Nightmare Fuel / Silent Hill 3

In a series with some of the scariest things in gaming history, many consider Silent Hill 3 to be the most terrifying out of all of them. With very good reason.

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    Level - Brookhaven Hospital 
  • On Hard Riddle mode, there's a poem that starts out talking about someone's beautiful eyes, and ends up being about gouging said person's eyes out. It's a clue to unlocking one of the doors to the patient wards.
    • Even worse, there's the possibility that Stanley wrote this poem for Heather. Eep.
  • Out of the many horrifying moments in Brookhaven Hospital is the bit in the basement where you find the Submachine Gun. As one poster on put it:
    "You get into the basement of the hospital, and this eerie creak, creak, creak, creeeeak, creeeeeeaaaaak, creeeee.... sound fills the room, slowing to a halt. Round the corner, and it's an overturned wheelchair, one wheel still spinning aimlessly in the air. Then you get closer, and when the camera turns, you see the seat is covered in blood, and it's smeared all down the hallway and around the corner. Worse yet is when you round the corner, and the trail leads into the elevator - which is open just the tiniest bit."
    • What makes it worse is that eventually the wheel will stop spinning. Implying that whatever happened down there didn't happen long ago...
    • The room where you pick up the SMG at the end is frightening, too. The blood trail leads down to it, and in it you find the SMG in front of an inoperable elevator. The walls and elevator doors are smeared with blood and bullet holes, and the SMG itself is empty. The way the bullet holes are arranged, it looks like someone (potentially the someone in the wheelchair) started firing at something in the elevator, before the weapon got knocked out of their hands. Who was this person? Where are they? What were they shooting at? True to tradition in this series, you never find out.
  • A decidedly different brand of HONF from SH3: while in Brookhaven Hospital, you find all these notes written by a guy named Stanley Coleman, and there's always a little doll next to them. The messages mainly consist of him saying he loves Heather, how he can't wait to meet her, asking her why she won't take the doll he left for her, and all sorts of other creepy, stalkerish stuff (with the occasional hint for a nearby puzzle).
    • What's worse is when you backtrack to an area where you found one of these notes and it's not there anymore. Basically, he's following you around and watching your every move.
    • What's even worse than that is that Stanley's actually dead. A phone call Heather receives wishes her a happy birthday and tells her that Stanley's new name is "7". Go to the basement where you have to solve the stretcher number puzzle and stand by the one with a 7 on it. That faint voice you just heard? That's Stanley whispering Heather's name.
  • In one part of the hospital, you enter a room with a row of doors to padded cells. There's a memo on the wall telling you that a hospital chief locked a nurse inside a cell as punishment. A comment below says that the chief was a pervert and it would've been better if the nurse was fired. When you enter one of the padded cells you encounter a nurse monster. It's kinda creepy in making you wonder what the connection is between the monsters and the inhabitants of Silent Hill. And also creepy in what it implies about how the hospital was run.
  • When climbing up a long red ladder in the Otherworld hospital you pass Valtiel turning his valve, a corpse of a nurse and a large picture of Lisa's smile on the wall.

    Level - Lakeside Amusement Park 
The Amusement Park is notable for the fact that only its Otherworld is explored in gameplay, so technically it does belong in the Otherworld folder. However, it's in this folder for more ease in locating.
  • Three words: Red light chase.
    • Three more words: Borley Haunted Mansion.
      "It wasn't supposed to stop there, I assure you." Seriously Konami, what the FUCK were you thinking?
    • What makes the Haunted Mansion so bad is the deliberately cheesy horror announcer voice there. After the first room with the Lightning Reveal of the hanging corpse in the window, it's easy to figure the game's giving you a breather, since that "scare" is more funny than anything else. So you enter the next room, just looking around...and out pops Danny. Hello, heart attack.
      • Heather apparently wonders what the fuck they were thinking, too. Examining "Danny" gives you the bit of information that he is, in fact, a real corpse, and Heather asks what kind of sicko would do this.
      • In Hard Mode, you actually have to press a button to hunch down, because the ceiling DOES drop low enough to kill you otherwise.
    • Probably the most horrifying thing about the red light chase is that the player never learns what's causing it.
  • The carousel. It starts off creepy enough, with those weird, poison-breathing flesh horses you have to kill to progress. But when you do, the carousel starts sinking into the ground, and the horses turn into what I can only describe as ghost-horses, while that creepy Otherworld music plays. And then the Memory of Alessa shows up...
    • Not to mention the horses cry out in pain when you hit them, almost as if they were alive...

