In Tim Burton’s spooky new fantasy film “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” Eva Green plays a mysterious headmistress who teaches a group of youngsters how to control their supernatural powers. But this isn’t the first academy for uniquely gifted students. Here are 12 schools from movies and TV that specialize in extreme weirdness.
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Seen In: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001)
According to J.K. Rowling, this mysterious school of witchcraft and wizardry can be found in Scotland, not far from the real-life burgh of Dufftown. Located on the northern shore of the eerie Black Lake, the sprawling co-ed campus is open to students between the ages of 11 and 18 who demonstrate a natural ability with magic. Mandatory first year classes include Transfiguration, Charms, and Defense Against the Dark Arts.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters
Seen In: “X-Men” (2000)
Comic-book readers first encountered this school for heroic mutants back in 1963, in the very first issue of the Uncanny X-Men. Since then, it’s become a familiar part of the cinematic superhero franchise. Located in a historic mansion in Westchester County, New York, the facility contains a vast underground complex, a titanium-steel prison, and a high-tech training simulator known as the Danger Room. Courses include Advanced Telekinesis and Close Quarters Combat.
Courtesy of Fox
Seen In: “Monsters University” (2013)
This colorful college in the city of Monstropolis was founded in 1313 by a frog-like creature named Arthur Clawson. The primary goal of MU is to teach monsters the fine art of scaring human children. However, students who aren’t interested in obtaining a degree in scaring can enter the Liberal Arts and Monstrosities program instead. The university also offers a robust Greek Life community, including fraternities like Jaws Theta Chi and Roar Omega Roar.
Courtesy of Pixar
St. Vladimir’s Academy
Seen In: “Vampire Academy” (2014)
This young adult fantasy adaptation takes place at a posh boarding school nestled deep in the woods of Montana. Students are either Moroi (peaceful vampires who co-exist with humanity) or Dhampirs (half-vampire, half-human warriors sworn to protect the Moroi). The curriculum includes Basics of Elemental Control, Bodyguard Theory, and Personal Protection. Blood-drinking between vampires is frowned upon, so hungry students are encouraged to feed on humans who willingly donate themselves for short periods of time.
Courtesy of Weinstein Company
Seen In: “Sky High” (2005)
Sky High is a floating school located miles above Earth and hidden behind a self-generating cloud bank. When the children of the world’s greatest superheroes need an education, they attend this well appointed facility run by Principal Powers (played in a cheeky bit of casting by “Wonder Woman” star Lynda Carter). Depending on their abilities, incoming freshmen are designated either hero or sidekick. The real-life library building at Cal State Northridge was used for exterior shots of the levitating campus.
Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures
Seen In: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003)
Fans of this iconic TV series know that Sunnydale High is located directly above a yawning Hellmouth, which explains why the school is constantly plagued by supernatural creatures. Luckily for the students, this hotspot of demonic activity is protected by one hell of a Slayer.
Courtesy of UPN/The WB
Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies
Seen In: “American Horror Story: Coven” (2013)
The third season of FX’s anthology horror series is set in a creepy mansion where talented young spellcasters come to study the occult. Run by Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) and Cordelia Foxx (Sarah Paulson), this school of witchcraft is actually located in the Garden District of New Orleans. Exteriors for the show were shot at the historic Buckner Mansion. Built in 1856, the gorgeous private residence can be rented for a modest $20,000 per month.
Courtesy of FX
Seen In: “Charmed” (1998-2006)
Introduced in the sixth season, this peaceful school of sorcery is protected by a spell that prevents anyone from being killed by evil on its grounds. When good witch Paige (played by series star Rose McGowan) takes over as headmistress, all hell breaks loose. In the show’s final episode, Paige and her sisters reclaim the Magic School, which they abandoned following a demonic attack.
Courtesy of The WB
Seen In: “D.E.B.S.” (2004)
This sexy action spoof tells the story of four schoolgirls sent to a secret training academy in the hopes that they’ll protect the world from a criminal mastermind. The underground academy is known by the acronym of the title, which stands for Discipline, Energy, Beauty, and Strength. Part “Spy Kids,” part “Charlie’s Angels,” the film was written and directed by Angela Robinson, who first began drawing comics about the characters when she was still in college.
Courtesy of Screen Gems
Vince Lombardi High
Seen In: “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” (1979)
Though the teachers aren’t vampires and the students aren’t wizards, don’t let the setting of Roger Corman’s hilarious punk rock comedy fool you. There’s nothing normal about this school at all! If the giant mice in the lunchroom don’t convince you of that, then an impromptu Ramones concert in the hallway should do the trick.
Courtesy of New World Pictures
Tromaville High School
Seen In: “Class of Nuke ‘Em High” (1986)
This gross-out classic takes place in a sleazy New Jersey high school located next to a malfunctioning nuclear power plant. When contaminated water leaks into the drinking fountains, the school’s straight-A students transform into a violent gang of leather-jacketed thugs called the Cretins. Between the heavily armed bikers roaming the campus and a slime-covered monster on the loose, Tromaville High lives up to its motto: Readin’, writin’, and radiation!
Courtesy of Troma Entertainment
Herrington High School
Seen In: “The Faculty” (1998)
There’s something wrong with the teachers at Herrington High in Robert Rodriguez’s energetic sci-fi horror film. Though the Ohio school appears normal on the surface, alien parasites have invaded the campus, turning the staff into murderous creatures linked with a hive-mind. Three-time Oscar nominee Piper Laurie (who mothered the ultimate high school horror in the original “Carrie”) stars as an infected drama teacher.