Everyone's heard of the Loch Ness Monster. Even little kids know about Nessy if they've watched old episodes of Scooby Doo.

What you may be less familiar with is the sea serpent that terrorized New England in the summer of 1818. The New England Historical Society says reports of a giant sea serpent actually started in 1641. According to them, sea serpents were spotted off the coast of Maine and Massachusetts for the next three centuries. Of course many were hoaxes or the result of over active imaginations. And in the book, The Great New England Sea Serpent, author J.P. O'Neill she claims there were more than 230 sightings in the Gulf of Maine.

Maine isn't the only place the monster was sighted. Perhaps the most notorious sighting of an unidentified sea creature was in Glouster, MA. Cryptopia reports that 100  eyewitnesses saw a 100-foot long, large eyed, sharp toothed, scaly creature in the harbor off Gloucester, just north of Boston on the lower portion of Cape Ann.

So what really happened? Was it just active imaginations? Maybe a giant squid? Perhaps the answer is in a lecture called, Summer Sea Serpents: The very odd year of 1818, held today at the Maine Masonic Civil War Library & Museum.

Stop by the Library & Museum at 415 Congress Street in Portland for a look.