The Mysterious Death
of Joseph Buquet
Warning!  This is very graphic!
Artwork by FdeLO

How? Where? When? Why?

According to Gaston Leroux, the body of Joseph Buquet is found hanging in the third cellar. Before any investigation could even begin, the body had been taken down and the rope had disappeared. According to Leroux, other employees, in their hysteria at allegedly witnessing the work of the Opera Ghost, had divided the rope into pieces among keep as souvenirs!

Will the real monsters now stand up?

Was Erik somehow involved in the death of Joseph Buquet? If Erik killed him, why? Listed below are numerous explanations and their sources.

Novel by Gaston Leroux (1911)Buquet actually had seen the Phantom's real face at one time and talks too much about it to others. Later on, the Daroga sees a footprint on the glass inside of Erik's torture chamber. He concludes that the Phantom may have allowed Buquet to see him again and to follow him... right into a trap door that leads to the torture chamber. The daroga believes Erik then tortured Buquet into hanging himself from the iron tree, then moved the body to the third cellar in order to make it look like suicide.
Movie by Universal Studios (1925)As in Leroux's novel, Buquet actually had seen the Phantom's real face at one time. He knows too much about the Phantom and continually talks about it to others. He had seen the Phantom's real face and he never hesitated to describe to anyone eager to listen. For this, Erik kills him with the Punjab lasso in the third cellar and leaves the body hanging as a warning to others.
Movie by Universal Studios (1943)Dear Buquet is not only clueless about the Phantom in this retelling of the story - this is obvious in his description of the Opera Ghost - but is also not in any real danger. He's allowed to live this time.
Movie by Hammer Films (1962)Assuming that was Buquet's body, it is the malevolent dwarf's melodramatic attempt to scare away Maria (renamed from Carlotta). The Phantom has serious reasons for preventing the Opera about Joan of Arc from being performed at the London Opera House.
Movie by Harpor Productions (1974)The closest equivalent I can find to Buquet in this film is the man who is operating the spotlight. The Phantom sneaks up behind him and strangles him to death so that he can put the spotlight on Phoenix during her "impromptu" debut.
Movie by Robert Halmi Productions (1983)There is no Buquet this time, nor is there any real equivalent to Buquet. There's only the gossipy floor-scrubbers, who are never in any real danger with the Phantom.
Musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber(1986)Buquet knows too much about the Phantom. Ignoring Madame Giry's advice, he talks too much about it to others. With delightful mischieviousness, he scares little ballerina girls with his tales of the Phantom's face and the Punjab lasso. Meanwhile, the Phantom is also angry that management ignores his demand to cast Carlotta in a silent role and Christine in the starring role. The Phantom fulfils his threats first by humiliating Carlotta and then hanging Buquet's dead body from the lasso during a ballet scene.
20th Century (1989)Buquet is a young, inexperienced stage hand. One of the props falls and hurts Christine. Buquet blames the Opera Ghost, which makes Erik angry. Not only does Erik punish Buquet for this and for hurting Christine, he also sees an opportunity to scare La Carlotta out of performing the role of Marguerite that evening.
Movie by Saban Entertainment (1990)It is an accidental death. While taking inventory of the props, costumes, etc. in storage, Buquet sees Erik walking by on a plank. Already startled at seeing a stranger wandering about the cellars, the sudden and unexpected sight of the Death Mask that Erik is wearing frightens Buquet. Buquet takes a few steps backwards and falls off the plank.
Yeston and Kopit Musical (1991)While following La Carlotta's orders and taking an inventory of everything stored below, Buquet sees Erik. Both are startled at seeing one another. In panic at seeing a stranger in his realm, Erik - for the first time ever in his life - follows through with the threat of death against tresspassers of the Phantom's Domain. Later on, it is obvious that even Erik himself is shaken by this incident.
Novel by Susan Kay (1991)While Erik is away from his House on the Lake, Buquet accidentally falls into the torture chamber while looking for a stage prop. Erik had designed the chamber to automatically generate heat whenever the detectors sensed that someone had fallen into it. Unable to bear the heat, Buquet hangs himself from the iron tree. Erik, who feels remorseful over the situation, is aware that Buquet had been miserable during the past few years. He moves the body to the third cellar, hoping that the authorities would suspect no foul play and conclude that it was suicide.
Novel by Nicholas Meyer (1993)Buquet had also been in love with Christine Daaé. He had even gone so far as to visit her in her dressing room and profess his undying love. A dangerously jealous and possessive Erik not only disposes of Buquet (and anyone else who tries to get too emotionally close to Christine), but uses his death as a warning game to others not to upset the Opera Ghost.
Movie by Water Bearer Films (1993)Like Leroux's Madame Giry, Buquet is one of the Phantom's "assistants." Already a clumsy, incompetent stage hand, his drinking habit and rude manners do not help his situation. He not only disobeys the Phantom's orders repeatedly, but also talks too much about him. He tells the managers and La Carlotta about the Trap Doors and the House in the Caverns, then proposes that they all hunt him down and kill him.
Novel by Sam Siciliano (1994)Buquet had fallen into one of Erik's boobey traps while up to no good. He wasn't missed that much anyway; he had been a drunken, lascivious old pig that nobody seemed to like very much.
Movie by Medusa Films (1998)At first, Joseph Buquet seems like such a kind but mischievious old man who likes to scare the little ballerina girls by dressing up in a Phantom's cloak. Unfortunately, Buquet has his own dark, sinister side regarding small children. He makes advances at one little ballerina girl, who runs away down towards the catacombs. He runs after her, right into the Phantom. The Phantom rips his heart out. When he sees the little girl hiding nearby, he walks towards her and, with a gentle voice, tells her to go home.
Movie by Warner Brothers (2004)Same reason as in the live musical show by Andrew Lloyd Webber

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