January 26, 1900


Ezra Totenkopf lived in fear of the water.

At one time in his life, Ezra was a fisherman, a crew member aboard Norwich out of Cross. The ship plied the coastal waters of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, pulling in what fish they could and bringing home a modest income for the captain and crew.

On January 3rd, 1900, Norwich weighed anchor and left her berth at the small marina. She was due back on the 10th, but a storm sprang up, and the ship was last seen with the crew reefing her sails.

By January 14th, coast watchers were on the lookout for signs of Norwich.

Occasional bits of wreckage were found on York Beach in Maine, but little else of the ship was discovered, and it was believed that Norwich went down with all hands.

On January 26th, the Cross Lighthouse spotted a lifeboat, and the lifesaving station’s crew was activated.

Soon, the only surviving member of the crew of Norwich was recovered.

Ezra Totenkopf was found suffering from hypothermia and surviving on the last remaining supplies in the lifeboat. When questioned as to the fate of Norwich and the other men, he told a twisted tale of an attack from creatures within the water.

They were shaped much like men, but their teeth were sharp and set within rows like a shark’s. Their eyes were the same, black until they attacked when the eyes would roll back to reveal the whites.

As the crew used boathooks and belaying pins to battle the creatures, something broke the back of the ship and began to drag her down.

Ezra and the captain freed the lifeboat from its davits, but as they climbed into it, the captain was pulled over the side and vanished beneath the waves.

Ezra spent the rest of his life near the lighthouse, watching the Atlantic for signs of the creatures, and afraid of even the rain.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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