  • "Monsters? They look like monsters to you?"
    • To elaborate: the only other people in the town who see the monsters as well as you are the local insane evil death cult. Who are insane. One of the cultists, Vincent, poses the above question to Heather. Who's to say your character isn't just as delusional as they are and wandering around killing innocent people who he/she just thinks are monsters? To everyone else, it could just be a perfectly normal town that happens to attract serial killers — maybe because the death cult itself is driving people insane. In fact, a couple of the games even hint at this if you know where to look.
      • In the 30-minute movie The Making of Silent Hill 3, one of the creators of the game brought this up and said that there was, in fact, a high possibility that you could be killing people you knew or otherwise innocent bystanders. Sweet Jesus.
      • The sheer number of monsters Heather encounters makes it hard for her to be killing ordinary people all over the city she lives in and the town. If that's the case, she would have to be in another dimension partially, so that police officers couldn't easily shoot her down and end her killing spree. The alternative is worse, though. If Silent Hill is a town of spirits, and people who die there are trapped forever, then you could conceivably be killing the spirits of the people who have died there as you see them in different forms, over and over again, all the way from the time the cult was founded in the 1800's. Consider the town is referred to as the Place of the Silent Spirits in Silent Hill 2. This is confirmed partly by the developers stating that Lisa's soul is still in torment in Silent Hill 3 after what she did in Silent Hill 1. If Lisa is strapped to a rusty ceiling and being tortured by Valtiel for ostensibly doing nothing wrong, who's to say the 'monsters' you encounter aren't the ghosts of ordinary people who have died in the town and are now trapped in the Otherworld thanks to the cult's corruption? They could be anyone - innocent people, criminals, even children...anyone who's died in the town. That would explain why the dead guy James finds in Silent Hill 2 at the beginning saw a demon, while his friend saw something else. It's not a hallucination being pulled out of thin air. What you're seeing is the spirit of someone who has died in the town and is now helpless to control their fate, used as a pawn by the town for its purposes. In other words, it's the worst Purgatory you can possibly imagine.
      • At first, this infamous theory doesn't seem to make sense. If the monsters and demons are actually innocent people, why do they actively attack Heather? Why does Heather actually get hurt in the "real world" if it's all an illusion? An alternative explanation: the monsters could indeed actually be humans, but they're either insane criminals or Claudia's Order minions (who again, are insane). This would mean that the Order has become so powerful that they can openly attack people in the streets (or malls and train stations), and no one who happens to be watching can do anything about it.
      • Unless you look like a monster to them. You are carrying a weapon, there's probably bits of 'monster' blood and... other stuff stuck to your skin and hair and clothes, and you're staring at them. All of this would probably lead to most people trying to attack you and probably kill you.
      • This is further supported by the Book of Lost Memories, which states that the Missionary boss is a transformed cultist.
      • What makes it even worse is the camera switches to first person. Doubled up with the fact he's telling her she enjoys killing the "monsters" and hearing their screams, it seems like he isn't talking to Heather. He's talking to YOU.
      • Just a thing: Vincent's part of an insane cult who worships the monsters as angels. Hence, he probably didn't mean 'They're humans' More 'Our angels look like monsters to you?'
      • He does follow it up with "Just joking," and he's enough of a Troll for it to be in-character. Alternately, some of the monsters are figments of Silent Hill and others are human, and Heather just sees them as monsters due to Alessa's influence. Heather might see Leonard as a monster, for example, because Alessa remembers him as being an abusive 'monster' to Claudia; she might see hospital staff as Nurses because Alessa identifies them with Lisa and/or Kaufmann.
      • While Vincent certainly isn't sane, he never appears to be as unhinged as the other cultists. To him, the church is more like a business. His whole motivation for helping Heather kill God is that it would negatively affect his profits. In addition, he makes a comment not long after asking Heather whether or not everything in town is just part of her delusional mindset, further blurring the line between fantasy and reality. If the monsters truly are the other cultists or innocent people, he's got the best chance of seeing it out of the principal cast (except maybe Douglas).

