Also known as the Perfect Storm, the Halloween Storm of 1991 took shape on Oct. 28 and 29 before going on to batter the Atlantic coast with monster waves, flood tides and raking winds.

An ordinary extra-tropical storm off Atlantic Canada formed the seed of this storm, but it was heavily "fertilized" with tropical energy from Hurricane Grace, which churned near Bermuda.

As Grace was absorbed, the extra-tropical storm exploded. Its center then drifted south and west in a looping track that culminated in an apparently un-named hurricane on Nov. 1.

The worst of the storm never reached land, and it's just as well, for the storm's raging winds heaped up waves as high as 100 feet according to one buoy measurement.

Monster surf, however, did pound many East Coast beaches, where the high waves and flood tides caused severe damage. Massachusetts and New Jersey suffered the greatest losses.

Gusts to 85 mph were clocked at Duxbury Beach, Mass.

The storm took at least 12 lives, six of them aboard the ship Andrea Gail. The Andrea Gail was lost with all hands off Atlantic Canada.

In the aftermath of the storm, monetary losses, in 2010 terms, were assessed at about $330 million.

So dramatic was this storm and its impact that it was the subject of a book and motion picture film.

Story by Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews