Old Jungle Sayings

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The Old Jungle Sayings are an important part of Phantom lore, symbolizing the fear of, or respect for, the Phantom among jungle residents and evildoers all around the world.

The origin

First use of Old Jungle Saying in "Mister Hog"

The term was introduced by Lee Falk in the 1946-1947 daily story "Mister Hog", which also gives the first saying: "When the Phantom moves, he shames the lightning".

However - a couple of months earlier in the daily story "Princess Valerie", Falk had introduced an "Old Native Saying"; "When the Phantom is angry, the jungle shakes."

Even prior to 1946, Falk had different antecedents mentioned in his stories - in the very first Phantom story, "The Singh Brotherhood" from 1936, it's stated that "The Phantom warns only once", and the 1938 story "The Shark's Nest" states that "In the jungles, there is a legend of the Phantom's strength. 'He is made of steel!' 'He has the strength of ten tigers!' - the natives whisper."

In the stories of Lee Falk

Falk continued to let the jungle sayings illustrate his stories, throughout his life, and by his death he had created about 250 of them, albeit many variants of the same themes.

Team Fantomen

The Old Jungle Sayings became a common theme also in the production of Team Fantomen, which generally used the sayings introduced by Falk.

In 1986 twelve stickers was produced for the Fantomen magazine, establishing what since then has become somewhat of a "Old Jungle Sayings canon". Included was described as the eleven most common sayings, with the twelfth being the subject of a contest among the readers of the magazine to create their own saying. The one chosen as winner was "The Phantom doesn't rest until peace is upon the world". This saying has never been used in a story, and was later replaced in the "canon" by "It is terror for the evil man to awake in darkness and see The Phantom", created by Falk for the 1978 daily story "Return to Tarakimo".


The Team Fantomen canon

  • When the Phantom moves, lightning stands still.
  • The Phantom moves as silently as the jungle cat.
  • There are times when the Phantom leaves the jungle and walks the streets of the town like an ordinary man.
  • You never find the Phantom, he finds you.
  • The voice of the Phantom turns the blood to ice.
  • The Phantom is rough with roughnecks.
  • Never point a gun at the Phantom.
  • The Phantom has a thousand eyes and a thousand ears.
  • The Phantom has the strength of ten tigers.
  • He who looks upon the Phantom's face will die a horrible death.
  • When the Phantom asks, you answer.
  • It is terror for the evil man to awake in darkness and see The Phantom.


The origins for some of the jungle sayings have been explained in stories: