From there on out it’s a cascade of well-crafted characters hellbent on driving you to your doom. The pig-faced chainsaw murderer, the bloodthirsty Santa Claus and a clown from hell are all there to greet you. More fun are the ones who engage you along the way with wacky dialogue: An amorous hillbilly sidles up to the menfolk, inviting them to play Ned Beatty’s role in Deliverance; an evil doctor drags patients into her lab in a 28 Days Later send-up; and a graveyard ghoul menaces with a flaming shovel.
Though it’s out in the middle of nowhere, it’s worth the drive, especially if you’re already visiting the Chambers of Horror or another Middletown attraction.
THE WAIT: The lines can be 30 minutes at peak times but moved quickly during our visit. It takes 20 minutes to explore the trail.
DETAILS: Open dusk-midnight Fridays-Saturdays through Oct. 30. 7039 Preble County Line Road, Germantown (Exit 32 off I-275), www.darkpumpkin.com
THE DAMAGE: $10 plus $2 per car for parking. $1 off coupon on the Web site.
CITYBEAT RATING: PG-13