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Hollowgasts, also known as Hollows, are creatures that were spawned from the Experiment of 1908. They are the secondary antagonists of the Peculiar Children series and film adaptation: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (film).They have long and extremely strong tongues. Normal hollows can only be seen by several known peculiars: Jacob Portman, Abraham Portman, H, and other unmentioned Hollow Hunters, while Caul's evolved hollows are visible to all. Abraham, H and Jacob are the only ones known able to control them. Jacob is the only known peculiar to be able to control several.


Long ago, there were peculiars similar to hollowgasts. They were tri-tongued, feared and bloodthirsty, but also brilliant and even respected by some. However, they were not soulless. As Abraham and Jacob Portman descend from these peculiars, they have a remnant of them inside them, making them able to control modern hollows.

Modern hollows were formerly peculiars led by Caul onto the path of immortality. In a bid to eliminate aging without the need for loops, a group of rogue peculiars led by Jack 'Caul' Bentham entered an old, unused loop in the Siberian wastes to perform the Experiment of 1908.

However, the experiment went wrong and the peculiars became hollowgasts. Hollowgasts are terrifying creatures who seek to consume peculiars, but will still eat anything if peculiars are not available, namely normals.

It is not certain what went wrong in the experiment, but there are some theories.

In the film, the hollowgasts were formed the same way as in the novel, except that it was from the experiment made by Mr. Barron, who also became a hollowgast.

One theory is that they reverse-aged themselves to a time before even their souls had been conceived, which is why we call them hollowgast - because their hearts, their souls, are empty.

–Miss Peregrine, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


They only become visible to the rest of us when they’re eating, Miss Peregrine had told me, which is to say, when it’s too late.

–Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Modern hollows are soulless corruptions. They (save Caul's evolved ones) are invisible to all normals and most peculiars, except special peculiars such as Jacob and Abraham Portman.

Hollowgasts crave and feed upon the souls of peculiars, but they will eat Coerfolc (normals) as well. If they consume enough peculiar souls, they become wights. They can eat as many as 100 normal souls, but can only become wights by eating peculiar souls. They are only seen as a shadow to all, which is why they tend to hunt at night, as the darkness hides their shadow. Hollows can be seen when they are eating, which is when it's too late to save the person. A hollow has three tongues inside its mouth, with evolved ones having a fourth, and is taller than an average human.

Caul's evolved hollows from The Desolations of Devil's Acre each have a soul from the Library of Souls inside them. They are visible to all, can run faster than before, and have armored chests, making them more difficult to kill. Their language was also changed, and one was able to turn Jacob's command of "sleep" against himself.

According to Horatio, being a hollow is torture, with everything feeling half-formed. Hollows are so hungry even their bones feel hollow, and they only gain relief by eating (preferably a peculiar). However, even this is only brief respite.


It's believed that the hollows can live thousands of years, but it is a life of constant physical torment, of humiliating debasement - feeding on stray animals, living in isolation - and of insatiable hunger for the flesh of their former kin, because our blood is their only hope for salvation. If a hollow gorges itself on enough peculiars, it becomes a wight.

–Miss Peregrine, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

When a hollowgast consumes enough peculiar souls, they evolve into wights, who look like normal humans apart from their eyes, which have no pupils.

Known Hollowgasts


A police sketch of Malthus



  • Hollows can be seen when they are painted, this is shown in Library of Souls.
  • In the film, hollowgasts consume only peculiar eyeballs instead of savaging their whole bodies for their souls
  • In the film, 3 of the hollows are/were female, including Miss Edwards, who became wights. The rest are/were male, of which 4 became wights: Mr. Gleeson, Mr. Barron, Mr. Archer, and Mr. Clark.
  • Normal hollowgasts can only be seen by Librarians.
  • It's possible that some of the hollowgasts worship Lovecraftian deities (Riggs has mentioned both H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos as one of the inspirations for his Peculiar Children book series).
  • The only time a hollow was shown turning into a wight was with Horatio in A Map of Days.
  • Normal hollows can only be seen by non librarian peculiars and normals when they are eating.
  • Due to his ancestry, Jacob Portman was able to become a hollowgast by consuming a soul from the Library of Souls. It would have been a permanent transformation had it not been for Noor Pradesh removing the soul from inside Jacob before it had fully set in.