A terrible and devastating plague sweeps the countryside, and Prince Prospero, in his infinite wisdom, decides that the best way to beat the plague and escape almost certain death is to lock himself and all of his favorite courtiers inside the abbey of a castle. Being locked in with no outlet for amusement can be wearisome, so the Prince decides to liven things up with an extremely diverting amusement planned for his guests--a masked ball.
The guests show up in various amusing costumes, but when one guest shows up in a costume splattered with blood, to look just like a victim of the Red Death, Prince Prospero is outraged at the inappropriate joke. The Prince demands the seizure of the masked man, who leads them on a chase through all of the Prince's ornately decorated chambers. In the end all of the revellers fall dead as the masked man reveals himself to be the "Red Death" come to kill them all. In the end, no man can hide from Death.