Erik is the main antagonist in Joel Schumacher's 2004 The Phantom of the Opera.
In the original novel, few details are given regarding Erik's past, although there is no shortage of hints and implications throughout the book. Erik himself laments the fact that his mother was horrified by his appearance and that his father, a master mason, never saw him. It is also revealed that "Erik" was not, in fact, his birth name, but one that was given or found "by accident", as Erik himself says in the novel. In the novel, Leroux sometimes calls him "the man's voice;" Erik also refers to himself as "The Opera Ghost," "The Angel of Music" and attends a masquerade ball as the Red Death from Edgar Allan Poe's short story.