In 1957, a young boy named Eddie Harley is put to bed by his mother while his father locks up his farm animals in the barn. Meanwhile, a local named Cleyton, is being chased by a strange creature. He arrives at the Harley's farm banging on the door, begging to be let in. However, the father refuses, telling Cleyton he "cannot get involved". Eddie asks his mother why his father will not let Cleyton in, to which his mother replies "he just cannot." Mr. Harley threatens Cleyton with his shotgun; Cleyton, however, leaves once the creature returns. Eddie watches out the window and witnesses Cleyton being killed by a tall, hideous creature.
Years later, Ed, now a fully grown man, is living with his son Billy in the country side. One day, at breakfast, Billy gives Ed a necklace he made him. The two then proceed to the grocery store run by Harley. Meanwhile, six teenagers: Chris, Tracey, Maggie, Kim, Joel and his younger brother Steve are going on a camping trip, bringing their dirt bikes with them. When they stop at Harley's grocery store, Steve and Joel decide to start riding early, driving their bikes up the hill. Harley, realizing he left behind a farmer's order, leaves Billy in charge of the store and drives back home. Shortly after thereafter Billy's dog runs out of the store to chase the bikers. Billy runs after the dog but is hit by Joel's bike, knocking him to the ground. Scared of being arrested while on probation, Joel and Kim run off to their cabin. Steve asks Chris and Tracey to take his girlfriend Maggie to the cabin, because she is shaken up by the accident. Steve then decides to stay with Billy until Harley gets there. Harley soon arrives and finds Steve with Billy. Despite trying to convince Harley it was accident, he gives Steve an evil look. Back at home Billy dies in Harley's arms. At the cabin, Tracey tries calling for help but Joel unplugs the phone cord. Joel and Chris begin to fight but Joel knock Chris out with a piece of wood and then locks Chris and Tracey in a closet. Steve soon arrives and tells Joel that Harley showed up and everything might be all right. Joel asks Steve what Harley said. Steve tells him that Harley looked at him like he wanted to kill him. Meanwhile, Harley meets up with a farmer named Wallace to ask him about a supposed witch that lives in the forest. Wallace at first declines to help, saying he knows nothing. After Harley tells him what happened, Wallace relents telling him that the lady cannot help him, just take him straight to hell. While driving away, Harley meet up with Wallace's oldest grandson, Bunt, who tells Harley were the witch, Haggis, lives. Bunt however, terrified of Haggis, only takes Harley half-way.
Harley soon arrives with Billy's body at Haggis's cabin. At first the old woman declines to help Harley. Harley tells her he knows what she is capable of and that he had seen the creature when he was young. Haggis decides to help Harley but only after warning Harley that what he wants is vengeance and that it comes with a powerful price. Following Haggis's orders, Harley goes to an old pumpkin patch and digs up a disfigured corpse. He then brings the corpse back to Haggis's cabin were she begins her magic. Dripping both Harley's and his son's blood on the corpse. The corpse soon begins to awaken and quickly grows into a huge creature. Haggis then tells Harley, "It now begins".
Back at the cabin, Maggie, still shaken up, hears a strange voice whispering her name. Seemingly hypnotized, Maggie follows the voice outside the cabin, with Steve following her, but not after he convinces Joel to do the right thing. Steve catches up to Maggie and brings her out of her trance by showing her a pendant of a cross. Soon afterward Steve is attacked by the strange creature. Maggie screams in terror and runs back to the cabin. Meanwhile, Harley is burying Billy's body but he soon withers in pain as he begins to "see" the creature killing Steve.
Maggie runs back to the cabin just as Joel lets Chris and Tracey out of the closet. Maggie tells them that something is killing Steve; Joel and Chris respond by going out to look for him. They call out Steve's name, but to no avail. Joel becomes scared when he finds Steve's bandanna, now bloodied, hanging from a tree. Chris manages to get Joel to go back to the cabin. They return with the girls telling them they saw something at the window. The group decides to go out together to find Steve, but once they exit the cabin, Steve's body is dropped from the roof, and a huge, clawed hand reaches down and pulls Maggie to the roof. Chris and Tracey run around the cabin to try and find Maggie while Joel and Kim drag Steve's dead body back inside. Harley, meanwhile, has visions of the creature killing Maggie as well. He then returns to Haggis's cabin and asks her to call the whole thing off, saying this is wrong and not what he wanted. Haggis however laughs him off claiming nothing can stop it now and that if Harley tries to stop it, he will die too and pay the final price.
