Walter Sullivan is the antagonist of Silent Hill 4: The Room. He is a religious fanatic, courtesy of the Order’s beliefs being imposed upon him as a child.
As a young boy, Walter considered the apartment room he was born in to be his mother, to replace his real mother, who abandoned him at birth.
“ I told you we shouldn’t have had a baby, didn’t I?!
—Walter’s father to his mother
34 years before the events of Silent Hill 4: The Room, Walter’s biological parents lived in the town of Ashfield in Room 302 of the South Ashfield Heights apartment building. His father was possibly abusive as he screamed phrases such as “Stupid little crybaby!” and “Oh, shut the hell up! You can’t blame it all on me!”. Walter’s biological mother appears to have been kept silent as she is never heard or discussed in the game. It was speculated by the building superintendent, Frank Sunderland, that they may have had money troubles or had gotten themselves into danger.
The young couple fled the apartment and left the newborn baby behind. The infant was later discovered by Frank Sunderland, who turned the child over to the nearby St. Jerome’s Hospital. Frank had also kept Walter’s umbilical cord in a box in his room, feeling that it was too precious to throw away. After a stay in the hospital, Walter became a ward of the state and was adopted by the Wish House orphanage in a forest near Silent Hill. It was there that he began his tutelage in the ways of the Order, the cult that operated the orphanage, and was given the name “Walter.”
When Walter was six years old, Dahlia Gillespie, another member of the cult, came to Wish House and told Walter that his mother was “asleep” in Ashfield. Every week, Walter traveled from the orphanage to South Ashfield Heights (a very long trip for a young child) by taking the subway or the bus. Unfortunately, someone else was living in Room 302, preventing him from being reunited with his “mother”. For years, Walter continued to travel to South Ashfield Heights, almost as if he was possessed, just to peek into the apartment building. The tenants began to complain and treat him badly when they saw him hanging around (especially one tenant, Richard Braintree) and Walter began to fear the tenants and saw them as obstacles preventing him from seeing his mother. Around this time, Walter had also learned to read and write, and kept a diary. He would also write letters to his mother and slip them under Room 302’s door, asking her why she wasn’t able to wake up.
Walter was forced into reading the cult’s scriptures and if he misbehaved, he would be sent to the “round cell” where Andrew DeSalvo would abuse him, along with the other children of the orphanage. As the years passed and Walter matured, he began to be more and more influenced by the teachings of the cult. Walter became preoccupied with one particular tract from the cult’s “Bible.” (The Descent of the Holy Mother — The 21 Sacraments).
“By the 21 Sacraments, the Holy Mother shall appear in the countries of the world and shall bring salvation to the sinful ones.”
George Rosten, a priest of the Order’s Valtiel sect, had instructed and raised Walter in the 21 Sacraments ritual; in doing this, he let Valtiel into Walter’s subconscious, which allowed him to perform the ritual. Dahlia Gillespie continued to watch Walter’s progress until her imminent death in Silent Hill 1.
Another Crimson Tome suggests that Walter was living on the streets whenever he would make trips to Ashfield during his teenage years. On one particular trip, a 16-year-old Walter encountered 5-year-old Eileen Galvin in Ashfield; Eileen, out of sympathy, handed Walter one of her dolls and then walked away, conversing with her mother. Walter’s and Eileen’s encounter had inspired a profound sorrow within him to which he cried uncontrollably.
Walter had also approached Cynthia Velasquez in South Ashfield Station when both of them were teenagers and in response, she called him “filthy, yet handsome” in front of her friends. It is possible that Walter had an interest in Cynthia, as it is shown that he had known Cynthia’s name for years and would often watch her at a distance, but had been too shy to approach her. Cynthia’s murder, being repeatedly stabbed first-hand by Walter, and the decision to name her the 16th Sacrament “Temptation”, may also allude to this.
Walter left Wish House as a mature young man of 18 and moved to Pleasant River at 19, a town neighboring Silent Hill. For a while, he lived the life of a normal student studying at the university campus in Pleasant River; however, Walter was still filled with bitterness and resentment towards the rest of the world. Several years later, Walter launched his murder spree.
The 10 Hearts
At 24, Walter Sullivan began the 21 Sacraments by murdering 10 people in as many days, removing their hearts and carving numbers into their bodies. The first corpse had 01121 carved into it, the second 02121, the third 03121, and so on up to 10121. He made no effort to cover his tracks, even going as far as to carve his own name into the flesh of his victims. However, when the police arrived at the crime scenes, there were no fingerprints or fibers left behind. The 10 Hearts became known around the world as the “Walter Sullivan Case.”
