Inspirational works of Silent Hill archives the known works that have inspired the Silent Hill series, revealed in official materials (such as Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle) or through interviews and statements from project staff.
This list includes all known inspirations for the main canon of games, as well as separate universes such as the Silent Hill film.
Speculated sources without citations are not included. Likewise, works inspired by the Silent Hill franchise are absent as well.
A list of books confirmed to have inspired the series.
- The Box Man (1973) by Kōbō Abe: Inspired the dangling legs symbolic of Cheryl Mason and Alessa Gillespie in Silent Hill 3's chapel; confirmed by artist Masahiro Ito.
- Works by Masako Bandō: Inspired the oppressive atmosphere of the games.
- Works by Ray Bradbury:
- Works by Michael Crichton:
- No Language But a Cry (1970) by Dr. Richard Anthony D'Ambrosio: Inspired the creation of Laura. She shares her name with the main character.
- Crime and Punishment (1866) by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Basis for the basic storyline of Silent Hill 2.
- The Lost World (1912) by Arthur Conan Doyle: A favorite book of Alessa's. Inspired the creation of the Air Screamer. Referenced with the My Flying Lizard memento in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- Works by Jack Finney:
- A Moveable Feast (1964) by Ernest Hemingway: There is a building named after the book in Central Silent Hill. Also referenced with the A Moveable Feast memento in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962) by Ken Kesey: Listed as an inspiration for Silent Hill: Downpour. Murphy Pendleton's name is an allusion to fictional character Randle McMurphy, a convict who was transferred to a mental hospital from a prison work camp in Pendleton, Oregon.
- Works by Stephen King:
- Works by Dean R. Koontz:
- The Call of Cthulhu (1928) by H. P. Lovecraft: Listed as an inspiration for Silent Hill: Downpour.
- Works by Richard Matheson:
- Works by Richard Christian Matheson:
- Coin Locker Babies (1980) by Ryu Murakami: Inspired the plot of Silent Hill 4: The Room; confirmed by Chief Designer Masashi Tsuboyama.
- Works by Robert Nathan:
- Works by Carl Sagan:
- Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) by Mary Shelley: Referenced with The Modern Prometheus memento in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- Works by Dan Simmons:
- Works by Colin Wilson:
Notable fables/fairytales that inspired the series.
- Works by Hans Christian Andersen:
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L. Frank Baum: Inspired symbolism in the series. The three Keys for Eclipse in Silent Hill are named after Dorothy Gale's companions in the tale. Alessa has a copy of the book in her bedroom.
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (as Lewis Carroll): Inspired symbolism in the series. The four plates found for the Colored Plates Puzzle in Silent Hill are based on characters from the tale. Alessa has a copy of the book in her bedroom. Nora Holloway is a fan of the book and likes the Caterpillar. Referenced with the Wonderland Burger restaurant in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- Works by the Brothers Grimm:
- Rapunzel (1812): Featured as a static music box in the Music Box Puzzle in Silent Hill 2.
- Cinderella (1812): Inspired symbolism in the series. Appears as a part of the Marchen Travel Puzzle in Lakeside Amusement Park in Silent Hill 3. Referenced in the Music Box Puzzle and featured as the "Cinderella" Music Box in Silent Hill 2.
- Snow White (1812): Inspired symbolism in the series. Appears as a part of the Marchen Travel Puzzle in Lakeside Amusement Park in Silent Hill 3. Referenced in the Music Box Puzzle and featured as the "Snow White" Music Box in Silent Hill 2. Referenced with the "Sno-White" dental product advertised in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- Works by Junji Ito:
- Works by Daijiro Morohoshi: Inspired the concept of the Otherworld.
- Shiori and Shimiko's Incident Involving a Freshly Severed Head (1996)
- Other works
- Works by William Shakespeare:
- Romeo and Juliet (~1591–1595): Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle and featured as one of the Shakespeare Anthology Books in Silent Hill 3. Inspired symbolism in the series.
- The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (~1599–1602): Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle and featured as one of the Shakespeare Anthology Books in Silent Hill 3. Inspired symbolism in the series. Referenced with the Infinite Jest memento in Silent Hill: Shattered Memories.
- The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice (~1603): Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle and featured as one of the Shakespeare Anthology Books in Silent Hill 3. Inspired symbolism in the series. Possibly influenced the Two-Back enemy in Silent Hill: Origins.
