For most of us horror fanatics who enjoy the gore and fear of the dark, Silent Hill is a gold mine collection of movies and games. While Silent Hill is located in either West Virginia (for the movie fans) or Maine (for the game fans), the real town is actually located in Pennsylvania. It is known as Centralia, and it is actually an old mining town. There are real fires burning underneath the area, and have been since an incident in 1962. This fire turned the booming city into a ghost lurking, not even map dot worthy, location. The underground fire, which produces constant streams of toxic gas into the city air had war waged upon it for almost 20 years, however all efforts to quench the inferno failed and eventually halted. The gases, sinkholes, and flames that resulted destroyed nearly the entire town over the years following the accident.
With the entrance of the 1990s also came the government to Centralia, condemning homes, and relocating people. By 2002 there were not enough residents to call the place a town, and the state was trying to remove anyone who remained, so the zip code, which marks a city as official, was revoked. This left the few remaining citizens to scrape what living they could. In 2012 the battle was still raging between the court and a total of seven citizens who refused to have to leave their homes. The argument was brought up that the fires have died down now and the air quality is no longer any worse than in another polluted PA city, Lancaster. However the court squashed that as well, so now the citizens are attempting a last ditch effort to protect their homes by calling fraud on the county.
The little speck of a town barely consists of anything anymore. Foliage is beginning to return, and due to the fact all abandoned homes were destroyed by the county the city looks like a raggedly paved set of fields. A church still exists and hosts services every Sunday for the people still hanging on to their homesteads. Several commentaries also seem to be still well intact, and unbothered, after all what wants to mess with the dead?
While Centralia was the main inspiration for the Silent Hill collection, it was not the only one. King, the one and only Stephen King, was also and inspiration for Silent Hill. One of King’s readers favorite work’s, Carrie, was partly responsible for the creation of our beloved Silent Hill collection. This is in obvious reference to Alessa and her mother. The Mist was another of King’s inspirational works for Silent Hill, and it is self-explanatory for anyone who has read the book. Then there is Bachman Rd. as another Stephen King reference, Richard Bachman was his pseudonym for a while. There are so many author references in the street names it would be ridiculous to list them all. There are also multiple film inspirations including The Exorcist 3.
Silent Hill pulls some devastating rank in great inspirations.