"The Pit and the Pendulum" begins with the introduction of an unspecified number of "black-robed judges (line 10)". The narrator gives very little detail about the appearances of the black-robed judges; however, describes his fear for them. The judges are dressed in black, a color usually associated with negativity or death. The color black strikes suspicion or fear into almost everyone. For example, if one was walking down the street and saw a black figure, they would most likely be fearful; rather than if they saw a white figure, they would be more hopeful and curious. The narrator fears his judgment because he already knows the outcome will be "the dread sentence of death (line 3)".He watches in horror as the dark figures mouth his "decrees of Fate (lines 13-14)"; his fate being an agonizing death. It is in human nature to dislike being judged. However, when Poe puts the narrator in a situation where he is being judged for his life, he dreads being judged. This makes readers think how fearful they would be in a situation judging their very lives, and therefore creating a sense of horror.