- King Lear (~1605–1606): Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle and featured as one of the Shakespeare Anthology Books in Silent Hill 3.
- Macbeth (~1606): Referenced in the Shakespeare Anthology Puzzle and featured as one of the Shakespeare Anthology Books in Silent Hill 3. Possibly referenced with the "GMR" shirt in Silent Hill 3.
A list of movies and TV shows confirmed to have inspired the series.
- Works by Dario Argento:
- The Wizard of Oz (1939), directed by Victor Fleming: Lisa Garland's character was inspired by Dorothy from the film, a girl lost in a strange world.
- Works by David Lynch:
- Eraserhead (1977): A film depicting a man's descent into madness after his girlfriend gives birth to a grossly deformed child.
- Dune (1984): A sci-fi film set on a desert planet with remarkable visual effects.
- Blue Velvet (1986): A film about the events a man is involved with after finding a severed ear by chance. Inspired the closet scene in Wood Side Apartments in Silent Hill 2.
- Lost Highway (1997): A psychological horror film involving VHS tapes.
- Other works
- Jacob's Ladder (1990), directed by Adrian Lyne: Inspired themes in the Silent Hill franchise. A favorite of Akihiro Imamura's. The film has many settings in common with Silent Hill, such as the hospital and subway. In the first game, Harry Mason dies and everything was just a hallucination in the "bad ending". Additionally, the same anti-drug poster from Jacob's Ladder can be found in the first game's texture files. In the second game, James Sunderland shares the initials of Jacob Singer and his jacket is very similar to Jacob's U.S. Army jacket. There is also a "Lyne House Key" which refers to Adrian Lyne, director of Jacob's Ladder. In the third game, Heather Mason must find the Bergen Street platform. There is a scene of Jacob, strapped to a gurney, going down a nightmarish hospital hall that is reminiscent of the scene in which James is wheeled through a hall on a gurney in Brookhaven Hospital. Among other things, the "twitch" that many monsters do with their heads, one example being Valtiel, was inspired by the film. The hospital scene in the movie depicts a bicycle's wheel turning by itself, similar to a wheelchair seen in Brookhaven's basement by Heather or the wheelchair Harry sees in the alley in the first game. A few moments later, a humanoid is seen in a sort of frame/box, which has also been seen in the series, such as the corpses in Pyramid Head's lair in the Labyrinth, and around bosses such as Mary and Abstract Daddy.
- Stanley Kubrick: Full Metal Jacket, Lolita, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining — In Lolita, the car driving through the fog in the beginning is reminiscent of the opening from the first game. When development first began on Silent Hill, Harry Mason was given the name "Humbert Mason" because of his role as the doting, dutiful father, which was referenced from Lolita. There are many nods in the Silent Hill games to The Shining, such as "Redrum" in Silent Hill and posters in Silent Hill 2.
- Alejandro Jodorowsky: El Topo, The Holy Mountain and Santa Sangre — In Santa Sangre, the protagonist's mother, who is a devotee of a cult religion following a female saint, was also a model for Claudia Wolf. There is a church with paintings detailing the saint's life, much like the chapel paintings in Silent Hill 3. The end area with the bodies in Silent Hill 4: The Room is very similar to the scene with people from various planets in The Holy Mountain.
- Terry Gilliam: 12 Monkeys — A sign reads "floor 1" in the lobby of the Otherworld Midwich Elementary School in the first game. Also FAA sign on Simmons street in Central Silent Hill.
- Alice — The scene where Alice descends in an elevator is similar to Heather descending in an elevator to the Otherworld. The scene where Alice tries to open the drawer is also similar to when Heather uses the screwdriver to open the drawer in the Hilltop Center. Among other things, the canned lightbulbs from Silent Hill 2 were influenced by this film.
- Betty Blue — Likely inspired the scene in Silent Hill 2 where James smothers Mary with a pillow.
- The Exorcist III — Various aspects of this movie such as imagery and direction have been referenced since the first game. "What a wonderfull world" can also be seen in the third game, just before Heather passes by Valtiel in the hospital on a wall.
- Event Horizon — Members of a rescue team board the ship and have hallucinations based on emotional wounds from their pasts. Also likely inspired the Death Machine.
