This is in relation to Ernest Baldwin, a character that Maria encounters in the Born from a Wish sub-scenario from Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams and the Silent Hill HD Collection. This theory will highlight the possibility that Ernest was the man responsible for leaving messages around Silent Hill in order to guide and warn James Sunderland while he explores the town.
Ernest is first met by Maria when she encounters him behind a locked door in the Baldwin Mansion. He resides within the mansion, but seems no longer to be a physical entity, perhaps eluding to the idea that he may be a ghost. This is further implied by a message which is found outside the mansion — "Keep out of Haunted Mansion"
This message may have been written by an outsider, but there is a possibility it may have been written by Ernest himself.
One thing is known about Ernest, is that he doesn't like to be disturbed, evidenced when Maria meets him for the first time where throughout their conversation he will frequently tell her that he wants to be alone. It's possible then that message outside the mansion was written by him to keep people away.
What is certain though is that Ernest knows James and, from the way he speaks, knows the crime that James had committed. This is implied during the final conversation between him and Maria where he will mention in a fleeting statement — "That James, he is a bad man".
As mentioned earlier, Ernest was probably responsible for writing the red message outside of his mansion, which has a notable graffiti-esque style to it. This isn't the first time this particular type of writing is present in Silent Hill (See right).
It could be that the messages are just part of James' delusion and this may be the case, but it's also possible that they may have been written by Ernest. This is especially true considering the message at the mansion which we know James never visited during the events of Silent Hill 2; hence if the messages were part of his delusion then why would one exist at the mansion?
"If you really want to SEE Mary, you should just DIE. But you might be heading to a different place than MARY, James." ~ Wall Message found in Neely's Bar
The person who wrote the message not only knew Mary Sunderland was dead, but also that James was responsible. The line, "But you might be heading to a different place than MARY, James", points to the idea of Heaven/Hell, and only sinners like James go to Hell for what he did. There was only one person at this point of the story who knew that James killed Mary — Ernest.
Most of these messages are cryptic and only serve, if anything, to help James remember the crime he had committed; however some are much more helpful in guiding James on his journey. One of these is the is found in the Otherworld Brookhaven Hospital in the Director's Room:
"He who is not bold enough to be stared at from across the abyss is not bold enough to stare into it himself. The truth can only be learned by marching forward. Follow the map. There's a letter and a wrench." ~ Map Message found in Brookhaven Hospital
The message is pushing James to face his demons, and continue his journey in order to reveal the truth. This message is also written in the red, corresponding with the common theme of the all the messages around town, but more importantly it directs James to another message in proving this theory:
"Or perhaps you are a fool. The truth usually betrays people. A part of that abyss is in the old society. The key to the society is in the park. At the foot of the praying woman, inside of the ground, inside of a box. To open it, I need a wrench. My patient buried it there. I knew, but did nothing. It made me uneasy to have such a thing near. I wasn't looking for the truth, I was looking for tranquility.I also saw that thing. I fled, but the museum was sealed as well. Now no one dares to approach that place. If you do not wish to stop, James, I pray to the Lord to have mercy on your eternal soul." ~ Porch Message found on Lindsey Street
The message tells James exactly where to go to continue his journey, as the old society is referring to the Silent Hill Historical Society, an important location James visits in order to confront his demons. It's almost as if James is being guided along, like the message in Neely's Bar, addressing him personally and the crime he has committed. But unlike the message in Neely's Bar there is a low possibility that the message is part of his delusion because of the inclusion of another element — a "patient".
The writer of the previous message mentions a patient, an external factor that has nothing to do with James. Unless at some point James was a doctor, then it rules out the possibility that the message was part of his delusion. Could it have been written by a doctor from the hospital then? Could Ernest have been a doctor at Brookhaven Hospital?
The answer is yes, but not just any old doctor, the Director of the hospital. The map message which leads James to find the message on the porch is found in the Director's Room and the patient mentioned in the porch message stole the Director's Key (Direckter's Key):
"I took the direckters's key - the one to the mooseum. I hid it behind the preying woman when I went out for the day trip. I picked it up but I did not steal it. I'm not a krimminal." ~ Message found in Brookhaven Hospital
|Ernest Baldwin "Insane"|
|Maria and Ernest discussion|
Let's not forget where Ernest Baldwin lives, a huge expensive mansion which only somebody with a high payroll, such as a Director, could afford. Further proving this is the way he speaks in a methodical manner towards Maria while she is in the mansion (See Right).
The tone of his voice and the way in which he speaks as if to theorize on other possibilities is a distinct trait amongst those who value logical and reason; somebody who considers the wider spectrum of the situation at hand is parallel to how a doctor would diagnose an illness from a list of potential illnesses.
Considering if Ernest was the Director of Brookhaven Hospital it would link him to the porch message and the one found in the Director's Room, and potentially all other messages around Silent Hill, and because some of these messages directly mention James' name and the crime he had committed then it further strengthens the likelihood of this being the case.
It's possible that the author of the messages found around Silent Hill was religious:
"I pray to the Lord to have mercy on your eternal soul" ~ Porch Message Segment found on Lindsey Street
"But you might be heading to a different place than MARY, James" ~ Wall Message Segment found in Neely's Bar
Both of the above segments reference a belief in a higher power, most likely a monotheistic belief such as Christianity. In regards to the message found on the wall of Neely's Bar, the "different place" is probably a reference to Hell, a nightmarish plane of existence for sinners to be punished in the afterlife, the opposite of Heaven where Mary is most likely residing. This confirms that the author of the messages had a belief in something, but what has this got to do with Ernest?
After the death of his daughter, Amy Baldwin, Ernest erected a small floor memorial in the Baldwin Mansion. The memorial reads:
"Amy Baldwin. She was loved too much by God. Seven years was not enough time." ~ Floor Memorial found in the Baldwin Mansion
"She was loved too much by God"
The most important in this sentence is the word "God", this indicates that the person, most likely Ernest, who erected the memorial had a belief in a higher being, otherwise why mention it at all? This again links Ernest and the author of the messages, meaning more evidence that the author and Ernest are one and the same.
- What is Ernest's motive behind guiding James around Silent Hill, why would he want to help and warn somebody that he calls a "bad man"...?
- A name placard on the Director's desk reads "Laurence Monneret", though it's likely that he was the Director that replaced Ernest after his death.
|Silent Hill 2|
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