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Nightmare Fuel / Silent Hill

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • It's notable how infrequently the game will try to Jump Scare you outright, rather the game works by playing you subtly with its startling imagery. When a jump scare finally comes, it's a complement to the already miserable nightmare you're trapped in and can feel like game "earned it", even having a sense of awesomeness to it thanks to the buildup. Still, the first time playing can be tense as you may be expecting to be startled suddenly but the game usually holds back and simply lets the visuals and strange sounds unsettle you.
  • Due to the graphical limitations of the time, the monsters are much more blocky and lower resolution than when the series leapt forward to Silent Hill 2 on the PS2. This adds a degree of vagueness to the monsters as though you can't quite get a good look at them, and the imagination fills in the blanks. As it turns out, graphical constraints also make the world look like a bad dream due to how illegible a lot of things are.
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  • It's not as pronounced as in later games, but the fog obscures everything more than a few feet away. It creates a claustrophobic atmosphere, but you know full well that something is always lurking nearby. The flap of wings, clicking of claws and the radio warning you that there's something nasty just out of sight make sure of it.
  • Don't forget the opening sequence. The foggy world itself isn't so bad since there's nothing to hurt you, but as you progress down the alleyway, things start to take a frightening turn; the fog turns darker and more harsh, the snow turns to rain, the walls become dingy and dirty and there's rusty fencing popping up all around you. Then you reach the end and see the corpse, and then the children come... and for bonus points, if you try to run back the way you came, it's inexplicably closed off now. Between the camera angles, horrible noise, and murky visuals, this part perfectly encapsulates what you're about to spend the next several hours experiencing.
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  • Some of the rooms in the Otherworld feature noises that just... don't make sense. At least in the context of the environment. One room in the Alternate Hospital has the sound of glass breaking repeatedly, even though there's no glass to be found. And the room is empty. The sound will persist until it no longer becomes startling, but oddly threatening.
  • The Larval Stalkers. Small, child-like entities wrapped in darkness that tumble around and make bizarre squeaky noises. Their first few appearances can be startling, especially if you don't know whether they're hostile or not. Later in the game, that ambivalence proves to be a valid perspective.
  • The air raid siren when warping into the Otherworld. Though it manages to double as a Most Wonderful Sound, as it also heralds the return of the less frightening fog world.
  • The first appearance of the Floatstinger will freak out anyone with entomophobia. It's a colossal moth with a stinger as thick as a telephone pole, and it can spit acid.
  • When traversing the streets from the hospital to the antique shop, the "music" consists of a high-pitched buzzing/squealing noise, thought by some to be the radio signaling the intensifying evil presence. And of course, you end up in the Dark World again shortly after. Similar but even more earsplittingly scary music is used during the Final Boss battle.
  • Lisa's classic line is simultaneously this trope and a Tear Jerker: "I'm the same as them,", followed by blood gushing from an unseen wound in her head as she slowly staggers towards Harry. Even worse when you realize that she wanted you to help... and even as Harry pushes her away, you can't help but think that you'd do the same. Then there's her appearing out of nowhere to drag Kaufmann into the abyss in the Good and Good+ endings. While it definitely counts as a Karmic Death on multiple levels, it's still no less horrifying.
    • Her diary, which you find on the ground after this scene, contains some of the best and creepiest writing in the game.
      "Blood and pus ooze from the bathroom faucet. I try to stop it, but it won't turn off."
  • In the Bad ending, Harry's been Dead All Along. It gets worse when you think about it. Considering Silent Hill's nature as a Genius Loci Eldritch Location, that is explicitly stated to warp reality in relation to the people trapped there, and considering that the Bad Ending involves both failing to save Cybil AND failing to save Alessa/Cheryl, and ends with Harry collapsing in despair as Nowhere burns down around him, it's entirely possible that Harry's death in the ending is a twisted variation of Ret-Gone for failing completely to save anyone.
  • The school's locker room and the cat.
  • Some of the posters on the walls can be pretty disturbing, despite the blocky texture work. The children's drawings are particularly creepy, but there's something about the "Dog Kill Cat" posters in the school that will haunt your mind.
  • In the Midwich Elementary School, when Harry goes into one of the girl's bathrooms, you hear a girl crying in one of the stalls. It comes straight out of left field.note 
  • On your first visit to Alchemilla hospital, the place is very quiet aside from meeting Kaufmann, and mostly locked up. All you can do is Try Everything in a manner of speaking and ride the elevator up to all the upper floors to find the hallway doors locked. Then, you return to the elevator and find a button for a 4th floor that wasn't there before. This takes you to a hallway that seems to exist only to provide a bridge into the Otherworld; as you progress, you hear the doors locking themselves behind you.
  • During the last stretch of the Nowhere stage, you find a room with a refrigerator in the center, and there's a dagger nailed into it. If you pay attention to the sound, you can hear a faint banging noise even before you get close. When you examine the fridge, it shows that the dagger is keeping the doors stuck closed, and there's a broken chain missing one link under it. Take the dagger (a key item) regardless? Enjoy watching Harry get dragged into the abyss by a mass of tentacles that burst from inside the now unlocked fridge as soon you move away.solution 
  • Fighting Puppet Cybil near the end of the game. In one of the CG cutscenes, she is sitting in a wheelchair, wakes up and staggers towards you with blood-red eyes. The boss also can and will shoot at you with a gun, and has a very disturbing laugh when the merry-go-round activates. If you didn't get the red liquid in the hospital, the only way out of the fight is to attack the boss until another CG scene triggers, which shows Cybil puking blood all over the place before she dies. Keep in mind as well that you have ''no idea'' what the Unknown Liquid does or is for, and you can't find out until LONG after it's too late to get it, and only if you complete an optional sidequest, so it's likely that most players, unless they're thorough, ''won't'' be able to save her the first time around. Taking it a step further, failing to complete that sidequest AND failing to save Cheryl leads to the Bad Ending. Have fun!
  • While most Silent Hill tracks are truly beautiful and melodic, some tracks are the noises nightmares are made of.
    • "My Heaven". Ironic Name taken Up to Eleven. It sounds like horrible laughter mixed with a distorted dentist's drill and rhythmic banging on a metal drum. It's almost a nauseating Brown Note. Quite possibly the crowning moment of horrid un-sound of all the Silent Hill soundtracks.
    • "I'll Kill You". It's used very sparingly throughout the game, but try listening to it when you're alone and see if your hair doesn't stand completely on end.
    • There's also the moth battle theme and the Nowhere "musics".
    • Never Again, a track made with the absolute intent of making you uncomfortable. Once the actual music and bassline abruptly cut off halfway in, you're left with only the rising, screechy noise that comes to a sudden stop; it's terrifying enough to make you believe something is going to grab you from behind the more you listen to it.
  • The moaning and gurgling noises made by the Grey Children are creepy enough in the final game, but they were even worse in the demo version: the completely unmodified sounds of giggling infants, which were extremely disturbing in that context.
  • Behold what happens when you intentionally corrupt the game during emulation. There are some funny character movement and animation glitches, but there are also some highly surreal graphical glitches and some of the sound effects and music become horrifically distorted and high-pitched, including the game's infamous siren. Worst part is, it doesn't feel as out-of-place for the series as you may think at first.
  • A couple years ago at the time of writing, data miners were able to hack their way into the game's files and uncover several prototype monsters, complete with animations. There may have been a valid reason they were dropped, as they were their own special brand of terrifying. Especially the "Chicken" monster. Do. Not. Want. It's like Evangelion if the Angels were co-designed by David Lynch.


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