Alongside the influenza pandemic of late 1918, the threat of German submarines, and the various terrorist attacks, there was another real horror on the East Coast of America in Lovecraft’s young manhood. This one in summer 1916. Detailed in Michael Capuzzo, Close to shore: a true story of terror in an age of innocence, Random House 2001.

“Combining rich historical detail and a harrowing, pulse-pounding narrative, Close to Shore brilliantly re-creates the summer of 1916, when a rogue Great White shark attacked swimmers along the New Jersey shore, triggering mass hysteria and launching the most extensive shark hunt in history.”

The attacks were the first documented cases of shark attack in American coastal waters. Amazingly, the shark also staged a triple attack at… “a farming community eleven miles from the sea”, Matawan Creek.