After locking his palace doors to avoid the Red Death plague, Prince Prospero hosts a magnificent ball. There are seven rooms, each decorated elegantly with a different color.
The seventh room is black, and has an ebony clock. When it strikes every hour, the party comes to a complete stop. All the other rooms become full of dreams and beautiful things. Most people avoid the black room because of the clock and its creepy atmosphere.
At midnight, a strange looking figure appears. The guests suspect he is a victim of the Red Death, but they don't do anything to stop him from wandering. Soon Prince Prospero discovers this problem, and chases him down.
When Prince Prospero confronts the figure in the black room, he immediately dies. The other guests try to attack him, but find nothing under his clothes. Everyone then dies, as the Red Death has taken over the castle.
American Gothic 1. Emphasis on emotion/nature/the individual: "...Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice..." (Poe 434). 2. Elements of fantasy/supernatural: "And one by one dropped the revelers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel..." (Poe 434). 3. Explored characters' inner life/motivations: "The external world would take care of itself....The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure" (Poe 430).