Phantom Wiki


Played By
Thrown into River by Mob
Other Names
The opera ghost,The Phantom Of the Opera, The Red Death.
Appears in

Erik is the main antagonist played by Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the opera (1925 film)


Erik was born with a rare deformity and due the scorns and jeers of mankind he went insane and had to be placed in a asylum for the criminally isane, which happened to be located on an island. Erik escaped this island and somehow made his way to the Paris Opera House, where here he secretly lived in the cellars (which were once used as a torture chamber). Erik was often seen or heard by many of the opera staff and came to be known as "The Opera Ghost" or "The Phantom of The Opera", although many people who claimed to see him actually hadn't.

Lon Chaney as Erik

Joseph Bouquet had seen and talked about him freely and for this the Phantom hung him. While at the opera Erik fell in love with a young singer called Christine whom believed that he was "The Angel Of Music". Erik taught and spoke to Christine through the walls of her dressing room and when she finally saw him, she was not pleased by the fact that he wasn't an "Angel" but a man, Christine was curious of why he wore a mask and finally deduced that he was in fact "The Phantom Of The Opera" that everyone was talking about. Erik's response was this "If I am, it is because man's hatred has made me so." At this Christine fainted and awoke in a bedroom filled with dresses, shoes, makeup, mirrors, etc. all for her. She found Erik seated at the piano playing a piece of music from his "Don Juan Triumphant". Christine then unmasked him to reveal his hideous face.


Erik was enraged at Christine and said that she was not free to leave his lair. Christine bargained with him to let her go to The Masquerade the opera was showcasing. Erik entered dressed as The Red Death. There he saw Christine with the Vicomte Raoul de Chagny, a man Erik had told her she could never see. He chased after them and spied on them as they talked to each other, Erik learned from this that Christine thought he was a "monster." He felt betrayed and when Christine made plans to run away with Raoul, he made sure that these plans would not go through. He kidnapped Christine on stage (first - he turned off the opera lights so no one could see what he was doing - when they popped back on she was gone). Raoul teamed up with the mysterious Persian (whom many people thought was the Phantom) to rescue Christine. They made their way past many traps, but in the end their fate would be decided by Erik. Erik had them trapped in a room. He could kill them both by the touch of a button, but he gave Christine a choice... she could marry him or let them die. Erik let them go without Christine making a decision, but at the last minute an angry mob whom had worked out the kidnapping was the Phantom's fault burst into his chambers ready to kill him. Erik ran away and knocked the driver of a coach out. Christine happened to be inside this coach and was waiting for Raoul, before long, Erik realized the coach may be slowing him down. So he decided to make the rest of the journey on foot. The mob were faster and soon cornered him near a river. Erik had one last trick up his sleeve though. He pretended to be holding something in his hand (presumably a bomb of some sort), but then revealed he was holding nothing. The mob leaped on top of him and threw him into the river. That was the last we ever saw of him. Perhaps he wasn't really dead?

The alternative ending[]

The Phantom of the opera (1925 film) originally ended with Erik letting Christine, Raoul and the Persian escape and Christine giving Erik a kiss. After reviving the kiss Erik died of a broken heart. The critics saw a preview of this version and did not like it. They thought a "monster" like the Phantom couldn't die in such a peaceful way. So they reshot a lot of the film and included a more dramatic and justice filled ending (the mob scene).

Erik Dies of a broken Heart

Erik's return?[]

It was said that Gaston Leroux saw the film and thought that the fact that there were slight ripples in the water after Erik was thrown in meant that he was still alive and ready for a sequel. The papers published a story which said that the ending caused Leroux to write a script for the sequel entitled "The Return Of The Phantom". It was said it was going to be made in color and sound with Conrad Veidt in the title role.

This story was later proved to be nothing but speculation. Leroux had not planned any form of sequel. The public were disappointing so Universal released a dubbed version of the original movie were everyone talks but Erik (Universal were forbidden to dub Chaney's voice).

Lon Chaney was supposed to star in a movie entitled The Phantom of Paris, but sadly Chaney died and the movie starred another actor in the role.

The Phantom Of Paris ?