The theme of "harmful sensation" occurs frequently in fiction. The King In Yellow is one of the earliest examples in literature.
The Mysterious CardEdit
The Mysterious Card (1896), by Cleveland Moffett (1866-1926), was "likely suggested" by The King In Yellow, according to THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FANTASY (edited by John Clute and John Grant (ISBN 0-312-15897-1), 1997).
A short plot summary from The Wold Newton Field Guide to Ripper Murders:
"New York merchant Richard Burwell, on a visit to France, is handed a small white card by a strange woman. The card has an inscription in French written in purple ink. Burwell, not knowing the language, shows the card to various people, all of whom react with disgust. He is kicked out of his hotel, thrown in jail, and ordered to leave the country. His wife leaves him, as does his business partner. At the end of the story he finds the woman who gave him the card, and just as she's about to explain it all, she keels over dead."
In the sequel, "The Mysterious Card Unveiled" (1896), Richard Burwell himself is seemingly driven to madness by the card.
"Masters of Horror" John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns (2005)Edit
A man is hired to locate the only known copy of the notorious "Le Fin Absolue du Monde" (The Absolute End of the World), a film that caused the entire audience to go mad at its one and only screening.
In the Mouth of Madness (1994)Edit
The newly released book "Horror in Hobb's End" causes fans of its author, Sutter Cane, to go on destructive rampages at the bookstores selling the novel.