A Horror Writer Asks: What Was Your All-Time Biggest Scare?

All of us fans of the horror genre have a shared memory: that ur-terror moment when a piece of fiction, or perhaps real life, gave you the scare of a lifetime. The scare that still gives you goosebumps when you recollect it.

This was the freak-out that almost made your skin crawl off your bones. Maybe it was the scare that got you hooked on the horror genre — or the one that almost made you quit horror for good!

I wanted to ask each and every one of you: what's your own personal most chilling moment, what theme or particular thrill was evoked, and why did it scare you personally?

Short answers and long-form are both welcome.