First published in an 1842 literary annual The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present for 1843, "The Pit and the Pendulum" takes place during the Spanish Inquisition and follows the plight of a prisoner in a cell that has a pit and a pendulum. Unlike many of Poe's short stories, "The Pit and the Pendulum" does not rely on any supernatural elements to inspire fear but instead uses the narrator's heightened sensory experiences to do so.
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