- The Cell — The Cell depicts the realm of the mind of a macabre killer with surreal and abstract surroundings. This bears a strong similarity to how Henry Townshend travels through Walter Sullivan's Otherworlds in Silent Hill 4: The Room.
- Solaris — A man is forced to deal with the memory of his deceased wife when a mysterious presence on a newly-discovered planet begins to generate hallucinations and imagery based on his deepest thoughts.
- Fantasma d'amore — A man is convinced his old lover is still alive and continuously chases after her spectre through the dark foggy streets. She appears to him in two versions; a sexy and gorgeous woman and a haggard sickly wretch. In the end, he learns her ghost came back for retribution and closure. In a couple of scenes, Romy Schneider wears a hairstyle similar to Mary's and towards the end of the film, the main character rows a boat in a large fog-covered lake.
- Kindergarten Cop — Midwich Elementary School appears to have been modeled after the Astoria school in the film. In addition to the exterior, many posters on the walls are taken directly from the film, such as the white dog poster. The reception area, along with the calendar and blue and white poster, is the same, as well as the cabinet in the infirmary.
- The Walking Dead — Cited as an inspiration for Downpour.
- The Shawshank Redemption — Cited as an inspiration for Downpour.
- The Fugitive — Cited as an inspiration for Downpour.
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (aka "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour") (1955-1965), hosted by Alfred Hitchcock: Director Christophe Gans lists this as an influence in the opening sequences of the Silent Hill film. He likens the story of Rose Da Silva leaving home and being isolated to themes seen in the show, as well as pointing out themes involving small towns and protagonists who must flee from police officers. In particular, Gans had Alfred Hitchcock Presents in mind when he filmed scenes of Rose arguing with her husband at Smitty's.
- It (1990), directed by Tommy Lee Wallace: Adaptation of Stephen King's novel by the same name. Recommended by Masahiro Ito.
- Hieronymus Bosch — Influenced the hellish Otherworld and the Insane Cancer.
- Rembrandt — Cited as an art style influential inspiration for Silent Hill 2.
- Pieter Brueghel
- Francis Bacon — One painting of Francis Bacon's seems to have been used in the Labyrinth of Silent Hill 2. Another painting, titled Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, inspired monster mouths like the Mandarin, Flesh Lip, and Closer.
- Salvador Dalí — Known for his surrealism.
- Andrew Wyeth — The design of the Gillespie House was inspired by Andrew Wyeth's 1948 painting Christina's World. The house in the painting is based on the Olson House, which is located in Maine. The town of Silent Hill is also located in Maine.
- Centralia, Pennsylvania — Inspired Silent Hill, West Virginia (not the game version).
- San Bruno, California — Inspired South Vale in Silent Hill 2.
People who have inspired aspects of the series.
People who influenced the names of characters in the series.
- Asia Argento: Italian actress. Daughter of Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi. Inspiration for Alessa Gillespie's scrapped name, Asia.
- Joseph Barnett: "Jack the Ripper" suspect. Inspired James Sunderland's first name.
- Laurie "Bambi" Bembenek: Inspired Cybil Bennett's last name.
- Sibyl Buck: Inspired Cybil Bennett's first name.
- Claudia Cardinale: Inspired Claudia Wolf's first name.
- Sybil Danning: Inspired Cybil Bennett's first name.
- Douglas Fairbanks: Inspired Douglas Cartland's first name.
- Vincent Gallo: Inspired Vincent's first name.
- Judy Garland: American actress, singer. Inspired the creation of Lisa Garland, particularly her last name. Also struggled with drug addiction during the course of her ill-fated career.
- Michael Herz: American producer. Co-founder of Troma Entertainment. Inspired Michael Kaufmann's first name.
- Lloyd Kaufman: American producer. Co-founder of Troma Entertainment. Inspired Michael Kaufmann's last name.
- Mary Jane Kelly: Victim of "Jack the Ripper". Inspired Mary Shepherd-Sunderland's first name.
- Sheryl Lee: Actress in Twin Peaks. Inspired Cheryl Mason's first name.
- Thurston Moore: Member of Sonic Youth. Inspired the name of Midwich Elementary School staff.
- Heather Morris: Voice actress for Heather Mason in Silent Hill 3. Inspired Heather Mason's first name.