A death report had stated that Walter was captured, tried, and convicted, and was thought to have committed suicide by stabbing himself in the neck with a metal soup spoon and severing his own carotid artery while in prison. Joseph Schreiber, the current resident of Room 302 at the time, was a journalist investigating his case. Joseph firmly believed that the real Walter Sullivan had never died at the prison and that it may have been someone else who committed suicide, or the person who the police arrested was not the real Walter Sullivan.
Ritual of the Holy Consumption
A few days after “Walter Sullivan” had committed suicide, several residents of South Ashfield Heights witnessed a long-haired man with a coat in the apartment building. Through his window, Richard Braintree saw the man moving something heavy and doing something in Room 302. Frank Sunderland also saw the man with the coat hanging around Room 302, and confirmed there were signs of someone having been in there. Joseph Schreiber had known that the real Walter Sullivan was still alive.
Somehow, without Joseph observing him, Walter had entered Room 302 and secretly performed the Ritual of the Holy Assumption in the back of the apartment’s storage room.
Three years later, another body was found, killed in a very similar manner to Walter’s previous victims, and the numbers 12121 were carved into the body. The police suspected a copycat, though the heart was not removed, nor was a name carved into the body. Joseph developed his own theory at this time; he believed that the police had failed to capture the real Walter Sullivan, and began to investigate Walter’s life in conjunction with an earlier investigation into the Silent Hill cult. Eventually finding Walter’s grave, Joseph discovered there was no body inside and that numbers, 11121, were carved into the coffin. Two more bodies surfaced over the next few weeks, carved with the numbers 13121 and 14121 respectively. Joseph Schreiber went missing from Room 302 shortly thereafter. What the police failed to realize was that the middle number 1 in the numbers, 01121-14121, was actually a slash: 01/21-14/21, meaning that Walter intended to kill 21 victims in all.
Through the Order’s teachings, Walter believed that the deaths of these 21 victims would help free his “mother,” Room 302, and wake her up again so that he could live within her “womb” once more, safe from the world that terrorized him. In the game, most of his victims appear as ghosts.
Walter’s dismal childhood and the events that occurred in his life have had an important effect on him. Throughout his childhood, Walter was placed under the strict teachings of the Order. Because the cult had adopted him, Walter holds the cult in high regards and strongly believes in its teachings. As a child, Walter unquestionably accepted what the adults in his life had taught him, and thus, believed what Dahlia had told him: Room 302 was his mother.
Walter’s life was devoid of any real love and tenderness. When an innocent child displayed an act of kindness by giving him her doll, Walter cried sorrowfully because such an act from society was rare; Walter viewed the majority of society as cruel and bitter. Despite this, he held a calm and shy demeanor in his adolescent years.
Walter holds a strong desire to be reunited with his mother whom he never knew. In Walter’s flashbacks, it is shown that Walter’s father was both abusive to him, and his mother. It can be speculated that Walter hates his father for this reason (althogh no such hatred is ever mentioned in the game) and sees his mother as a sort of “prisoner” to his father. This desire is so strong that Walter is willing to murder 21 people in order to rebirth God, unleash Paradise, and be reunited with his mother.
Despite him being a serial killer, Walter speaks to Henry in a surprisingly calm and non-threatening manner. Even though he chases Henry and Eileen attempting to murder them both, he does not hold any hatred and resentment towards them. Walter views Henry and Eileen not as enemies, but simply as two more sacrifices needed to complete the 21 Sacraments ritual.
Silent Hill 4: The Room
Walter Sullivan is the game’s primary antagonist. The Otherworld seen throughout the game was created by Walter, and it symbolizes his past, needs, fears and views of his surroundings. It is said in the game that only he can control it.
He is first heard of in the Subway World, having murdered Cynthia. Henry Townshend also sees Walter’s younger manifestation in the Forest World, the Water Prison World and the Building World. In the Apartment World, Henry sees Walter briefly knocking on Eileen Galvin’s door and walking away. A few moments later, he finds him sitting on the staircase and Walter tells Henry about his experience with meeting Eileen many years ago. When Henry enters Eileen’s apartment, he discovers her bleeding on her living room floor; Walter had assaulted Eileen, but Walter’s younger manifestation of himself had interfered.
In St. Jerome’s Hospital’s Otherworld, Henry briefly sees Walter performing surgery on a woman’s womb; Walter sees him and Henry runs out of the room. Walter later chases Henry and Eileen throughout the Forest World Second time and the Water Prison World Second time. In the Building World Second time, Henry witnesses Walter kidnap himself. In the Apartment World Second time, Walter will appear in various places and shoot at Henry. In one hallway of South Ashfield Heights, Henry examines bodies symbolizing Walter’s father. Later on, Henry discovers Walter’s umbilical cord in Frank Sunderland’s room and receives flashbacks of Walter as a baby. Eileen separates from Henry to find Walter’s younger self.
