The Ghost of the Montreal Symphony House

symphony

© Dale Rogerson

The Montreal Symphony House had been built less than a decade before, but something much older was there. It caused the ornate lighting to sway and cell coverage was always spotty.

His name used to be Erik, and his spirit was first manifest in Paris over a century ago. After departing from there, he has appeared wherever opera or symphonic music was played.

Once he died for love, and now beyond death’s power, he lives for the music of the night. He has been called the Angel of Music, the Opera Ghost, but more commonly, he is the Phantom.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 99.

I saw that the photo is credited to Dale Rogerson and doing a bit of online sleuthing, I discovered she may (not sure about this) live near Montreal.

Since the photo’s file name is “dales-symphony-2,” it seemed reasonable to conclude that this was a photograph of the interior of the Montreal Symphony House at Place des Arts. The scene now being set, I just had to think of a hook.

Although this is a symphony house, I thought that the spirit of The Phantom of the Opera (Wikipedia page for the novel) might be attracted to it, a wandering soul seeking to sojourn anywhere that plays the “music of the night,” to borrow from Andrew Lloyd Webber.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

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56 thoughts on “The Ghost of the Montreal Symphony House

    • Thanks, Rochelle. At the very least, I had to explain why I chose Montreal, and I can’t assume everyone knows the history behind Webber’s modern opera and the 19th century novel by Gaston Leroux.

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  1. The sadness of the story certainly lives down through the years. I first read LeRoux’s book before I was old enough to really understand all of it, but of course Andrew Lloyd Webber brought it to life for all of us. Who can forget the pathos of “The Music of the Night”?

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    • Since they probably aren’t present at all of the concert halls and opera houses the Phantom has haunted over the years, I’d say “no.” But it’s an interesting thought.

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  2. This was good, James. And yes, I do live on the south shore of Montreal and despite this having been built less than a decade before (and still feels so new to me), I had never been until that night.

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  3. I saw him in Dayton, Ohio years ago… during a performance of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”… He gracefully stepped along the upper light structure, causing it to gently sway over the performers on the stage, who spooked and ran off stage. The incident was investigated, but no cause was ever found…

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