- "Dahlia" refers to multiple subjects. See Dahlia for more uses.
|“|| The time is nigh. Everyone will be released from pain and suffering. Our salvation is at hand. This is the day of reckoning. When all our sorrows will be washed away. When we return to the true paradise! My daughter will be the mother of God!
Dahlia Gillespie is a character in Silent Hill, its Play Novel, the film of the same name, and its subsequent sequel. Dahlia also appears in the game's prequel, Silent Hill: Origins, and is re-imagined in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
She is one of the series' first antagonists, being the main antagonist in Silent Hill and Silent Hill: Origins, and is responsible for most of the terrible events that have occurred in Silent Hill. Dahlia is the leader and a priestess of the Order, a cult that worships its own god and is devoted to engineering its birth. Although Dahlia envisions a "paradise", the benevolence of the cult's deity is in doubt.
Dahlia is the abusive mother of Alessa Gillespie; she set Alessa on fire, gave her fourth-degree burns, and kept her in excruciating pain and suffering for seven years, all in the name of her god and religion. There are implications throughout the series that Dahlia would physically abuse and lock Alessa in her attic for refusing to believe and pray to God in order to force her daughter into her religion.
Dahlia is a strong believer in her cult's religion, and her faith is extreme. She follows her faith and its doctrines dogmatically and views her faith and its teachings as truth. It is heavily implied she is involved with the occult and practices dark magic and the like.
She often speaks in mysterious symbolic riddles. Some have called Dahlia "crazy" and "bizarre".
Dahlia wears a ceremonial dress and headdress with a red and black striped tie, and always seems to be barefoot.
When first introduced, Dahlia, although mysterious, appears as a generous figure who wants to put an end to Silent Hill's dark madness. However, as the player uncovers evidence, it gradually becomes clear that Dahlia is hiding her true motives and is actually responsible for demons overrunning the town.
Dahlia has a questionable relationship with her child Alessa. On one hand, it could be easy to label her as an evil, abusive mother who used and sacrificed Alessa for her own personal gain. However, it is unlikely that Dahlia hates or despises Alessa; it is more probable that Dahlia has a warped view of love towards Alessa. Dahlia once told Alessa "it's for your own good, too", and called Alessa her "dear" girl. In Origins, Dahlia says that Alessa is with those who "care" for her. Dahlia probably forces her own religion onto Alessa because she truly believes in its teachings and wants Alessa to be "saved".
The same could be said as to how Alessa views Dahlia, and Alessa could be thought of as a victim of this warped love, perhaps as a form of traumatic bonding. Heather Mason, the reincarnation of Alessa, once said "24 years ago, Mo... Dahlia used me to summon God", implying that "Alessa" doesn't want to acknowledge Dahlia as her actual mother. Before her immolation, Alessa once said she wanted to be with Dahlia, suggesting that Alessa's view of her mother took a severe nosedive after the suffering she went through as a result of Dahlia's actions.
Dahlia was the proprietor of the Green Lion Antiques store in Central Silent Hill, which has had a secret church connected to it. It is also rumored that she has a side business of magic spells and fortune-telling to her customers. Any information regarding Dahlia's husband or partner is unknown. Dahlia and Alessa lived together in a house in Silent Hill's business district.
Alessa's presence has summoned poltergeist activity since she was a child. These disturbances, along with Alessa's latent telekinetic abilities, branded her as a witch by her classmates. Dahlia knew of her daughter's powers and surmised they were linked to the dark "god" which the Order worshiped.
Hoping to "birth" her god through Alessa, Dahlia used occult rituals to impregnate her in an attempt to summon the ancient god of the town. One of these rituals resulted in a house fire with Alessa trapped inside. Although the fire was ruled an accident, Alessa was left completely disfigured from the resultant burns. Through the use of a magical incantation invoked by her mother, Alessa lingered despite her fatal injuries and was placed in the care of Dr. Michael Kaufmann, a cult affiliate and director of Alchemilla Hospital. Dahlia had an alliance with Kaufmann centered around drugs (PTV).
While the constant torture of her wounds helped refine Alessa's reality-bending powers, she had resisted being used as a container for the "god", and her soul split in two halves, using a form of bilocation in order to escape her torment. Her other form, a newborn, was discovered by Harry Mason and his wife, who named her Cheryl and raised her as their own. Dahlia, meanwhile, decided to use a "summoning spell" to lure Alessa's other half back to Silent Hill.
During the seven years that followed, Kaufmann grew impatient after waiting for the return he had been promised (wealth, presumably) for his role in the conspiracy, leading to a falling out with Dahlia. Kaufmann stashed vials of Aglaophotis, a chemical capable of "aborting" the demon in Alessa and ending Dahlia's plans, in case she ever turned on him.
