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The Otherworld, also known as the Alternate World, Another World, Dark World or Nightmare World, is the nightmarish parallel universe that materializes through the ancient powers of Silent Hill. It is the third dimension that makes up Silent Hill, the other two being the Real World and the Fog World. This supernatural phenomenon has since extended to neighboring towns, including Shepherd's Glen and Ashfield. In accordance with the Order's mythology, the Otherworld is akin to a "holy land", in which their God dwells. As such, their "God" gives the Order a certain degree of protection while in the Otherworld. Members of the Order appear to have a connection to the other worlds, and it is possible that certain members, such as Margaret Holloway, may have some control over the dimensional shifts.
The Otherworld has the ability to reflect a person's psyche, or even multiple people's psyches at a given time, and to twist the environment around them into their own personal nightmare. As monsters represent the personal fears and vices of a current inhabitant of the Otherworld, the environment too is altered to suit the subconscious of its current victim(s). As such, the Otherworld may appear anywhere from slightly to moderately different, depending on the person's subconscious that it is manifesting. This is in part due to the fact that it is usually the person's own personal influence and experience that is manifested in their particular nightmare world. However, for the most part, the appearances of the Otherworld typically follow a similar stylistic pattern.
The Otherworld is essentially a darker, more disturbing reflection of the locales of the town; usually maintaining the same physical build and outline. However, many doors that were once locked or unlocked in the Fog World are found in their opposite state in the Otherworld. When the Fog World shifts to the Otherworld in Silent Hill, Homecoming and the film, an air-raid siren can be heard in the background.
The Otherworld is frequently depicted as a dark, ruined dimension. Many of its environments are partially or entirely made up of rusted and bloodstained metal floors and walls. Grating, fencing, barbed wire or entire sections of wall composed of flesh and other organic material are also commonplace. Elements like chains, hooks, industrial fans, cages and corpses can be found scattered throughout this world.
During some transitions, the streets of the town reveal grated floors with nothing lying beneath them except a vast dark "chasm"; however, the outside appearances of the surrounding buildings may remain unchanged. As opposed to the Fog World, the Otherworld is obscured by pitch blackness, whether it be indoors or outside. However, in Silent Hill: Homecoming, an orange/red glow can be seen in the sky or from windows when peering outside.
Silent Hill (game)EditIn the original Silent Hill, the Otherworld is a dark, rusted, blood-drenched location, with chains and corpses littering the area. Normally during Harry Mason's time in the Fog World, it is snowing. However, during an Otherworld shift (annouced by an air-raid siren), the snowfall stops, instead replaced by rain. A lot of the bodies in the Otherworld have symbols associated with the Order, such as the Seal of Metatron. Near the end of the game, Harry ends up in another part of the Otherworld, known simply as "Nowhere". This location seems to be made up of different locations around Silent Hill.
Silent Hill 2Edit
There are three different Otherworlds shown in Silent Hill 2: James Sunderland's, Angela Orosco's and Eddie Dombrowski's.James' version of the Otherworld is more depressing and less hellish than Harry's in Silent Hill. The weather is cloudy, dull and gloomy, the streets are deserted initially, and the shops are often spacious and empty. In the Lakeview Hotel and Blue Creek Apartments, water is often seen dripping down the walls and from the ceiling. The dead bodies littering the streets appear to be less unsettling than they are in the first game. Hospital gurneys are common, regardless of scenario, and the bloody walls and doors are often coated with plastic sheets.
Eddie's version of the Otherworld appears to be a dark, cold place similar to a freezer, with mist and hanging bodies as if they were in a slaughter-house; he is almost always found near a corpse. It is a common theory that Eddie was often picked on, and he is in Silent Hill not because of guilt, but to escape his life of suffering at the hands of bullies. It is possible that Eddie's monsters may take on the form of humans; as he informs James during their encounter in the prison cafeteria that he enjoys killing the monsters.
