Keel’s novel “The Mothman Prophecies,” (the book, not the movie) which lends a lot to the Silent Hill flick.  Said novel takes place in West Virginia in the late 60s, when an unprecedented number of alien, ghost and creature sightings were taking place.

The funny thing is that Silent Hill isn’t the only place that seems unsure of it’s governor and geographical location.  Raccoon City was originally cited to be in Colorado, then was described as “the small mid-western town” (Colorado is not in the mid-west, so this means it moved way East) in later games.  In the movie I think it was moved back to Colorado, but I can’t remember.  The funny thing is that the tall mountains in the background and the large evergreen trees remained constant, making for a very limited number of places NOT Colorado that it could take place.

It could just be that the Japanese have no concept of U.S. geography and just don’t realize that the ‘Mid-West’ is not in the West at all, just the states that aren’t directly on the East coast or in “The South.”  States like Texas, Montana and Wyoming aren’t even in this category as they are considered “The West.”  Or they just don’t give a crap and they want mountains and tall trees because they look creepy as hell in foggy dark and they are not about to quibble over semantics.  Either way, there’s the complete explanation that your guess is as good as mine.




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