Most everyone has heard the story of the Phantom of the Opera, which began as an early-twentieth-century serialized novel by French author Gaston Leroux, and went on to become one of the most enduring tales in Western culture. Numerous film adaptations exist, including the iconic 1925 silent version starring Lon Chaney, and in 1986, Andrew Lloyd Webber brought the story even wider recognition with his wildly successful stage musical take. But how much of the original story of the Phantom of the Opera is based on fact? Gaston Leroux started his career as a reporter, and in the prologue of the novel, he claims that the story within is absolutely true and based on his own research. He repeated this claim unwaveringly until his death. While some of the details in the novel are indeed known to be mostly true—such as the “lake” beneath the opera house, and the chandelier that fell from the ceiling—others are more ambiguous, such as rumors that the opera house was haunted by a disfigured man. Join Tom and Jenny on this eerie journey back into the literary past to uncover the truth behind the legend on this fun and phantasmic episode 293.
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Channel art and audio & video editing by Jenny Ashford. Music & sound effects courtesy of freesound.org users jamespotterboy, corsica-s, enjoypa, capturedlv, luffy, kiddpark, and justkiddink. Video clips courtesy of Videezy & Videvo.