Henry eventually finds Walter, Walter’s younger self and Eileen. After a boss fight, Walter is killed. In the Escape, Mother, and Eileen’s Death endings, Walter’s younger manifestation disappears into thin air. However, if the player achieves the 21 Sacraments endings, Walter is revealed to still be alive and is seen motionless in Room 302, where his manifestation falls asleep on the couch.
Each person listed below is someone Walter murders (or intends to kill) either prior to the game’s beginning or during the game itself. For an unexplained reason (possibly due to the occult ritual of which their deaths are a part, or even Walter’s own imagination) nearly all of Walter’s victims return as ghosts, including Walter himself, who are hostile to Henry and attack him at every opportunity, with the exception of Joseph as he gives information to Henry and doesn’t harm him. There were 16 male victims (including Walter Sullivan, but not Henry Townshend) and 4 female victims (including Eileen Galvin). All of them left something behind, such as an item or close memory that worked as a contribution for Walter’s nightmare world. The player will constantly see these items throughout the game.
Round 1 Victims (The 10 Hearts)
01/21 – Jimmy Stone: First of the Ten Hearts – Jimmy Stone was a priest in the Valtiel Sect, a division of the Order. He was nicknamed “The Red Devil” by members of the Order in reference to the triangular red hood he wore during ritualistic executions, much like Pyramid Head of Silent Hill 2 fame. Walter shot him in the back of the head inside the Wish House orphanage and removed his heart.
02/21 – Bobby Randolph: Second of the Ten Hearts – Randolph was a college student who attended the same school as Walter. He and two of his friends, Sein Martin and Jasper Gein, were fascinated by the lore of the Order and tried to learn all about it. Walter strangled him to death, removed his heart and dumped his body on the college campus in Pleasant River alongside the third victim.
03/21 – Sein Martin: Third of the Ten Hearts – Like his friend Randolph, Martin was also interested in the legends surrounding the Order and his curiosity likely led to his death. Walter strangled him to death, removed his heart and dumped his body on the college campus in Pleasant River alongside Bobby Randolph.
04/21 – Steve Garland: Fourth of the Ten Hearts – Steve Garland operated a pet store in Ashfield. His murder was particularly gruesome; after Walter riddled his body with bullets from a submachine gun (leaving his chest undamaged so the heart could be removed), he proceeded to brutally kill all the animals in the store.
05/21 – Rick Albert: Fifth of the Ten Hearts – Rick Albert was the manager of a sporting goods store in Ashfield. Walter bludgeoned him to death with a golf club and removed his heart. He was murdered on the same day as Steve Garland.
06/21 – George Rosten: Sixth of the Ten Hearts – George Rosten was a priest in the Valtiel Sect and the right-hand man of Jimmy Stone. He personally instructed Walter on the 21 Sacraments, then ironically fell victim to his own teaching when Walter beat him to death with an iron pipe and removed his heart. George Rosten is known as Victim 6 in the game. He let Valtiel into young Walter’s subconscious to permit the 21 Sacraments.
07/21 – Billy Locane: Seventh of the Ten Hearts – Billy Locane was a child living in Silent Hill. Walter killed him with a single blow from an axe and removed his heart. He was not turned into a ghost like the others. Instead, he is half of the Twin Victims monster.
08/21 – Miriam Locane: Eighth of the Ten Hearts – Miriam was Billy’s twin sister and killed just after her brother. Unlike Billy, who was killed with a single blow from an axe, Walter brutally dismembered Miriam’s body before removing her heart, most likely due to his violent misogyny. Unlike Walter’s other victims, Billy and Miriam do not appear as ghosts but rather fused together as a monster which is known as the Twin Victims.
09/21 – William Gregory: Ninth of the Ten Hearts – William Gregory was an elderly man that owned the Watch & Clock store in Ashfield. Walter stabbed him with a screwdriver and removed his heart.
10/21 – Eric Walsh: Tenth/Last of the Ten Hearts – The final victim of Walter’s initial rampage. Walsh worked as a bartender at Bar Ashfield. On his birthday, a middle-aged customer told him that the pet store owner was murdered and the murderer was still at large, causing the bar’s owner to close the bar early. Walsh then went home, only to find Walter waiting for him. Walter shot him in the face and removed his heart.
Suicide (Victim 11/21)
11/21 – Walter Sullivan: Assumption – After his capture, it was believed that Walter committed suicide in his jail cell by stabbing himself in the neck with a spoon that severed his carotid artery, and that his body was buried in an unmarked grave near the Wish House. However, after the first copycat murder, his grave was exhumed and was discovered to be empty. Although the game is never fully clear on this matter, it is debated that either his body was taken from its grave by his own ghost to the hidden room in Room 302 to await the last of the 21 Sacraments, or that it was never him in the first place as Joseph Schreiber suggests in his Red Diary.
