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Good luck, Murphy. I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for.
—Howard meeting Murphy

Howard Blackwood is a character from Silent Hill: Downpour, Silent Hill: Book of Memories and the comics Past Life and Anne's Story.

He was Silent Hill's postmaster in the 19th century, much to Jebediah Foster's surprise as he is an African American "negro". Howard is also alive in the 21st century, still a postman, which has led many to speculate that Silent Hill has possibly rendered him essentially immortal.

Background

Apparently, Howard has a very detailed story which dates back to before the founding of the town as "Silent Hill". Silent Hill became an official town in the early 1800s, but it is unknown how "far back" Howard has existed.

Past Life

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Howard in Past Life.

Howard is the first person that Jebediah and Esther Munroe meet on their way to Silent Hill. Early on, he gives subtle indications that he has intimate knowledge of the goings on of Silent Hill, both mundane and esoteric. He shows an incredibly calm and friendly demeanor in every situation he encounters.

When asked how long he's been in Silent Hill, Howard responds, "A long time... A very long time." Jebediah then comes to confide in Howard, telling him of his terrible past. It is during this conversation that Howard has a flashback which reveals that he was either a slave tracker or an overseer before being drawn to the town.

Later, Howard Blackwood senses something happening at the Munroe House. After Inola has Esther given birth to Awinita, Howard calmly inquires about the house on fire, and Inola replies that the spirits of Silent Hill are no longer silent, that the fires burn for them, and that "they've only just begun..."

Silent Hill: Downpour

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Howard meeting Murphy Pendleton.

In Silent Hill: Downpour, it is possible that Howard is fulfilling a Full Circle. Howard himself has been delivering mail in Silent Hill for over a century. Though it is never revealed exactly who or why, Howard mentions that he had killed someone in apparent self-defense once, which could be a transgression that led him Full Circle.

Howard's first appearance in Downpour has him encountering Murphy Pendleton, around the time where Murphy first enters Silent Hill near the Devil's Pitstop, and makes a remark regarding the car Murphy was examining. Murphy, cautious of Howard's obvious awareness of his convict status (due to his prisoner uniform), tells him that he doesn't want any trouble and he just wants a way out of town, to which Howard, surprised, says that he's just trying to be helpful and informs him that all the roads are out. Murphy then notices a figure in the window of the diner's hotel, but Howard seems to be oblivious of it. Howard then suggests to Murphy that he can use the old sky tram in order to get to town, despite it not being used since the Devil's Pit accident. Murphy says that he'll take his chances and Howard wishes him good luck in finding whatever it is that he's "looking for," and departs to deliver the mail. Murphy decides to check on the window again and asks Howard the name of the town, but later notices Howard mysteriously gone without a trace, despite there being a road cave-in.

In his second appearance, Howard meets Murphy in the Hillside Apartments rear entrance and unintentionally scares Murphy. Howard questions Murphy still being in town, to which Murphy replies with not having found an exit yet. Howard remarks that if he got a nickel for every time he heard people say that, then he wouldn't be a mail-man at this point. Murphy, frustrated with Howard's cryptic speech, demands him to tell him what's going on in Silent Hill, to which Howard, confused, replies with it being a very busy town. Murphy brushes off Howard's statement and asks him where the radio station is, due to DJ Ricks putting out dedications to him and is informed it's in the Centennial Building. He also tells Murphy that he ran into Anne Marie Cunningham and asks Murphy what he did to make her so angry, much to Murphy's confusion. Howard then remarks that in his experience, if someone is that angry, then it's personal. Leaving a confused Murphy behind, he again walks off deeper into the cursed town.

In his third and last appearance, Howard finds Murphy "sleeping" on the bench after the Radio Station Otherworld, remarking that Murphy could catch his death like that. He then gives Murphy a letter, which he claims to be from St. Maria's Monastery, an orphanage not far on a hill. Murphy, sick and tired of Silent Hill's nightmares, demands Howard show him a way out. Howard, disappointed, tells Murphy that he still doesn't get the fact that what's going on is not about what he wants. He then tells Murphy that he himself has mail to deliver. His final words in the game are "Good-bye, Murphy", before heading off. He says this with great finality, implying that he knew what Murphy was facing.

Silent Hill: Book of Memories

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Howard in Book of Memories.

Howard appears frequently in Silent Hill: Book of Memories. He mainly acts as a shopkeeper in the Otherworld Dungeons. Howard is also the one who delivers the Book of Memories to the main character in the introduction.

In his first interaction with the player, Howard delivers them a mysterious book, but the player tells Howard that the Book isn't theirs, but Howard reassures them that it is.

Later on in the player's Nightmare Dungeons, Howard has brief conversations with them, when they first enter his shop. Howard explains the purpose of Memory Residue and gives vague answers to the player's questions. When asked why there are monsters everywhere in the dungeons and whether or not they are dreaming, Howard responds with a quote from Vincent Smith, "They look like monsters to you?"

Quotes

  • "Evenin', folks."
  • "No, no, friend. No disrespect taken. Guess I shoulda introduced myself before I started hitchin' my horse to your wagon. My apologies."
  • "Name's Blackwood. Howard Blackwood. I'm the postmaster over in Silent Hill."
  • "Ha! I am that, ain't no lie. Just like it ain't no lie, I'm a postmaster in these parts, hard as it may be to believe."
  • "Funny thing about Silent Hill... it don't worry much 'bout what's on the outside of folks."
  • "I said she's a wicked ol' beast. Me? I'm partial to something with a little less rust, but to each his own."
  • "Now who said anything about trouble? Just trying to be helpful, son. Name's Howard, by the way."
  • "Headin' to prison, are ya, Murphy?"
  • "Something wrong, son?"
  • "That's the spirit! Well, this mail ain't gonna deliver itself."
  • "Heh, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that... Well. Let's just say I could finally put this damn bag down, for starters."
  • "Heh, son, in my experience, when someone's THAT angry, it ain't a mistake. It's... personal."
  • "Funny place to take a nap, son. You know, you could catch your death out here, if you're not careful."
  • "Son, you still don't get it... it doesn't matter what you want. As for me... I got mail to deliver. Good-bye, Murphy."
  • "You'd be surprised. Life moving around so fast these days - people end up in all kinds of places."
  • "Well, I guess I'm a lot of things."
  • "Hmmm, they look like... monsters to you? I take it you opened the book, then."
  • "Well, it's much easier to change the past if you're separated from reality a bit, don't you think?"

Trivia

  • Murphy's comment on Howard is "Something tells me this guy is somehow more than just an ordinary postman. The way he talks, the way he moves... I mean... he's way too relaxed for this ridiculous place. He's at home here, alright. I still can't figure whether I should fear him or trust him, but still... he's the closest thing to what I would call a reasonable person around here."
  • In Past Life, Howard mentions the town of Shepherd's Glen.
  • In Silent Hill: Downpour, when Howard encounters Murphy after he escapes the Centennial Building's Otherworld, he gives Murphy a letter from St. Maria's Monastery. Murphy takes the letter and throws it to the ground, but to his surprise, Howard produces another letter from his bag, and it is exactly the same to the one that he just threw away.
  • Tom Waltz, writer of Past Life and Downpour, has stated that Howard is one of his favorite characters in Downpour due to the amount of karma he has.

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