It’s safe to say that everyone on Earth has a hobby or two. Whether you’re the President of the United States or a high school principal, you still need something to occupy the time you spend when you aren’t working. That’s true especially if you’re a writer; after all, you’ll need something interesting to write about!

After he penned his bestselling debut novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, author Ransom Riggs traveled to Europe to explore abandoned castles. Well, more like “break into” abandoned castles…

What would become the backdrop of a trailer to promote his story began as an adventure that would take him to some of the spookiest places on Earth. Luckily, Riggs documented his journey for all to see…

Ransom Riggs is most-known as the bestselling author of the young adult fantasy novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Once he finished his book, his agent asked him to put together a “novel trailer” to capture the feel of the story and to help sell it to a publisher. Thankfully, he knew just where to go…

Riggs decided to take a trip and to focus on the manor homes and castles in Belgium. Since many of these places were simply left abandoned, he knew that it would be relatively easy to get inside of them and capture the footage he needed for the trailer.


While Riggs knew that each location would be full of promising and inspiring images, he had no idea what he would find waiting for him behind each and every door. In one manor house, for instance, he found a basket that was still packed for its next picnic.

Inside another of the old houses Riggs investigated, there was an abandoned artist’s studio filled with sculptures, paintings, and other works-in-progress. The half-finished pieces of art were totally haunting, which made them the perfect fodder for his project.


Something about the unfinished quality of most of these pieces made them seem like they were ripped right from the pages of the very book Riggs had just finished writing. He couldn’t help but feel that he had been guided to these different locations for a reason.

This abandoned set of paints in one home showed that the artist was just as passionate about painting as they were about sculpture. It was as if all of these items were just sitting there waiting to be discovered.

The grand exteriors of some of these homes were completely imposing. They were clearly designed to impress, if not to outright intimidate! For Riggs, trying to imagine what they might find behind those grand facades was the most exciting part of the journey.


Riggs couldn’t believe this bedroom inside another abandoned estate. It was still organized and decorated like its owner would be back at any minute. The only sign that he’d be waiting for a long time were the layers of dust and decay the covered the area.

In another home, Riggs got the shock of a lifetime when he discovered two gravestones in the living room! The two headstones appeared to be quite old, and they were strangely and casually placed against a wall.


These were just a few of the treasures that Riggs found on his trip. To see what else he discovered, watch the video footage below. Once you see the eerie places that inspired him, you’ll never look at his writing the same way again…

That’s so interesting and spooky all at once. Can you imagine the fascinating history behind all these places?

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