Silent Hills 13 creepiest enemies and what they represent

A rundown on the most fear-inducing freaks from Konami’s legendary survival horror series

Without the otherworldly horrors that lurk through its streets, Silent Hill might be nothing more than a scenic, fog-filled town. But when damaged, unfortunate souls wander into its domain, their worst fears, urges, and traumas manifest themselves as deformed monstrosities made flesh. These creatures are part of what make the series so compelling even when youre cowering with fear in a dark corner, youll constantly be asking yourself What in the hell was that thing?!

With Silent Hill: Downpour out this week and the HD collection releasing March 20, were facing our fears to revisit Silent Hills most memorable enemies, ranging from disturbing mutants to stomach-churning creatures thatll make a guest appearance in your next nightmare. These freakish fiends convey volumes about the psyches that spawned them; well do our best to avoid spoilers, but know that some of the protagonists darkest secrets will be tied to the enemies they face. Whether these hideous creatures bring back terrifying memories or youre seeing them for the first time, remember: were almost positive that none of these are real.

Abstract Daddy (Silent Hill 2)

What am I looking at?
This four-legged lump of flesh got the nickname Doorman, thanks to the rectangular frame that juts out of his abdomen. Though its tricky to tell from all its writhing and discolored tissue, the Abstract Daddy resembles two figures under a mass of muscle, the lower one struggling to get away from the dominant one on top. And no, its not just your imagination that mouth you see on the bottom figures head is meant to resemble a vagina.

But what does it mean?
Ever seen sexual abuse embodied as a video game enemy? Well, now you have. Wayward waitress Angela Orosco was molested by her father as a child, and when she killed him in an act of revenge, her guilt produced the hulking Abstract Daddy.

Asphyxia (Silent Hill: Homecoming)

What am I looking at?
Something like a cross between a Guillermo del Toro creation and the Human Centipede, Asphyxia resembles a corpse caterpillar, with hands acting as feet and a cover for her grotesque nudity. Fighting this boss means combating her whip-like tail and the clawing from her multi-armed torso. As if that werent enough, her deafening screams will knock you down while she flings dark green bile around the room.

But what does it mean?
Margaret Holloway is a deranged member of The Order, a demonic cult thats behind much of the chaos in the entire Silent Hill series. In an act of tribute to a dark deity, Holloway strangled her young daughter Nora a brutal murder that gave life to this creature, represented by the hands which cover Asphyxias body and choke her neck.

Bubble Head Nurse (Silent Hill 2)

What am I looking at?
The Nurse is one of the series most iconic enemies, but the Bubble Head Nurse was the incarnation that really stuck with players: a buxom-bodied female figure with a disgusting, bloodied blob for a face. Roaming the halls of Brookhaven Hospital, they can swarm protagonist James Sunderland if left unchecked. Their movements are supremely disconcerting, lurching towards you while their heads shudder and swivel on their decaying necks.

But what does it mean?
When James wife Mary was diagnosed with a terminal illness, she spent the rest of her days in a hospital bed. The Bubble Head Nurses symbolize James anxieties from staying with his dying wife in the hospital but their slender figures and revealing scrubs also denote James sexual frustrations, having been forced to take care of the withering, once-beautiful woman who had been his lover.

Grey Child (Silent Hill)

What am I looking at?
In a rare instance of a game getting overseas censorship, the Grey Child is an enemy from the first in the series who made it into the US version, but was replaced for the Japanese and European releases. Stalking through the halls of Midwich Elementary, these child-sized, shiv-carrying creatures are more than a little disturbingespecially given the fact that their death rattles sound like something between a giggle and a gurgle.

But what does it mean?
Alessa Gillespie was a telekinetic girl who had the misfortune of being raised by her abusive, Order-worshipping mother. When her mental powers manifested themselves at school, her fellow classmates teased and excluded her for being a witch. The Grey Children are a projection of Gillespies painful memories of being persecuted by her peers.

Gum Head (Silent Hill 4: The Room)

What am I looking at?
Gum Heads are like zombies, only grosser and more naked. There are two variations of this braindead enemy: this ones the Old Type Gum Head, whos easily the nastier of the two versions thanks to his melted-looking face and the bulbous grey tumor protruding out of his chest. If you happen upon one, you better hope that theyre approaching in their sluggish standing pace, instead of barreling towards you on all fours.

But what does it mean?
SH4s antagonist Walter Sullivan suffered a childhood filled with pain, having been abandoned by both his parents as a baby. As he grew up in an orphanage that pushed the teachings of The Order on him, he began to both loathe and fear adults in general. Gum Heads represent Walters adolescent hatred for the grown-ups of the world.

Lying Figure (Silent Hill 2)

What am I looking at?
Imagine, if you will, the torment of being forced to wear a straitjacket made from your own skin. This is the Lying Figures entire existence, shambling around the streets of Silent Hill while they futilely try to break free of their fleshy restraints. When they see James Sunderland, they creep towards him at an alarming speed, emitting an unsettling hissing or spewing poisonous vomit from their disfigured faces. And, for some unknown reason, they seem to be wearing platform shoes.

But what does it mean?
Like the Bubble Head Nurse, the Lying Figure is an allusion to James extensive time in hospitals while caring for his sick wife. Their twitchy struggle to escape their bindings represents the frustration that James feels, weighed down by the responsibility of caring for the increasingly spiteful Mary.

Mannequin (Silent Hill 2)

What am I looking at?
Not so much terrifying as skin-crawlingly creepy, the Mannequins are two distinctly feminine, ballerina-like lower halves that have been fused together at the waist. Bioshock cribbed Sander Cohens plaster bodies off these spidery leg-monsterstheyll stand still while youre looking at them, then start skittering towards you if you get too close. One pair of legs supports the hideous creature, while the other acts like praying mantis mandibles that slice in your direction.

But what does it mean?
James Sunderland is in desperate need of therapy, because these disturbing projections of his sexual frustration are getting out of hand. The Mannequins also play a part in one of Silent Hills most disturbing scenes but well come back to that in a bit.

Memory of Helen Grady (Silent Hill: Origins)

What am I looking at?
SH: Origins wasnt exactly the scariest game in the series, but dang it if this boss design doesnt freak us out. Say hello to the mother of Travis Grady (the games main character) albeit a twisted, repulsive embodiment of her memory. With a new look that calls Clive Barkers creations to mind, the bindings on her feet and the metal cage impaling her torso all portray a trapped, tormented soul. Toss in some cheek-stretching wires for good measure, and youve got a boss who cant be killed quickly enough.

But what does it mean?
When she was alive, Helen Grady was a mental patient at Cedar Grove Sanitarium, following an attempted murder-suicide on her son. Her manifestation as a caged, tortured corpse is a rather graphic representation of how confined she felt in the Sanitarium.

Needler (Silent Hill: Homecoming)

What am I looking at?
Ugh. The closer you look at this enemy, the nastier he becomes: the Needlers severed head seems to be growing out of his groin, making his bald, flayed noggin look like Satans scrotum. Pair that gruesome detail with his disturbing crab-walk stance and scythes for appendages, and its clear that the Needlers an enemy who really earns that M rating. Taking the Needler on in one-on-one melee combat is one of the trickiest encounters for a non-boss fight, though we guess thats to be expected when its every limb ends in a razor-sharp blade.

But what does it mean?
Its theorized that the Needler is a sick depiction of the act of childbirth; his posture looks the same as a woman in delivery, with his revolting head in place of a newborn baby. If that was the intention of his design, then (cue Will Smith voice) damn.