“The Yellow Sign” is a short story by American writer Robert W. Chambers, published in the novel “The King in Yellow”. The collected story’s which I now am determined to read follow a connected theme of a forbidden play “The King in Yellow” which induces despair in those who read it causing them to go insane. I have been reading a lot of H.P . Lovecraft lately and as The King in Yellow was deeply admired by Lovecraft and said to be one of the most important works of American supernatural fiction it was on that basis that I picked up this random short tale to have a read, and it is extraordinary.
The horror in this book isn’t something you can see or hear creeping up behind you it’s something elsewhere, elusive. It is a slight adjustment to your perspective that grows and grows into an uneasy feeling of something being wrong. The horror is one of being stalked, not necessarily of a corporal being but more of an idea that sits in your mind like a parasite, a nagging thought that doesn’t ever quite go away. A cursed object and forbidden knowledge. The inexplicable fear of the unknown balanced with the overwhelming curiosity is what makes us human, and what also drives the supernatural undertones of this story.