We are introduced to the narrarator. He attempts to convince the reader he is sane even though he decided to kill an old man over his "evil eye".
The narrator lives alone with an old man who has one pale blue eye. This eye disturbs the narrator. He describes it as a "vulture eye". He is extremely terrified of this old man's eye.
For the next eight days the narrator tells the reader about how he would go into the old man's room while he was asleep every night with the intent to kill the old man to rid of the eye. However, he could not kill the old man until he saw his eye.
On the eighth night the old man wakes up to a noise the narrator makes. The narrator finally sees the evil eye and murders the old man with a mattress.
The neighbors having heard a scream call the police who ask the narrator if they could take a look around the home of the old man. The narrator confidently allows them in and tells them that the scream was his own. When asked of the whereabouts of the old man the narrator simply says he is not home.
The narrator is so confident in his concealment of the body that he invites the officers to sit where he hid it. He begins to hear a ticking noise which finally drives him to confess to the murder and show the police the old man's body.