The Silent Hill God is not “Samael”! *spoilers*

This stupid rumor has been going on for over a decade. I have no idea where it originated but like many Silent Hill rumors that become oft repeated myths, it is not a fact and has been disproved. Still to this day people keep repeating it. Most people don’t even know who Samael is in real world mythology that SH draws from, however, an “incubus” is not one of them in any format.

The rumor is up there with “Valtiel is the yellow god because it’s yellow and Pyramid Head is red so therefore it’s the red god.”! It’s sloppy and lazy. It ignores primary sourced material and things the creator’s actually said. Now the myth is so big in the fandom and abroad, that even things such as wikias cite it as “fact” without consulting supplementary material or even in game material. Just because something is often mistaken or oft repeated by people does not make it objectively true. (Ad populum fallacy)

It does not help that the more something is said, the more true it appears. Science has confirmed this as an actual phenomena and SH fans fall into this trap time and time again without actually reading the vast amount of Silent Hill supplementary material or in game memos to confirm it’s accuracy!

What the in game and out game material says:

Incubus.png

The incubus as depicted in Silent Hill 1.

Debunking the myth is easier than expected. While I won’t go into detail about the nature of the cult’s god to much or what I believe the incubus actually is (Those are posts for later time.), I will start by saying that nowhere in Silent Hill 1 or in Silent Hill 3 or even 4 or even the Play Novel is “Samael” a name for the god given by the cult or detractors. (Even if it is, it’s not a name the cult gives the god. More on that later.)

From the Book of Lost Memories (creature commentary:

Incubus (Demon/Incubus)

area: Unknown realm

character: Hangs in the air and attacks intermittently with a thunderstrike

metaphor: “Dream demon.” Incarnation of the mental image of God that Dahlia
had.

Fusing with God, Alessa awakens.

In the case of the bad ending, Alessa/incubator appears instead of incubus.
Alessa’s mental image is projected.

IMAGE: a bright light emanates from Alessa’s body
The name “incubator” signifies “incubator for a premature baby.”

Curiously, the name “Samael” is never mentioned as a name for the God. Why would they call it “incubus” instead? For SH3, they only call it “God”. Where did it come from?

Well, the name “Samael” does appear in SH1, but not in conjunction with God. No, it appears as an alternative name for the “Seal of Metatron”. Dahlia tells Harry it is the “Mark of Samael”. A special sigil (symbol) Alessa was using in the game to kill the demon baby god thing. Samael and Metatron have a heavy connection in Jewish mysticism, (Kabbalah) having shared the same existence at one time. But the sigil Alessa is using doesn’t actually summon anything, let alone one of these angels.

Silent_Hill_3_Mark_of_Samael.png

In Silent Hill 3, Heather stares at the Seal of Metatron. AKA “Mark of Samael”.

The koshiki guidebook expands on both the “Mark of Samael” and how the spell actually works.

Q: What is the Mark of Samael?

A: The truth is that there is no profound significance. Dahlia uses the phrase “the Mark of Samael” while speaking to Harry. This is a sophism to make Harry worry that terrible things are happening that must be stopped at any cost; it’s nonsense that falls under the category of wordplay. Dahlia thought she could use Harry to catch Alessa, so she used incomprehensible terms with feigned sincerity.

Q: What is the Seal of Metatron?

A: It’s like a spell of annihilation.

What Alessa was actually creating was the Seal of Metatron. Its name is derived from the name of an angel of release in the Kabbalistic system. Bound by the cult’s spell and living in an endless nightmare in agony, Alessa’s wish was for a complete death. Since she was unable to die in a normal fashion while under the influence of the power of the malevolent deity, Alessa intended to “annihilate” herself by the power of the Seal of Metatron with the nightmare world at hand. At the moment Cheryl and Alessa united, she gained the power to escape from the cult’s spell; at the same time, the technique that brought about the descent of the cult’s god succeeded and the malevolent deity resumed its maturation process. This time, Alessa was engaged in a struggle, a race between the malevolent god’s maturation and the seal’s completion. If the seal were to be completed, Harry, Cybil, Dahlia and the others would all be annihilated along with Alessa. However, as it is questionable whether the Seal of Metatron actually has this sort of power, there is also the possibility that Alessa, using knowledge she acquired when she was very young, freed herself from the effects of the malevolent god’s power through autosuggestion and was attempting to realize her own death. Because Dahlia was at least aware of the fact that Alessa had the will to end her own life, she prepared for the worst-case scenario and took steps to prevent this from happening. She used Harry for that very purpose.

But the memos in SH3 take both the God and Seal of Metatron thing one step further.

Book: Otherworldly Laws:

 This magic square, with strong
protective and dispelling properties,
is called the “Virun VII Crest” or
the “Seal of Metraton.”

It will bring results regardless of
whether the target is good or evil;
its strength, therefore, places a very
high burden on the caster. As it is
also difficult to control, it is not
usually used.