    Miscellaneous Scares 
  • The demo cinematic for Silent Hill 3 does a good job of showing sort of what you're in for - bits and pieces from the cutscenes, all set to You're Not Here, which makes it quite an enjoyable opening...until, for a brief few seconds, you see an dead Heather on the ground while a humanoid monster picks up and spreads her legs apart. Knowing that it's Valtiel about to drag her dead body off to complete the rebirth of God only slightly lessens the impact.
  • Valtiel. That he is completely non-aggressive arguably makes him worse, as that means he's always lurking nearby, watching and waiting, head twitching spasmodically in a way no human could possibly do. When Heather dies, he also sometimes appears to drag her dead body away.
  • The ghost in the subway. That insane breathing he makes as he runs up behind you and shoves you onto the tracks. Then you only have a few seconds at best to get back onto the platform, before the killer subway car roars in to make you go splat.
    • A newspaper clipping found nearby states that a man was decapitated after falling onto the tracks. Keep that in mind when you hear the breathing sound that ghost makes...
  • At the construction site area of the game, the player comes to a flight of stairs that they must climb all the way to the top. The trip is pretty uneventful, with the area being nearly dead silent, but once the top is reached and the doorway is crossed, there is a chance that fast moderately-heavy footsteps can be heard, seemingly coming up from below. Nothing is there. (The scare itself manifests possibly due to Akira Yamaoka's soundtrack rather than due to level ambiance.)
  • Three words: Screaming decapitated mannequin.
    • Still more three words: Robbie the Rabbit. This thing is for the most part completely immobile, but its aesthetic alone is more than enough to cause some long-term sleep apnea. Just its presence in the Park is jarring, and the fact that they're plentiful - and all dead - gives the locale a beautifully terrifying spice.
      • In the right place at the right angle you can even see one or two Robbies under the grating of the amusement park. What on earth are they doing there?!
  • You know it's bad if a scare is cut out of Silent Hill for being too disturbing. On the disk, there is a dummied out sound file of a baby crying. It was supposed to play in certain areas. It apparently was too much and they removed it. Here is a video of the sound file extracted from the PC version. Determine for yourself if Konami was right for cutting it from the game.
  • The soundtrack, as usual for a Silent Hill game, is superbly creepy. Stand-out examples include "The Nightmare Mall," "Nightmare Office Building," and "Memory of Alessa" tunes.
  • Some of the ambient noises can be pretty freakish.
  • There's a spot in the underpass where if you head toward a particular dead end, a faraway-sounding voice yells, "Nooo!". It momentarily stopped this troper's heart, and made her question if it just happened. It had.

    The Otherworld 
  • Three words: Bloody mirror room.
  • The hospital and amusement park are cakewalks compared to the church, especially when the level, already taken over from the get-go by the Otherworld, decides to get even freakier by getting taken over by the same horrors as the mirror room in the hospital.
  • The walls of the hospital and church look as if they're covered in pulsing flesh, blood everywhere you look, disturbing sights like a small picture of a screaming mouth with blood coming from it...
  • Not long before the final boss battle when Heather vomits up the fetus of the 'god' which was developing inside her, and Claudia, who desperately wants the 'god' to be born, EATS THE FETUS AND BIRTHS IT HERSELF.
  • At the end of the game, in the chapel, there's a room with nothing but loads and loads of corpses, stuffed into bags and hastily hidden behind the walls. There's so many they're actually spilling out from the walls, and are strewn haphazardly all over the floor, as if it was too much trouble to hide them all. It's a sudden moment of shock that's in such stark contrast to the games usual subtle Mind Screw; you've been going the whole game in Nothing Is Scarier territory, and then you find that room.
  • A more low-key scare in the Chapel is Harry's room in the Chapel. There's no explanation for why there's an exact copy of his room there, as well as why it looks like he apparently got up out of his deathbed and streaked blood all over the floors and walls.
  • There's this moment in the mall Otherworld where you enter a bathroom with a stall that is locked. When you knock, someone on the other side knocks back, prompting Heather to wonder if there's someone actually in there. When you turn around to leave, the stall door creaks open. It's empty. Nothing walked past you, it couldn't have gotten through a window without a good deal of fuss, but something knocked back.
    • Also, the toilet and everything around it is covered in blood.
  • One room in the Otherworld chapel has four Scrapers in it. Also, there is nothing in this room of value. Just Scrapers.
  • Another room is dark and covered in strange pulsing material... if you wait a while it slowly begins to clear and then form strange moving patterns unseen anywhere else in the game.
  • There's bodies covered in bloody sheets on stretchers found all throughout the Otherworlds. Sometimes body parts such as legs appear to be lying beside the stretchers. Also bloodied and disfigured bodies seem to be hanging in cages or on wires in some Otherworlds like in the Hilltop Center. In the stairwell of the Hilltop Center, Heather comments that one of the bodies seems like it was hanged but also has burn marks on it.
  • The Otherworld mall with it's dark corners and unnerving music is pretty scary. Down one particular path past a giant fan there's little to be found except a body on a gurney, that and some creepy female howling and moaning coming from behind the walls somewhere...
  • After the Hilltop Center changes to the Otherworld, Heather passes what appears to be a crucified body with a picture of Lisa's smile covering its face and tubes of blood coming from its arms. In the next room there's a baby doll sitting on a wheelchair and a corpse hanging from the ceiling holding another baby doll. It was quite unnerving.