Wondrous Words Wednesday – Phantom

Posted November 4, 2020 by elzaread in Wondrous Words Wednesday / 11 Comments

This post should have been published last Wednesday, before Halloween. But my Mommy’s last week was a bit like your worst Halloween Nightmare. So this week will have to do. You know what they say about good intentions. I do have very good intentions to post more Wondrous Words, but I just don’t get the time. I still love the idea tremendously though!

I saw this very catchy blog title on Yvonne, over at  Fiction Books‘ website, and it immediately caught my lover-of-language eye. I so wish I could talk like humans. Who doesn’t love all the different languages? Who doesn’t love a good alliteration? Wondrous Words Wednesday. I can definitely purr that.

My Mommy started investigating and notice that this is actually a meme started by Kathy @  Bermuda Onion Blog. But Kathy is taking a bit of a break and just like Yvonne, I do hope she doesn’t mind that we still use her meme.

While taking part in the Fraterfest Read-a-thon last month, I’ve read The Secret of Skeleton Island where the three detectives encounter a movie and a ghost. Interestingly though, in the book they refer to the ghost in the story quite often as the phantom.  No, it’s not a new word to us, it’s just a word that fits this feature perfectly – Wondrous Words. 

We also did know that ghost and phantom are synonyms, or did we? Mommy says of course we did, but I think she is a bit too defensive here. Daddy says it’s not the same. A ghost is a thing that goes boo and a phantom is a thing that goes on an adventure.

That’s an interesting argument, Daddy. Just the words give me different vibes. Ghost scares me and gives me chills. Phantom intrigues me and give me thrills. Aaah the magic of words.

Let’s have a quick look at a couple of famous phantoms and then decide if ghosts and phantoms should really fall haunt the same category, house, graveyard or dungeon.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster – For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason! Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams. . . .  
Chills ✖ Thrills ✔
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston le Roux – The Phantom of the Opera is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well until Christine’s childhood friend Raoul comes to visit his parents, who are patrons of the opera, and he sees Christine when she begins successfully singing on the stage. The voice, who is the deformed, murderous ‘ghost’ of the opera house named Erik, however, grows violent in his terrible jealousy, until Christine suddenly disappears. 
Chills ✔ Thrills ✔
The Phantom Comics Collection by Lee Falk  Created in 1936 by Lee Falk, The Phantom dwells deep in jungles of the African nation of Bangalla. The “Ghost Who Walks” has battled pirates and criminals for more than 400 years!
Chills ✖ Thrills ✖ (we don’t like comics…)
The Phantom Menace – Star Wars Novelization – A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, an evil legacy long believed dead is stirring. Now the dark side of the Force threatens to overwhelm the light, and only an ancient Jedi prophecy stands between hope and doom for the entire galaxy As if everyone on the planet do not know that line. 
Chills ✖ Thrills ✔
The Phantom of Pine Hill (Nancy Drew #42) by Carolyn Keene – Nancy, Bess and George visit Emerson for the university’s summer festivities. The girls are guests in a historic mansion on Pine Hill. Upon arriving, their host tells about the phantom haunting the mansion’s library. He also relates his family’s decades old saga of a lost French wedding gown and valuable gifts that went to the bottom of a nearby cove in the sinking of the Lucy Belle. Is there connection between the phantom and the old ship disaster? Nancy and her friends work diligently to solve the mystery of Pine Hill and to find the long-lost wedding treasures. 
Chills ✔ Thrills ✔
Claudia and the Phantom phone calls (The Baby-sitters Club #2) by Ann M. Martin – Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey have had some strange adventures since they started the Baby-sitters Club. But nothing’s been as spooky as what’s going on right now. The baby-sitters have been getting mysterious phone calls when they’re out on their jobs. When a phone rings and they pick up, there’s no one on the other end of the line. Claudia’s sure it’s the Phantom Caller, a jewel thief who’s been operating in the area. Claudia has always liked reading mysteries, but she doesn’t like it when they happen to her. So she and the baby-sitters decide to take action – with some very mixed results! 
Chills ✖ Thrills ✔


I’m sure there must be quite a few more phantom books, but these are the ones we could find. From this selection, I don’t find a phantom scary at all. I just think adventure!
Strange how two words with the exact same meaning can have such different interpretations.
Have you read any other books with phantoms (not ghosts!) that we have missed and that will actually scare me as much as a ghost?
Lots of Love,





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11 responses to “Wondrous Words Wednesday – Phantom

  1. A little while ago, I bought Roseblood by A.G. Howard… and it is a re-telling/another version of Phantom of the Opera. I am excited to read it (once I get to it?). I enjoyed your post! I learned something new; I really never thought about the strict definition of phantom and would have just chalked it up to the same thing as a ghost!

    • Hi Maya! Well technically, it IS the same thing. That's according to the dictionary and I sure do not have the authority to override a dictionary!

      So glad you could stop by and enjoyed the post!

    • Hi Laura! It was really my husband who came up with the idea. While reading The Secret of Skeleton Island and seeing they use the word phantom for ghost, I pointed it out to him and he said nope – not the same thing. He can be very logical, so who am I to argue!

  2. Wondrous Words has always been one of my favorite weekly memes. I miss this meme and I miss Kathy. I keep nudging her to please come back to our table.

    This is such a cool post. Honestly, though, I don't really care for ghosts or phantoms. Or anything else scary. Like vampires.

    I do like to read about them.

    • Hi there Debbie! Kathy commented on my previous WWW. I think I must send her a link again, because now it's not only the "older" bloggers who want this feature back, but the newer and greener ones as well!

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I had fun typing it!

  3. Hi Eliza,

    What an interesting post and it looks amazing too!

    I'm not really sure what conclusions I came to really, apart from the fact that I like the sound of phantom much more than ghost. Some of the dictionaries translate phantom into ghost before they give a definition, so it is obviously quite a grey area in the English language, as are so many other words I have to add!!

    This one came from the Free Dictionary and probably sums up what a phantom means to me

    "A person or thing of merely illusory power"

    Just to put a real "spanner in the works", I remembered this little gem of a book (I think I saw it mentioned on someone else's blog, but I can't remember who and when!). It has both the words "phantom" and "ghost" in the title, so I'm really struggling to work that scenario out!


    'The Phantom Rickshaw And Other Ghost Stories' by Rudyard Kipling. The cover art is amazing by the way!

    I simply didn't get time to put a WWW together this week, but like yourself, I hope that Kathy will be back in charge soon, as this was such a popular little meme.

    If I don't get to speak with you again, I am sending all Best Wishes for your Monday birthday 🙂

    Yvonne xx

    • Hi Yvonne! Only some-one like Rudyard Kipling will get away with using synonyms in one title and get away with it!

      I seriously never made the connection that it is actually the same meaning. That's why I choose it for Wondrous Words. In Afrikaans we talk about a "spook" (ghost and phantom, no other synonym). And if you talk about a "spook", it's something that goes BOO.

      Thanks so much for visiting us!! You will have time for WWW again. I'm sure you will!