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A Scary Story

Illustration for “The Masque of the Red Death” by Harry Clarke, 1919

A wealthy prince, thinking himself protected from a plague that sweeps his land, hosts a lavish party in his castle, inviting all his wealthy friends to eat, drink and play, waiting for the plague to burn itself out and focusing on their own interests.

Now imagine that prince is the President, his castle the White House rose garden. Who could have guessed that Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Masque of the Red Death” was so prescient?

“And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”

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