Angela's version of the Otherworld is sexual, like James's, with the walls being draped entirely with flesh. The walls in one of her rooms are filled with either pistons or sphincters; either way, they move with a thrust, similar to sexual intercourse, referencing her rape and sexual anguish. Eventually, James encounters her on a burning staircase, which is a psychological reference to her feelings, as she explained to James she always felt like she was in Hell. Again, sexual abuse is referenced, with Angela being found observing a painting showing a corpse draped in a white sheet with a bloodstain at the crotch.
Silent Hill 3EditSilent Hill 3's Otherworld is a throwback to the Otherworld of the original Silent Hill. Many features of that version of the Otherworld return in Heather Mason's own version. Arcane symbols and the Seal of Metatron return, as do the industrial fans, rust and blood. Many walls seem to be made of flesh and burn or bleed when passed (an example being the hall on the third floor of the Otherworld Brookhaven Hospital. Many references to Alessa Gillespie's hospitalization are seen, including wheelchairs, gurneys. Also seen are the "veins" that spread and corrupt what they touch (the mirror scene to the right).
Here, shifts to the Otherworld are done as a fading transition, and are also accompanied by Valtiel, who is commonly seen turning a valve, which could cause one to presume he has control over the shifts. In the Otherworld, stairs and entrances may lead to holes (in the Central Square Shopping Center, the two escalators lead to an open pit where the front entrance was). Unlike the other games of the series, the Otherworld shifts here directly affect Heather, causing her pain as the transition occurs.
Silent Hill 4: The RoomEdit
In Silent Hill 4: The Room, the Otherworld is presented in a whole new manner. Instead of a single world that changes based on the person, there are instead multiple Otherworlds, all linked by long spiral staircases, with human corpses and convulsing babies littering them. At the bottom of each staircase lies Room 302. Most worlds appear quite mundane, much like the Fog World. However, there are the occasional changes, which are similar to the original Otherworld of Silent Hill and Silent Hill 3. For example, in the Subway World, an underground corridor has a pulsating flesh-like interior, which is covered with wire mesh. This version of the Otherworld is more like a dream, and was created by Walter Sullivan as part of the Ritual of the Holy Assumption.
List of Walter Sullivan's OtherworldsEdit
- Subway World
- Forest World
- Water Prison
- Building World
- Apartment World
- Hospital World
- Room 302 of the Past
Silent Hill: OriginsEdit
In Silent Hill: Origins, the Otherworld is triggered by Travis Grady interacting with mirrors. This is due to his mother, Helen Grady, believing that there was a hidden world behind mirrors filled with demons. The Otherworld takes the traditional form of blood and rust in most areas with a few exceptions. Cedar Grove Sanitarium appears more rotten and decayed and less bloody with the cabinets and furniture covered with webs and dust. The stage in Artaud Theater whilst Travis is in the Otherworld takes the form of the play The Tempest with a rotten library, a garden made entirely out of blood and corpses and a similarly blooded cave. In the Otherworld, the monsters' appearances also change, such as the nurses in the sanitarium looking greener and more rotten, and the theater's monsters being covered in blood. Many of the items strewn about the Otherworld are corpses of monsters and lumps of rotting meat.
Silent Hill: HomecomingEditIn Silent Hill: Homecoming, the Otherworld appears much like it did in the first game, being a rusty, industrial place. The industrialized aspects of the Otherworld are more pronounced in this game, with objects such as gears, steam vents, and fans being more common. In Homecoming, the Otherworld's sky is a blazing orange and cloudy rather than an absolute black. Shifts between the dimensions are different as well. Whereas in older games, the change was near instantaneous, in Homecoming, the Fog World's structures, such as walls and floors, all "flake" from the surfaces and reveal a rusted, industrial surface underneath. When returning, the textures of the Fog World just grow back over the Otherworld's environment.This version of the Otherworld is openly hostile to even the members of the Order that live there, as they react very much as they do in the film, panicking and running when the Otherworld begins to take over, and the monsters are visible to the other characters, though it is unknown if they see exactly the same ones as the Alex Shepherd.