“Jaws” production photos discovered after 45 years

“Jaws,” Steven Spielberg’s thriller about a man-eating great white shark, is considered one of the scariest movies ever made. The film celebrated its 44th anniversary earlier this week, which came with a surprising new discovery: photos of the production that have never before been seen by the public.

The photos show a worker with his head in the jaws of the mechanical shark, the fearsome fish floating in the waters of Oak Bluffs Harbor, and the then-unknown Spielberg chatting with a group of kids who were extras in one of the movie’s most terrifying scenes.

The pictures had been tucked away for the last 45 years in the basement of the Attleboro House, an inn on Martha’s Vineyard where the film was shot. But one day, “Jaws” superfan John Campopiano had a chance encounter with the inn’s owner, Billy Reagan.

One of the photos in Billy Reagan’s basement Billy Reagan

Campopiano and his wife, who were staying at the Attleboro House, had decided to rent bikes and tour around Oak Bluffs. They stopped by a house where the movie was filmed — and when they told this to Reagan, Campopiano said, the inn owner said he had some photos he might be interested in.

“A couple hours later, he started texting me these photos that he had found in his basement,” Campopiano said. “I felt my heart rate go up – couldn’t believe it.”

Reagan, whose family had snapped the photos, had kept them in an envelope marked “Jaws photos.”

“When I found them, my first instinct was, ‘I wanna share them with the world, and other fans,'” Campopiano said. “And my hope is that maybe other people that have photos that nobody has seen before will be inspired to climb in their attic or go down to the basement and see if they can dig out more treasures for people to enjoy.”

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