Dress Up Like The Phantom 1925 from The Phantom of the Opera

If you are looking for a good The Phantom 1925 costume for Halloween or a big cosplay event, here’s the winning formula for creating the most exciting outfit of the party! Let’s see how to dress up as The Phantom 1925 from The Phantom of the Opera.

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The Phantom 1925 from The Phantom of the Opera Costume Guide

Shopping List for The Phantom 1925 from The Phantom of the Opera Costume & Outfit

If you are looking for an unexpected costume for your next dress up affair, look no further. In this post, you will learn how to dress like the original, 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera. Few characters are as mysterious and terrifying as this one, and no Halloween would be complete without a phantom lurking in the shadows… Here is how to create an incredibly realistic Phantom costume!

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Lon Chaney as The Phantom of the Opera in 1925

The Phantom of the Opera premiered in 1925 at the Astor Theatre in New York as a black and white silent horror film adaptation of the 1910 novel Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux. Directed by Rupert Julian with Lon Chaney starring in the title role of the Phantom, the story of a murderous man in love unfolds before the viewer’s eyes and is truly a surprising sight.

Lon Chaney himself was responsible for the grotesque makeup used to create his look and it was kept a studio secret until the premiere where it’s said patrons actually passed out at the horrible sight. In silent movies, there are no words to tell the story. The costumes, makeup, set and body language of the actors help tell the story and Chaney’s portrayal of the deformed madman haunting the tunnels beneath the Paris Opera House have stood the test of time. Perhaps being raised by deaf, mute parents helped Chaney understand the importance of emphasizing the things a person sees if they cannot hear.

The Phantom of the Opera, a half-mad being rejected by society, lives in the abandoned basement of the Opéra Garnier in Paris. In love with one of the singers, beautiful Christine, he manages to seduce her from the shadows.

When Christine discovers the shocking and disturbing deformed face of the phantom, she tries to escape from his clutches at all costs.

How to create the Phantom of the Opera costume

The Phantom of the Opera 1925 Original Trailer

There have been many recreations of his iconic look but Chaney’s original and shocking visual artistry will remain the most gruesome and effective look of them all.

Though the exact details of his costume are hard to decipher in the grainy black and white photos from nearly 100 years ago, you can begin to achieve his gothic and horrifying look today with a few key pieces of clothing including a pair of black trousers, white button down shirt and black oxford shoes topped off with a Victorian style vest, necktie and cape to hide your horrifying deformed face. For this part of the costume, you can of course wear a phantom costume mask. 

DIY Halloween ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Make-up Tutorial

If you’d rather create the phantom’s legendary monstrous face by yourself, it will be arduous and painful work. Lon Chaney, the actor behind the phantom, created and applied his makeup by himself every day. He also used various techniques to create the phantom’s deathly features. As Meg Fields explains, “He raised the contours of his cheekbones with cotton and collodion, a very flammable and syrupy solution of pyroxylin mixed in alcohol that creates the appearance of scarred skin when dried. He flattened (possibly glued) his ears to his head, adding to the skull look. An exaggerated skullcap was used to elevate Chaney’s forehead by several inches, accentuating the bald dome of the Phantom’s skull, draped by flat-pressed wisps of stringy black hair. Pencil lines were used not only to exaggerate the natural creases of Chaney’s brow but also to hide the lip of his bald cap.” 

The video on how to DIY Halloween ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Make-up is from the official YouTube channel of Dutch National Opera & Ballet. The video is in Dutch but there is hardly any talking, so everyone will be absolutely clear what they are showing us – how to do the make-up for phantom opera yourself.

DIY Halloween ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Make-up Tutorial – Dutch National Opera & Ballet

With lots of practice, some quality stage makeup, and possibly even some egg membranes, the likes of which Chaney supposedly used on his eyeballs for that ghastly look in his eyes, you can recreate the face of the original Phantom.

For those lacking the time or talent (or stomach) for such a  task, you can find a great mask to complete your look so you can set off to trek your way through underground catacombs in true Phantom of the Opera style. 

With this elegant and mysterious outfit, as well as the deformed mask, you’ll be sure to impress everyone with this terrifying Phantom costume.