The Ghosts of Peyroux Celebrate Halloween
As twilight overtook the sky and the village ghosts began rising from graves, floating up from haunted houses, creeping in from shadows, the mayor of the tiny village, Peyroux, continued tidying up, quite unnecessarily, as all had been ready for hours.
“Welcome my friends, welcome!” the mayor called out, greeting all by name, shaking hands and skeletal claws and ethereal appendages, giving hugs, laughing with delight at jokes and leaning in to share new gossip.
Despite being celebrated daily throughout the Netherworld in every way imaginable, October 31 unites the creatures and the monsters and the things that go bump in the night.
In the middle of tiny Peyroux is a clocktower, famous as a landmark to find one’s self when they lost. And for this special Halloween party, the middle of the clocktower is “haunted”.
“This year, we, the non-ghosts, will be honoring the ghosts,” the mayor announced once the residents and guests had all gathered. “My friends, you give us so much, and this year we all want to give back to you.” And with that, the mayor drank a potion in a single gasp and began to glow.
Cheering, the other villagers followed suit, downing Temporary Undeath potions and becoming ghosts for the night.
Howling and cackling with delight, the ghosts similarly drank Temporary Re-Life potions, regaining physical bodies, breath, and heartbeats.
Arranged by the Potion Maker’s Authority, the respective spells allowed ghost and monster to swap places for the night, experience the other side, and enjoy an incredible party.
So bodied, the temporarily raised spirits queued up for a turn in the clocktower. A coven of witches manned each floor, dressed in sheets as costumes, handing out candy and soda pop and all manner of treats (snack and meal sized both).
The bottom floor held earth and “lava” monsters made of wood and painted paper, animated with levers and gears. Vampires were dressed as gorgons, and forest monsters as salamanders. Behind stage craft walls, costumed performers leapt — showering the gathered with confetti and sparks.
So on it went, floor by floor.
The second floor was themed as a shipwreck below the sea’s waves. Strawberry, mermaid and resident of Peyroux, lead sea shanties and the ghosts-turned-living sang along, loudest of all those who died at sea. Wooden “waves” see-sawed back and forth to create a mock current before the gaudily dressed mermaid.
The third floor was patterned with a cemetery, tucked within a haunted forest, rife with will-o-wisp style lanterns and carved paper-craft skulls. Skeletons turned humanoid for the night cheered and posed with these, beaming.
A witch’s cave, ancient libraries, the moon, and more unfolded as guests of honor climbed the tower. At the top, witches with brooms whisked the attending to the ground, where jack-o-lantern headed scarecrows served as coach drivers, bringing all the guests to yet more parts of Peyroux. Cider was shared, apples were bobbed, poisoned, and cheerfully eaten, candy was traded, and pumpkins, still warm with the sun’s daily paintwork, were carved then candle-ed, and in a few instances caramelized or candied and chewed on.
Costumes were whipped up from trunks of old clothes, faces painted, props traded. The long, haunted night rolled on with much laughter and scares as the spells wore off and ghosts became monsters, and monsters became ghosts, and the moon rose, and the owls sang their midnight operas.
“Happy Halloween to all!”
The mayor called out, his tiny bat-wings flapping mightily as he alternated between trick-or-treating with a sprite, as he touched up the dragon makeup of a dryad, as he helped a witch repair a cape snagged on a haunted tree.