In "The Pit and the Pendulum," Death is on the narrator's mind from the very first line, right up until the final moment. The strange thing is, for a story that's as morbid as can be, it ends with life. Of course, we realize that the narrator obviously has to live in order for him to tell us how he almost died. Thus, in giving his character life, Poe is able to make us ponder death. Very cool. What do you think: can a story in which no one dies really be about death?
"The Pit and the Pendulum" is, when you get down to it, an examination of death and dying – despite the fact that no one in the story actually dies.
If no one dies, it's not about death. Period. End of sentence.