Residents across Southeastern North Carolina said something shook their homes Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

What was it?

It wasn't an earthquake - at least not one large enough to register, said Kenneth Taylor, assistant state geologist with the N.C. Geological Survey.

"It doesn't mean it didn't happen, but it probably was pretty small," he said.

Residents across the area, from Holden Beach to Leland to Wilmington, claim to have felt their homes shake at about 2:20 p.m. Friday and again after 10 a.m. Saturday.

Beverly Corne, of Carolina Beach, posted to the StarNews Facebook page this morning that she heard a loud boom around 10:15 a.m. and another one about 20 minutes later. Other readers reported booms from Monkey Junction to downtown Wilmington to the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus around the same time Saturday morning.

Jim Barnes, who lives on Covington Road near Bradley Creek Elementary School in Wilmington, said he was sitting on his couch reading on Friday when his home began shaking, a tremor that lasted about three seconds.

"I have heavy custom-made storm doors and they rattled like it was an earthquake," he said.

Taylor doesn't discount that people felt something, but he checked all seismic records and found no unusual seismic activity. The U.S. Geological Survey, which notifies the state quickly if there is an earthquake, has not posted anything yet, Taylor said at about 4 p.m. Friday.

If not an earthquake, what could it be? Perhaps the so-called Seneca Guns.

Those are mysterious noises often compared to rolling thunder or distant cannon fire frequently heard off the Cape Fear coast and the Myrtle Beach area. To date, no satisfactory scientific explanation for the phenomenon has been found.

"The guns of Seneca are an old legend," Taylor said, adding that North Carolina's coast juts out into the Atlantic, essentially making it into a giant microphone.

"You could be hearing stuff from well offshore," he said.

North Carolina had an earthquake on Oct. 21 about 30 miles West-Northwest from Asheville, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It registered 1.7 on the Richter Scale, meaning it wouldn't have likely been felt by most people.

Wilmington has two historic earthquakes, according to the geological survey. An earthquake shook homes on January 18, 1884. In 1958, another tremor struck, waking people up from Hampstead to Kure Beach. Press reports indicated that houses shook and some people were rolled out of bed.

The worst earthquake in North Carolina occurred near Waynesville in 1916, registering 5.2 on the Richter Scale, which is considered a moderate earthquake.