The story opens with the revenge demon Pumpkinhead pursuing a victim, who tries to seek safety in a home; the owners refuse him sanctuary. Unbeknownst to them, their young son gets out of bed and watches from his window as Pumpkinhead finishes his work.
Years later, that young boy, Ed Harley, is a grown man who has a son of his own. After six out of town kids arrive at the Harley store, Pumpkinhead's story is told by some local children. Shortly after, one of the six out of towners, Joel, starts to race his dirt bike. He jumps over a mound of dirt and hits Ed's son. Because he is on probation and has been drinking, Joel flees the scene. Ultimately, the little boy dies from his injuries. In the wake of his son's death, Ed can think of nothing but revenge. He seeks the old witch that can conjure Pumpkinhead, and Pumpkinhead is awakened.
Meanwhile, Joel's friends have wanted to get help for the little boy he hit. In a panic, Joel tries to take them hostage in order to hide his actions. One of the girls, Maggie, begins to panic and attempts to run off. As Steve, Joel's younger brother, tries to stop her. Pumpkinhead comes out of hiding in the trees and strikes. As it rips Steve to shreds, Maggie runs back to the cabin for help. Joe and Jeff go looking for Steve with guns. Just then, the evil vengeance demon appears at the window. It hangs Steve's bloody body in front of the door, and as Maggie screams, Pumpkinhead grabs her and runs off. It soon returns and kills another girl via choking her and dropping her onto a boulder.
The remaining three victims try to seek help--but the residents know that anyone who helps Pumpkinhead's targets becomes a target as well, and the kids are on their own. Meanwhile, Ed Harley is mentally connected to the demon; he witnesses each kill, and feels worse as the kids die. He decides to stop Pumpkinhead and meets up with the three survivors. Soon Pumpkinhead arrives and Joel and Harley unload their guns into the beast. When they think it is dead, Joel approaches--and Pumpkinhead shoves Joel's rifle through his chest, killing him. Ed is bitten by a dog and Pumpkinhead feels the pain, but Ed does not notice that the connection goes both ways.
The remaining kids, Tracy and Jeff, run for their lives until a young hillbilly, Jimmy Joe, decides to help them. Pumpkinhead pursues them through an old burned down church and grabs Jeff, wounding him badly. Wanting to stop this, Ed Harley drives around until he finds Tracy and Jimmy Joe, and then takes them into his home. Soon the demon appears, drops Jeff's body and enters the house. The survivors flee outside and Ed is stuck by a pitchfork. This time he realizes that Pumpkinhead feels the injury--and realizes that the only way to stop the beast is to kill himself. His attempt fails, forcing Tracy to shoot him to stop Pumpkinhead. The demon goes up in flames.
In the last scene, the witch is burying Ed's body in Pumpkinhead's grave. He will be the next Pumpkinhead.