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Get in the Halloween spirit with this recitation of Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death’

Edgar Allan Poe published 'The Masque of the Red Death' in 1842.
Esteban Cavrico
Edgar Allan Poe published "The Masque of the Red Death" in 1842.

In 1842, Edgar Allan Poe published the short story “The Masque of the Red Death.” It’s a frightening tale that follows Prince Prospero and his attempts to avoid a plague, the “Red Death.” Along with 1,000 wealthy nobles, the prince retreats to his abbey where no one is allowed in or out.

Listen: 'The Masque of the Red Death'

Some months later the prince throws a grand party, and during the festivities, a mysterious stranger shows up.

While Poe is best known for his poems “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee,” as well as the short story “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Masque of the Red Death” has newfound relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Halloween on Sunday, we bring you a St. Louis on the Air exclusive: a recitation of the short story by historical interpreter and local actor Anne Williams, with production and sound design by Aaron Doerr.

Williams is also the voice behind our show’s annual holiday tradition of “A Christmas Carol,” a local favorite.“ St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Aaron is the audio engineer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
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