You Cowards, Set the New Silent Hill in Skelmersdale
Rumors and leaks suggest that a new Silent Hill title is in development. It may even be set in the UK. It would be great to see Silent Hill’s horror series tackle the UK. I appreciate a lot of British representation in gaming media. But, the more I think about this, the more I realize that my hometown of Skelmersdale is the perfect candidate.
Most people reading this will have noticed that Skelmersdale is mentioned. Skelmersdale was originally a small town in the mining industry. It became the first town to expand under the UK’s second wave. Skem, also known as Skelmersdale to locals, was built to alleviate the overpopulation crisis that plagued Liverpool in the 1950s and 1960s.
Skem, despite the recent development and inflow of people from Liverpool, has never felt like a hub of activity. The town is small and spread out over a large area with little to do except marvel at all the roundabouts. Seriously, there are loads. Skelmersdale is a modern, isolated town with no hospital, train station, or modest shopping center. Skem is never in the middle of big shopping trips and days out.
Skelmersdale is a beautiful setting for Silent Hill and any other horror game. First, there are many abstract art sculptures in the town, which could be used to create a sinister plot. Although I don’t claim that Skelmersdale is the current location of the Marker From Dead Space, I do not deny it.
Large, open dual carriageways that run through the neighborhoods and the fields between them would make for Silent Hill fog. While the labyrinthine housing estates could be used for close-range scares, the large, open, dual carriageways would be ideal for creating some of the trademark Silent Hill fog. You never know what might be lurking around every corner. Usually, Skem has someone in a hoodie who is looking to start something. So swap it with a monster.
Skem’s aesthetics are not enough to make it a great horror setting. The history of Skem could also be a major factor. Anybody who knows the history of Skem will be able to tell you about conspiracy theories regarding the ADF that still affect the town. According to the theory, Professor Nathaniel Butler from the Mind Reader program smashed an Aspirational Dispersion field into an abandoned mineshaft. According to some reports, the field emits a low-level sound across Skelmersdale. This is part of a government plot to deprive residents of their aspirations.
Although the theory may seem absurd (though it is my excuse for work not going as well as it should), it is as closely tied to the town’s history as roundabouts or some scally calling out “yer ma” as you pass. This theory can be easily turned into a terrifying horror story about how residents are being manipulated to see the world in a way that creates some frightening gameplay. Although it’s a departure from Silent Hill in some ways, there is still a lot to be done.
Skelmersdale was also once considered to be a spiritual nexus of the Transcendental meditation community. Maharishi Mahesh Yagi founded a TM community in Skelmersdale in the 1980s. Although this community isn’t as active today, there are remnants like The Golden Dome or The Maharishi School.