'Ghost Ship Barry' haunts Navy yard river walk
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Personnel and volunteers at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy treated guests to a slightly scarier version of the Display Ship Barry, located at the Washington Navy Yard, by adorning its interiors with Halloween decorations and turning the ship into the "Ghost Ship Barry" Oct. 19.
"The Ghost Ship Barry is an event where once a year, the crew of the ship and some additional volunteers 'haunt out' the ship and make it into a haunted mansion that floats, if you will," said Karin Hill, director of education and public programs at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.
"The museum has Halloween-themed craft activities, and then folks will check in and receive a ticket before a staff member will walk groups over to the Barry. They walk through the ship, and then they come back over here to the museum and do more craft activities," Hill added.
Service members and civilians alike were invited to participate in activities such as goodie bag making and frame decorating before the Barry tours began. Hill explained that for the first two hours of the event, haunted tours of the Barry were held for children ages 12 and younger, and the last two hours were for visitors 12 and older.
"At the beginning we give tours for the little guys; what we call the 'not-so-scary Barry,'" said Hill. "Then, after a half-hour turnaround, it becomes the 'very-scary Barry.'"
Inside the ship, volunteers turned the historic passageways of the ship into terrifying corridors full of scary sights and sounds.
"My guys have Halloween decorations set up around the ship, and we have volunteers from around the region, civilian and military, that dress up in costumes and be a part of the event as far as bringing the effect out for the haunted ship," said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (SW/AW) Benjamin Bilyeu, Display Ship Barry leading chief petty officer. "It's just a good Halloween event for people to come enjoy themselves and have a good time."
Adults and children alike delighted in the experience, getting a good laugh as well as a scare.
"They did a really good job making the ship scary," said Vanessa Santos, a Washington Navy Yard employee who brought her family to the "Ghost Ship Barry" event. "The scariest part was when the volunteers reach out and try to grab you. They really went all out making the mess decks look like a morgue, banging on the walls; it was great."
While there may not have been any real monsters or ghouls aboard the ship, Hill suggests that it's the spirit of the holiday that really haunts the passageways of the "Ghost ship Barry."
"I don't know that the Barry has an actual ghost or haunting," said Hill. "But for the sake of Halloween, I'll say yes: the Barry is haunted."
For more events happening at Naval District Washington, visit http://www.cnic.navy.mil/ndw/.