- Eddie Murphy: Inspired Eddie Dоmbrоwski's first name, as well as his scrapped personality type.
- Daria Nicolodi: Italian actress, writer. Ex-wife of Dario Argento and mother of Asia Argento. Inspired Dahlia Gillespie's first name.
People whose likeness inspired character designs.
- Charlotte Gainsbourg: Inspiration for rough sketches of Heather Mason.
- Giancarlo Giannini: Inspiration for rough sketches of Douglas Cartland.
- Ethan Hawke: Inspiration for rough sketches of Vincent.
- Ian Holm: Actor in the film Alien. Inspiration for rough sketches of Douglas Cartland.
- Julianne Moore: Inspiration for rough sketches of Claudia Wolf.
- Vanessa Paradis: Inspiration for rough sketches of Heather Mason.
People who inspired the names of locations, streets, products, etc.
- Ernest Hemingway: Referenced by name in the Born From A Wish scenario in Silent Hill 2. Likely inspired the name of the "Hemingway" brand cigarettes in Origins, Shattered Memories and Downpour.
- Silent Hill (North)
- Old Silent Hill:
- Jack Finney: Finney Street.
- Richard Matheson: Matheson Street.
- Richard Christian Matheson: Matheson Street.
- Robert Bloch: Bloch Street.
- Ray Bradbury: Bradbury Street.
- Ira Levin: Levin Street.
- Richard Bachman (pen name for Stephen King): Bachman Road.
- James Ellroy: Ellroy Street.
- Central Silent Hill:
- Resort Area:
- Silent Hill (South)
- South Vale:
- Robert Nathan: Nathan Avenue.
- David Wiltse: Wiltse Road.
- David Lindsay: Lindsey Street.
- Andrew Vachss: Vachss Road.
- David Martin: Martin Street.
- William Katz: Katz Street.
- Lawrence Sanders: Sanders Street.
- Richard Neely: Neely Street.
- Thomas Harris: Harris St.
- John Saul: Saul Street.
- Ronald Munson: Munson Street.
- Ruth Rendell: Rendell Street.
- Jonathan Carroll: Carroll Street.
The Order takes inspiration and draws elements from other real-life religions, such as the origins of Christianity, Japanese folklore, Aztec rituals and Native American beliefs.
The series features references to old fairy tales, nursery rhymes and Shakespeare's works, whether it be in the form of a puzzle or findable item. They have become motifs in the series. 
- William Shakespeare
- Fairy tales and nursery rhymes
- Snow White — In Silent Hill 2, Snow White has her own music box. She is found as a statue in Silent Hill 3, and the doll head must be placed in her hand in order to move on. Also near her statue are three of the seven dwarves. The other four are subtly hidden underneath transparent floor panels in the same room. In Shattered Memories, there are billboards that read "Sno-White" and show a smiling face, probably advertising a tooth-whitening product.
- Cinderella — In Silent Hill 2, Cinderella has her own music box. She is found as a statue in Silent Hill 3 and her red shoe must be placed in her hand in order to move on.
- The Little Mermaid — In Silent Hill 2, Little Mermaid has her own music box.
- Rapunzel — In Silent Hill 2, Rapunzel has her own music box inside the music box in Lakeview Hotel's lobby.
- Thumbelina — In Silent Hill 2, Thumbelina has her own music box inside the music box in Lakeview Hotel's lobby.
- Mother Goose — Found in Alessa Gillespie's shelf in her room and referenced in Crematorium Puzzle.
- Ring Around the Rosie — Laura sings this to herself in the trailer for Silent Hill 2. Alex also hears children singing it while playing when he enters Shepherd's Glen's park.
- Arbatel de magia veterum — This grimoire inspired Aratron, Bethor, Hagith, Ophiel and Phaleg in Nowhere.
- Tu Fui, Ego Eris — A Latin phrase that Heather speaks in Silent Hill 3, found engraved on tombstones
- The Bogeyman — A creature in folklore used to frighten children into behaving that Joshua mentions many times in his drawings. It appears in Silent Hill: Homecoming as Pyramid Head. It also appears in Silent Hill: Downpour as a being which manifests as a large cloaked figure with a gas mask and a hammer.
Works that are awaiting a proper citation.
- Christina Aguilera — Wore a similar outfit to Maria's to the 1999 Teen Choice Awards. Despite speculation, there has been no direct confirmation.