This is why it bears the name
“Metraton,” after the angel
Metatron (or Metraton), also
known as the “Agent of God.”

There’s nothing about Samael mentioned in this particular memo. It’s also worth noting, the book disproves that the seal summons anything and was only called “Metatron” due to it’s difficulty to control.

Memo on Syncretic Religions:

 There is no religion that has
remained unchanged from the
moment it was founded.
This one is no exception.

When this religion fell into the
hands of immigrants, it was deeply
influenced by their own original
Christian beliefs.

For example, the traditional
representatives of these primal
gods may be given the names and
descriptions of Christian angels.
This shared characteristics being
to appear.

(There is also one rare example
of the chief deity, “Creator of
Paradise” or “Lord of Serpents
and Reeds”, being dubbed with
a demon’s name. Of course, this
was not done by believers, but
by their opponents.)

Notice it says by “opponents” on demons’ names. This doesn’t mean the God is actually Samael or another angelic name. Only that it was sometimes given those names based on alignment of the people.

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An Easter Egg in Downpour calling the God “Samael” It should be taken with a grain of salt. It is likely an in joke.

The Downpour “Easter egg” is just that and if demonic names were given by opponents it doesn’t mean God is Samael. That means if this is legit canon, it’s moot, because it still doesn’t mean God = Samael. If you’re not concerned with the next historical part, skip to conclusion.

Samael in Jewish Mythology and the Incubus

If you read this far, congratulations! I need to make a few notes before we proceed on Samael’s real mythology. Samael is not a Christian name for Satan, this is super important. In Judaism, Satan doesn’t have a huge role as he does in Christianity or Islam. He’s another angel working for God, in the bible Satan or Hassatan just means “adversary”, a title, for an anonymous angel who makes a bet with God about Job. (In compliance with God’s will, to boot.) In the Zohar, (Kabbalah book of biblical commentary) “Samael” become somewhat of a demon who still sides with God. It’s explicitly noted there that the reason he is called “evil” is not because he actually is *evil* but because he is the enemy of mankind.

There is no “fall of Satan” as there is in Christianity. Samael is an angel of death, that kills the sinful in accordance to God’s will. Therefore, he technically is not a falling angel at all. His physical description does not match the incubus’s either. He resides in fifth heaven and is a prosecuting attorney against mankind. He is a seraphim, but if I recall it right, the descriptions say he has 12 wings instead of the standard 6.

_84584050_3494754156_9273aff2f3_b.jpg

The image the incubus in SH1 is based on: Not Samael, not God, and definitely not an angel.

But that doesn’t prove anything right? No, it doesn’t. However,  Baphomet, the IMAGE, of the incubus also needs to be taken into account. Baphomet’s name is a corruption of the Prophet Mohammed. It’s famous in occult circles because of it’s dual symbolism. “As above, so below”. It was called the pagan idol of the Knights Templar and used to prove that they are pagan, but this was propaganda used to attack them. It is tied to “the Devil” tarot card, the same one used for SH’s creatures. The fact that this image is complex and oft mistaken as a god or the devil, fits the “false god” narrative of Silent Hill. (In the franchise, “God” is a delusion as the other creatures are.)  More information can be read here.

Conclusion

So, why do Western and American fans cling to the idea that God is Samael/Satan? I think it’s because of the history of the West. In Asia, Satan is not a big deal nor is God. So, the creator’s had a different take on this idea than we do. We’re so used to, in our cultures, the pro-Christianity trope in horror movies where the big baddie is revealed as Satan himself to Christian victims, that we jump to assumptions that are not true.

We forget that the Silent Hill cult is not even a Christian one. Their God is not Abrahamic derived and it in fact, Native American. It’s a female solar deity. Samael is a male angel with four wives and no connection to the sun. That makes a huge difference between the two! It’s not even a concept found in Abrahamic religion!

Furthermore, the game explains several times that the reason there is SOME Christian themes in the cult, is because the cult was taking from Native peoples by Christian settlers who merged the two religions together. (This happens in real life, a lot, and is the reason the Aztec religion continues to survive to this day.) That doesn’t make the cult inherently a Christian one. The Christianity is merely the surface of it but at it’s core it is “pagan”. It’s not even a monotheistic cult, it’s a polytheistic one!

Update:

This memo from Origins recently came to my attention as “proof” Samael is God. It is not proof. There is a similar note about the ritual, from the opposing sect, in 4, that the 21 Sacraments descends the devil and not God. The two warring sects think the other one is wrong and actually worships the devil. Likewise, once again, as the memo in 3 states, opposers gave the God demonic names. Thus, it still stands that Samael is not “God”.

References:

  1. Silent Hill 1-4 memos
  2. The Book of Lost Memories
  3. Koshiki guidebook for Silent Hill 1
  4. Silent Hill Downpour
  5. The Zohar
  6. The bible
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