Round 2 Victims
12/21 – Peter Walls: Void – The first of Walter’s postmortem victims. Walls was a notorious drug addict known for his crazed ranting, and spineless behavior when not high. His body was found in a room in the Hotel South Ashfield some six months after his death. He had apparently been beaten to death after he claimed he could see God.
13/21 – Sharon Blake: Darkness – Sharon Blake had been a target of the Order for some time. Her family had all been taken in by the Order, but she refused their requests (and later demands) to join. When she went looking for her family in the woods near Silent Hill, she discovered her family’s gravestones, at which point Walter caught her and drowned her in the lake.
14/21 – Toby Archbolt: Gloom – Toby Archbolt was a priest of the Holy Mother Sect of the Order, which operated the Wish House. After the deaths of Jimmy Stone and George Rosten and the subsequent weakening of the Valtiel Sect, Archbolt tried to increase the influence of his own sect within the Order. During a trip to Mexico, Walter pushed Toby off of a cliff, making him the only victim in the series to be killed outside of the United States and the first African American to appear in the series.
15/21 – Joseph Schreiber: Despair (Giver of Wisdom) – Joseph Schreiber was an investigative reporter who lived in Room 302 before Henry Townshend. He was investigating the Order, which led to an exposé on the Wish House. While investigating ties between the Order and the Walter Sullivan murders, he suddenly found himself sealed inside his apartment with the only means of escape being a mysterious hole in his bathroom wall. Schreiber apparently never made it out of his apartment and he eventually became Walter’s 15th victim. The means of his murder and the location of his body are unknown (although it is probable, as seen in the beginning, that Jimmy Stone’s ghost murdered him).
Round 3 Victims
16/21 – Cynthia Velasquez: Temptation – Cynthia Velasquez was a woman living in Ashfield. She is the first victim killed to be witnessed by Henry Townshend. He met her in the South Ashfield Station where she believed herself to be dreaming, and Townshend just a figment of her imagination (though that does not prevent her from making advances). While Henry tried to find a way out of the station, Walter killed her by multiple stab wounds, along with carving “16121” into her left breast.
17/21 – Jasper Gein: Source – Jasper Gein was a somewhat mentally unbalanced youth who, along with his friends Bobby Randolph and Sein Martin, was fascinated by the mythology of the Order. While exploring the ruins of the Wish House, Walter immolated Gein, who seemed almost appreciative of the act. After Henry witnesses this act, Gein calls out that he had seen the red devil he had been searching for. While screaming through the flames, Jasper carves the number “17121” into his own chest with an altar candle.
18/21 – Andrew DeSalvo: Watchfulness – Andrew DeSalvo was an abusive guard at the Water Prison where children at the Wish House were sent for punishment. Somehow, he became locked in one of his own cells and, after being released by Henry, was captured by Walter and drowned. Before this incident occurred, he sees Little Walter, a childlike apparition of Walter’s that split with his “spirit” after his assumption. Henry also sees Little Walter multiple times throughout the game, the first time being just outside of Wish House. The number “18121” is carved onto DeSalvo’s stomach.
19/21 – Richard Braintree: Chaos – Richard Braintree lived in Room 207 of South Ashfield Heights. He was an eccentric, somewhat violent (and possibly sadistic) man. Remembering what happened to Joseph Schreiber, he becomes concerned when he notices the same thing happening again in Room 302. He tries to find a way to help Henry, but Walter captures Braintree, carves the number “19121” into his forehead and electrocutes him in his own apartment, despite Henry’s attempts to stop him.
20/21 – Eileen Galvin: Mother (Reborn) – Eileen Galvin is Henry’s next-door neighbor. She first encountered Walter at the Subway when she was five, and she gave him her favorite doll to cheer him up. Towards the middle of the game, Walter breaks into her apartment and assaults her, breaking her arm and carving “20/21” into her back. However, Little Walter’s interference stopped her from being killed. Walter summons Eileen toward the end of the game in an attempt to finish the job once and for all. Whether Eileen lives or dies effects which game ending the player receives. If the player receives the two endings: “21 Sacraments” and/or “Eileen’s Death” ending, she will die. In the “Escape” and “Mother” ending, she will live.
21/21 – Henry Townshend: Wisdom (Receiver of Wisdom) – Walter felt that his final intended victim, the current resident of Room 302, had to die in order to purify his “mother” so she could finally be reborn and he could be reunited with her. Depending on the actions of the player, Townshend either defeats Walter or dies at his hands. If the player gets the “21 Sacraments”, Henry will die. In the “Escape” and “Mother” Ending, both Eileen and Henry will live.
Frank Sunderland – If the player achieves the 21 Sacraments ending, Frank will have been killed by Walter as well. His cause of death isn’t specified, as he had just been “found dead.”
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