Story by Poe, published in Graham's Magazine (1842).
In a land devastated by a horrible plague, the “Red Death,” Prince Prospero determines to preserve himself and his friends, and removes to a secluded castle, where, with 1000 knights and ladies, he spends several months in extravagantly gay pursuits. At a masquerade in the imperial suite, when the courtiers appear in masks and fantastic costumes, a terrifying corpse-like figure joins them, garbed as the Red Death. Attempting to stab him, the Prince dies; when others seize the apparition, it is discovered to have no tangible body. They realize that this is the Red Death itself, and, as midnight strikes, they die: “and Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”
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Edgar Allan Poe (1809—1849) American short-story writer, poet, and critic