The town of 'Silent Hill' is a gloomy one-time resort town that is
currently inhabited by mysterious forces. It would seem that demonic and disfigured creatures roam the streets and buildings, and the town
continually shifts between everyday reality and a decaying and blood-soaked "Otherworld".
Considering that it is meant to be a small town, Silent Hill is remarkably
self-sufficient. It has its own elementary school, a church, a police station, a shopping mall,
two separate hospitals (Alchemilla Hospital in Paleville and Brookhaven Hospital
in South Vale), as well as bars, restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations,
and even a bowling alley. Silent Hill also features plenty of housing, both
apartments and homes, as well as three different motels to meet the needs of
those "just passing through" and, at one point, the grand Lakeview Hotel. Adding
to its credence as a former resort town, Paleville also plays host to the
infamous Lakeside Amusement Park.
The town in Silent Hill (the movie) was modeled after the real life town of Centralia,
Pennsylvania (apparently) which also
suffered from a devastating coal mine fire. An exposed vein of coal ignited in 1962
due to the standard policy of burning the garbage on a weekly basis in the
borough landfill, located in an abandoned mine pit in the southeast portion of
Centralia. Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful, and it continued
to burn throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1979, locals became aware of the scale of the problem when a gas-station
owner inserted a stick into one of his underground tanks to check the fuel
level. When he withdrew it, it seemed hot, so he lowered a thermometer down on a
string and was shocked to discover that the temperature of the gasoline in the
tank was 172 degrees F (77.8°C). State-wide attention to the
fire began to increase.
In 1984, Congress allocated more than $42 million
for relocation efforts. Most of the residents accepted buyout offers and moved
to the nearby communities of Mount Carmel and Ashland....