Beyond her involvement in Silent Hill and Silent Hill 3, Dahlia has also been given connection to the serial killer Walter Sullivan. When Walter was a young boy, Dahlia told him that his mother was "asleep" in Ashfield. Throughout the diary entries in the Forest World, Walter called her the "important lady". Further connection between Dahlia and Walter can be found in the Wish House Orphanage just before the death of Jasper Gein, where Henry Townshend can find a note asking if Alessa has been found and also requesting a report of Walter's progress, supposedly referring to the 21 Sacraments and the hastening of God's arrival.
Silent Hill: Origins
Silent Hill: Origins is a prequel to the first game. When Travis Grady sees the burning Gillespie house, he notices a younger Dahlia, who slinks away, near the home.
She appears later in the game in the Cedar Grove Sanitarium, telling Travis to quit his quest to help her daughter. As well, she fully admits to burning her daughter.
After Travis explores Alchemilla Hospital, she appears to him just before Alessa unleashes all her power on Silent Hill. When Travis reaches the ritual room in Green Lion Antiques, her voice is heard along with Kaufmann's.
During the Good ending, she and Dr. Kaufmann plot to return the young, pure baby to Silent Hill. Dahlia states that she will use a summoning spell to compel Cheryl to reunite with her other half Alessa.
Dahlia meets Harry Mason in Balkan Church, likely to trick him into believing she is a Christian and not a cultist. Dahlia gives him the Flauros and tells him to make haste to the hospital. She gives hints to Harry throughout the game of where he might find his daughter. She also confides that the town is being devoured by darkness. Adding to the urgency of Dahlia's mission is the "Mark of Samael", a mystical crest which Alessa is allegedly inscribing throughout the town. The function and meaning of the symbol is unexplained, but Dahlia is most anxious to capture Alessa before she can create any more. She tells Harry that if all of the seals are complete, all is lost and, "Even in daytime, darkness will cover the sun, the dead will walk and martyrs will burn in the fires of hell. Everyone will die!"
Dahlia emerges a second time in Alchemilla Hospital and impatiently tells Harry that he is wasting time. The novelization reveals Dahlia came to the hospital to ransack Kaufmann's office and destroy his sample of Aglaophotis. (Fortunately for Kaufmann, he had another vial located in a motorcycle. If Harry decides to save Kaufmann from a monster attack in Annie's Bar, Kaufmann immediately heads off to retrieve this other vial). Dahlia orders Harry to go to the "other church" in the town and gives him a key that unlocks her antique shop.
Taking the bait, Harry confronts Alessa at Lakeside Amusement Park and pleads with her to let Cheryl go. In response, Alessa telekinetically shoves Harry back and uses a force field on him. The Flauros activates by itself and neutralizes Alessa using an energized ray of light. The Flauros beam causes Alessa to scream and fall to the floor. Dahlia arrives and scolds Alessa for her recent behavior, and in response, Alessa tells her mother to get away from her. A confused Harry is then transported to Nowhere, where he has been completely removed from reality and is in Alessa's subconscious domain of her memories.
In the finale, Dahlia waits with Alessa in a void at the edge of the Otherworld. When Harry finally reaches Dahlia, Cheryl and Alessa have rejoined bodies and she attempts to explain their connection, although her cryptic speech frustrates Harry. She later confesses that the talisman Alessa is using does not belong to Samael, but to Metatron. Dahlia fully intends for Harry to survive, despite Alessa using her reality-bending powers to hinder his progress. In that sense, Harry is Dahlia's pawn. Dahlia prepares the ritual to birth God using Alessa.
At this point, the player's actions affect the outcome of the scene, although Dahlia's fate is the same. If Harry didn't save Kaufmann in the bar, Alessa morphs into her Incubator boss form and sets Dahlia on fire. If Kaufmann lives, he appears unexpectedly and shoots Dahlia with a revolver. He then throws his vial of Aglaophotis at Alessa, which shatters and causes the Incubus to be expelled from her back. Wounded, but still living, Dahlia is then set aflame by the demon and dies, almost as a sort of karmic justice for burning her own daughter.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
- Main article: Dahlia Mason
Dahlia's appearance and background is drastically altered in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, instead appearing to Harry Mason as his lover and then wife. Despite the differences, she still runs a pawn shop and is the mother of Cheryl, who is partially a composite of Alessa. She is also still encountered by Harry at a re-imagined Balkan.
Silent Hill film
- Main article: Dahlia Gillespie (film)
Dahlia appears in the Silent Hill film and Silent Hill: Revelation. She still often speaks in cryptic rhyme. She retains her role as a member of a fanatical cult and the mother of Alessa, but with her motives switched.
This version of Dahlia loves Alessa, but she allows her sister Christabella to trick her into letting the Brethren "purify" Alessa due to her being born out of wedlock. To Dahlia's horror, this turns out to mean they intend to have her child burned alive. As punishment for failing Alessa, Dahlia is dragged into the Otherworld, where she is forced to watch her daughter's murderous rage manifest itself.
|“|| She is named after a former wife of film director Dario Argento. Argento has made many horror movies, like Suspiria, and is a master of the genre.