- Mary and Laura's outfits are almost identical to wife and daughter characters of the main protagonist in the movie Con Air.
- Alessa's appearance could be inspired by the film The Legend of Hell House and its character, medium Florence Tanner.
- Shepherd's Glen
- Scott Boulevard: Ridley Scott
- Kubrick Avenue: Stanley Kubrick
- Carpenter Avenue: John Carpenter
- Craven Avenue: Wes Craven
- Friedkin Road: William Friedkin
- Lyne Street: Adrian Lyne
- Barker Street: Clive Barker
- Walton Avenue: Robert Walton, a character in Frankenstein
- Silent Hill (Shattered Memories)
- Shelley Rd. - Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. There is also a Frankenstein's Monster toy memento that the player can get from the machine in the cinema.
- Hawthorne St. - Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gothic fiction writer.
- Navidson St. - The Navidson family from Mark Z. Danielewski's book, House of Leaves.
- Twitter.com, 伊藤暢達_Masahiro Ito (@adsk4), "When I designed these Alessa and Cheryl, I was inspired by a novel "The Box Man" written by Kōbō Abe." (July 2, 2012) (retrieved November 22, 2017)
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.130-131.
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.132-133.
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.046-047.
- Gamasutra.com, Silence Is Golden: Takayoshi Sato's Occidental Journey (interview) (retrieved November 28th, 2017).
GS: The story for Silent Hill 2 went over very well in America. Did you write most of the scenario?
TS: There was a writer, but I provided the dialog and storyline for the women. The basic storyline was based on Crime and Punishment. The background story of my university was also kind of twisted into Silent Hill 2.
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.026-027.
- Shshatteredmemories.com, "Silent Hill Experienced Exclusive Interview with Devin Shatsky and Tomm Hulett!" (interview) (retrieved November 17th, 2017).
- Play Novel: Silent Hill Official Guidebook, pg.062.
- Archive.videogamesdaily.com, Konami: The Silent Hill 4 Interview (September 6, 2004) (retrieved November 22, 2017).
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.106-107.
- Silent Hill: Homecoming, Photos, Photograph of Nora Holloway.
- Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Othello, Moor of Venice. Act 1, Scene 1: "I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs."
- Ign.com, Interview with Silent Hill 2's artist Takayoshi Sato (interview) (retrieved November 25th, 2017).
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.024-025.
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.134-135.
- "I think that another obvious influence, at least in this first part, is the series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, which I love. This consisted, like the series The Twilight Zone, of tales with a twist, usually stories of wives running away from home, of isolated people in little towns, bumpkins confronted with certain problems, being chased by a policeman and so on. That was on my mind when I shot this scene, on the one hand because of Radha Mitchell’s “Grace Kelly” aspect, which really attracted me to her, and, on the other, by her action of taking her daughter without telling her husband, whereby she ends up in this state of feeling guilty that will cause her to make mistakes." Gans, Christophe (2009). Silent Hill: Metropolitan Édition Haute Définition [Blu-Ray; Disc 1/2].
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.066-067.
- Silent Hill 3 Official Complete Capture Guide, Lost Memories: Silent Hill Chronicle, pg.082-112.
Some of the Secrets and Unlockables articles contain inspirations unmentioned here:
- Silent Hill Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill 2 Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill 3 Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill 4: The Room Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill: Origins Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill: Homecoming Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill: Downpour Secrets and Unlockables
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Secrets and Unlockables
Many inspirations are also scattered throughout the wiki, usually in Trivia sections in the articles related to that specific subject.
|Silent Hill games|
|Main series||Silent Hill · 2 · 3 · 4 · Origins · Homecoming · Shattered Memories · Downpour|
|Ports / Adaptations||Play Novel · Mobile · HD Collection · Slot machine · Escape · Return|
|Spin-offs||The Arcade · Orphan · Mobile 2 · Mobile 3 · The Escape · Book of Memories|
|Crossovers||Dead by Daylight: Chapter XVI - Silent Hill · Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals - Silent Hill|
|Cancelled||Silent Hills (P.T.) · Cancelled projects|
|Production||Konami · Team Silent · Climax Studios · Double Helix · Vatra Games · WayForward Technologies · TAKASAGO|
|Extras||Inspirations · Features|