Coast Guard haunts Homer, Alaska

HOMER, Alaska - Petty Officer 1st Class Jedidiah Johnson, the health services technician aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory, informs visitors that there has been an outbreak of monsters aboard the ship and that visitors need to be on the watch and always follow their guide during the 2011 Haunted Hickory Oct. 28, 2011. The Hickory transforms into the Haunted Hickory for one night a year inviting members of the community to come aboard and enjoy a night of thrill and scares. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley

Screams ring out across the water emanating from the end of a dark pier in a small sleepy Alaska fishing town. Crewmembers of a Coast Guard buoy tender located in Homer have transformed their cutter into a haunted ship full of frightening zombies and monsters beyond imagination Oct. 28, 2011.

The scenario of a haunted ship seems torn right from a Hollywood B-movie script, yet is the culmination of a week’s worth of preparation by the ship’s crew for the 2011 Coast Guard Cutter Hickory’s community outreach effort the Haunted Hickory.

“The crew puts on Haunted Hickory as a community event to collect canned goods for the Homer Community Food Pantry.  The Food Pantry provides food for families in need on the Kenai Peninsula from Ninilchick to the villages across Kachemak Bay,” said Ensign Christopher Hepp, coordinator for the 2011 event.

The annual event which dates back to when the Coast Guard Cutter Sedge was homeported in Homer has risen in size and popularity. The event has grown beyond just the Homer community with participants driving more than 200 miles from Anchorage to visit the annual event.

“Haunted Hickory is a great chance to build community relations, while raising food for the food pantry,” said Hepp.

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