Back at the cabin, Joel and Kim are still in grief over Steve's death. They hear a noise at the window only to see Maggie's lifeless body being pushed through the window. Kim passes out as Joel walks out of the cabin, spots his now mangled dirt-bike, and realizes why this is happening. Now knowing this is his fault he goes back into the cabin and finds the creature there waiting for him. Joel tries to stop it with a knife but the creature merely swats him away. Joel watches in horror as the creature drags Kim away. Joel then runs out and meets up with Chris and Tracey telling them that a thing took Kim. The three run off to find her and soon spot her being dangled by the creature high in a tree; as the three approach, the creature drops Kim. She dies on impact after breaking her spine on a huge rock. Joel, Chris, and Tracey begin a search for help, soon coming to a small farm and begging to be let in. They try to steal a car but a local man stops them by intimidating them with his gun. The three beg for his help, but after realizing what is after them, he tells them he cannot help them since they are "marked". Before he can explain the creature shows up and the man runs off scared. Harley arrives as well and shoots the monster to the ground. Joel checks to see if it is dead, but the monster awakens and knocks him down. It then impales him with his own shotgun, killing him. Chris and Tracey run off as Harley begins to wither in pain again. A dog then attacks Harley, biting him on his arm, and the creature also reacts as though it is being bitten.
Chris and Tracey make their way to Wallace's farm, where again they are denied any help. Bunt, however, sneaks out of the house and has Chris and Tracey follow him to an abandoned church. There he tells them that the creature is named Pumpkinhead, and was thought to only be a legend. He then informs that the creature's purpose is to avenge someone who has been wronged. He also explains that anyone who gets involved and helps those that are marked for death will also become Pumpkinhead's victims. Chris realizes the wrong doing was Billy's death earlier that day. Pumpkinhead, however, soon arrives, prompting the three to leave the church. Bunt takes them to where they had parked their cars earlier, only to find that they have been wrecked. Chris tries to start his dirt-bike, but Pumpkinhead arrives and throws Chris and his bike against a tree. Bunt and Tracey run off and come across Harley who drives them to his house. Inside the barn, Tracey tries to tell Harley that what happened was an accident. Harley says he cannot stop it but he will send it back to hell.
Meanwhile Pumpkinhead arrives at the house with Chris; leaving him for dead outside, Pumpkinhead enters the house and finds Bunt hiding in a closet. He drags him outside. Back in the barn, Harley again begins to wither in pain. Tracey offers him help but is terrified when she sees that Harley's face has changed, looking similar to the creature. Tracey runs out to find Chris struggling to crawl away and Pumpkinhead ready to kill Bunt. Harley comes out of the barn but is accidentally impaled on the arm by a pitchfork. Both Harley and Pumpkinhead cry out in pain, with the creature releasing Bunt. Harley looks at the creature and notices that Pumpkinhead's face is turning more human. Harley then realizes that he and Pumpkinhead are one, and that the only way for it to die, is to die himself.
Tracey tries to stop Pumpkinhead with a blow torch but it is useless. The creature grabs her by the neck but lets her go after Harley shoots himself in the head. Both he and Pumpkinhead collapse to the ground. Harley, however, suddenly awakens, which causes Pumpkinhead to also reawaken, and grab Bunt again. Tracey grabs the gun with Harley begging her to kill him. Harley now fully changed, tries to attack Tracey but she shoots him several times until both he and Pumpkinhead fall to the ground dead. Tracey, Bunt and Chris then watch as Pumpkinhead bursts into flames. Later that night, back in the pumpkin patch, Haggis is burying Harley's now disfigured corpse into Pumpkinhead's grave, still wearing Billy's necklace, showing that Harley indeed payed the final price, becoming the next Pumpkinhead
Original Poem Edit
Keep away from Pumpkinhead,
Unless you're tired of living,
His enemies are mostly dead,
He's mean and unforgiving,
Laugh at him and you're undone,
But in some dreadful fashion,
Vengeance, he considers fun,
And plans it with a passion,
Time will not erase or blot,
A plot that he has brewing,
It's when you think that he's forgot,
He'll conjure your undoing,
Bolted doors and windows barred,
Guard dogs prowling in the yard,
Won't protect you in your bed,Nothing will, from Pumpkinhead.