This short story is about a man who is brought in front of the Spanish Inquisition and judgment passed upon him to suffer the horrors of the Pit in Toledo. Toledo, Spain is located just south of Madrid and was the center of the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition was originally intended to ensure the belief and practices of those who converted from Judaism and Islam, but the methods used for those who were judged to be heretics was torture. His torture involved being thrown into a pit, being drugged and strapped to a table where a large pendulum blade is slowly lowered directly over his awaiting body. Poe brings a real sense of fear during an intense episode of this single prisoner.