The haunted village known as Peyroux began as a pumpkin farm in the spring of 1777, though it lacked structure, and indeed permanent residents aside the farmer and his wife, until that autumn.
The soil is perfect for magical agriculture, being at the crossroads of an enchanted forest and a cursed swamp.
A young Kevin M. Sourdough, future mayor, caught sight of the farm while traveling the Netherworld. Needing a place for the night, he inquired if he might trade labor for shelter. Mister Ghost, the farmer, readily agreed as he was happy for the company and helping hands.
“What do you call this place?” Sourdough asked over dinner one night.
Ghost thought it over for a time. Turning to his wife, he asked, “How do you say ‘pumpkin’ in French?”
“Peyroux,” she teased, smiling. Ms. Ghost knew the word is actually “citrouille” and that her husband would fall for whatever answer she offered. Pranks are among the many joys of marriage.
“Peyroux?” he repeated, his pronunciation off.
“Yes, love. Peyroux.” This inflection brought to the world a third way to say the word. And with this, her spell locked in place.
“Peyroux?” the future mayor offered awkwardly, forming this word, entirely new to him, as best as he could.
“Yes,” Ms. Ghost replied, nearly bursting with giggles, “Peyroux.” The fifth enunciation, like each of its predecessors, was completely unique. Her spell set, she smiled with mischievous contentment.
In the intervening years, it has been said that no two people say the village’s name the exact same way, and that many can never quite repeat their own pronunciation.
By October, the farm had begun welcoming every ghost, monster, ghoul, and wretched thing that needed a place to stay. By 1879, the farm became a village with a library, several cemeteries, a clock tower, and all manner of citizens — creeping and crawling, haunted and vile, monstrous, or full of magic.