Where Is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children?

It's about time we set our sights on a haunting place born out of spooky season: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. 

The titular novel was originally meant to be a Halloween photo book, complete with couplets, until author Ransom Riggs decided to shift course and turn his material into young adult fiction. 

“Beautiful photographs of horrible things" inspired Riggs to do the book, he told The New York Times. Vintage, Victorian photographs have intermittently held a fascination for Riggs since his grandmother took him at a young age to secondhand shops and swap meets in Florida. As a grownup, he would collect old photos, some from a flea market, with increasing fervor.

A flea market in Florida. Via Carli Segelson

Although the protagonist of the story, Jacob, lived in Florida like the author, Miss Alma LeFay Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is actually situated across the pond: in the fictional Welsh island of Cairnholm. Portholland, a settlement in Cornwall, England, stood in for Cairnholm in the Tim Burton-directed movie. 

As for Ms. Peregrine's home itself, Torenhof Castle in Brasschaat, Belgium impressed Burton and crew enough to shoot the movie at the 1905 structure, built by the industrialist Eduard de Beukelaer. The team landscaped a garden outside the castle just for the movie. 

There used to be a saying, probably born out of turn-of-the-century technophobia, that cameras are designed to capture people's souls. In this case, it has clearly freed one, going on to produce a book loved by millions worldwide.

The 20th Century Fox movie was filmed in Torenhof Castle near Antwerp, Belgium. Photo below via Rita Steyaert


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