Silent Hill: Origins
- "Alessa is with those who care for her. Do not trust her, Travis. She does not know what she is doing."
- "The world is stranger than you think."
- "You want out? Far too late for that. Even with your misguided help, she can't stop us now. The ceremony begins soon. Finally, she will birth God! Here she comes. Look upon what you have wrought!"
- "Leave it be. It is a cage for a demon. Contained, his power will focus yours. Release him, and we will all burn in the fires of Hell."
- "I've been expecting you. It was foretold by Gyromancy. I knew you'd come. You want the girl, right? I see everything."
- "Stay back! Nothing is to be gained from floundering about at random. You must follow the path of the hermit concealed by Flauros."
- "This is beyond my abilities. Only you can stop it now."
- "Darkness. The town is being devoured by darkness! Strength must overcome petty desire, childish sleep talk! I knew this day would come..."
- "The Demon is awakening! Spreading those wings! Was it not as I said? I see it all now. Yes, everything. Hungry for sacrifice, the demon will swallow up the land. I knew this day would come. And what's more, the task is almost finished. There's only two left, to seal this town to the abyss, the mark of Samael. When it is completed, all is lost. Even in daytime, darkness will cover the sun. The dead will walk, and martyrs will burn in the fires of hell! Everyone will DIE!"
- "It is simple. Stop the demon! The demon! The demon taking that child's form! Stop it before your daughter becomes a sacrifice. Before it is too late! Stop it. Stop it."
- "We meet at last, Alessa. Alessa. This is the end of your little game."
- "You've been a ghastly little pest, haven't you Alessa? I was careless thinking you couldn't escape from our spell. But Mommy didn't realize how much you'd grown. That's why I couldn't catch you by myself. But what a pity, yes? Now you're half indebted to this man for his help."
- "Alessa. My dear little girl... There is one thing left I need you to do for me."
- "Bad girl..."
- "The other half is not lost. We'll use a magic spell. Hearing this child's pain, it is sure to come."
- "Come! Come along! Do what Mommy tells you now. I just want you to lend me a teeny bit of your power. That's all. It will make everyone happy and it's for your own good, too."
- "Herein lies the mother's womb, containing the power to create life. I could've done it all myself."
- "This is a god! Descended among us to reach out and save us!"
- A character named Parkins Gillespie appears in Stephen King's novel 'Salem's Lot. Given the influence King's works have had on the series, this may have inspired Dahlia's surname.
- In the opening video of the game, Dahlia appears to be running away from something in some sort of temple, though it is unknown exactly what she was fleeing from; it is also a mystery what this location is. It could also be a scene of her having sensed Cheryl Mason's arrival.
- Dahlia's character and personality frequently change throughout the Silent Hill franchise, more than any other character. Almost every new interpretation of Dahlia is separate from the last. In the original game as well as Origins, she was a religious zealot, whereas in the film, she was a sympathetic victim of the Brethren. In Shattered Memories, she was completely re-imagined as Harry's wife/Cheryl's mother. No other character has been so drastically altered both physically and emotionally between different installments of the series.
- Dahlia says that she used gyromancy to foretell Harry's involvement in Silent Hill. This is most likely a lie, as she set the events in motion, but if it were true, perhaps she was adept in black magic.
- In the scene at the end of Silent Hill where she announces the birth of Samael, there is a typo in the subtitles, spelling "neigh" instead of "nigh".
- In Silent Hill 3, Vincent tells Heather Mason (the reincarnation of Alessa) about Dahlia and that "she is your mother". This was revised in the Silent Hill HD Collection to say "she was your mother".
- Her black and red tie can be speculated to signify that she is acting as the voice of the cult. The necktie is an evolved form of the cravat, originally a piece of clothing worn by ancient Roman orators, possibly in an effort to keep the vocal folds warm and supple. Given Dahlia's high position in the Order's clergy, she may wear the tie as clerical clothing.
- It is possible that the confessor in Silent Hill 3 is meant to be Dahlia, despite their voices being different. However, it may be possible that the character was supposed to be a spiritual manifestation of Dahlia, but the developers of Silent Hill 3 couldn't get Liz Mamorsky back and were forced to use another voice actor, Lenne Hardt, instead. Her "poor murdered daughter" could be Alessa Gillespie, and the "girl whose life I have taken" could be Cheryl Mason. Perhaps part of Dahlia's soul and spirit remained in the Otherworld for 17 years, and after being in a "purgatory" for so long, she has finally realized the errors of her ways and begs for Alessa's/God's forgiveness.
- In the Alice Darling Memorial Playground of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, a teddy bear can be seen in a dumpster wearing the same striped tie Dahlia wore in the original Silent Hill.
- In Silent Hill: Downpour, when protagonist Murphy Pendleton rides the Devil's Train in order to continue through the Devil's Pit Mine, he hears the recorded history of the mines. It was established in 1816 by a company known as Gillespie Iron & Coal, implying Dahlia's actual family history within the town.