Find Surprises and a Room That Spins at The Haunted Labyrinth (3.5 stars)
The Haunted Labyrinth is the longest running Halloween attraction in Rhode Island, run for 32 years by a charity, the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Normally you can't expect much from a charity venue, so my friends and I were so pleasantly surprised by some of the innovation!
You'll get jolted by a spray of mist coming from nowhere when you least expect it. One of the rooms is a vortex that spins around you as you cross a bridge into the unknown, a great special effect. Our favorite was the spooky black room decorated in polka dots. Can you guess what may lie for you there?
One room is full of doors that you have to explore and open to find the way out, finding surprises along the way. Many other areas had hidden exits as well, which allowed us to explore.
At a charity Halloween attraction, the monsters are played by kids, so you have to go with their great enthusiasm and not mind their lack of refinement or training. But a few of the monsters took on a real character and played out a role, especially the ringmaster in the first room who spoke at length about the spooky circus to come.
Organizers Pat Kane and Joe Fazio kindly agreed to an interview.
Pat Kane: We're an agency of the Catholic dioceses in Providence. This is a youth center. We've been doing this for 30 years. We don't do any blood, guts, witches, or goblins. But we put people in a place where they can get disoriented. It's the element of surprise and trying to get people off of their game. It's totally volunteer driven and it's all high school students scaring.
Joe Fazio: Every year we change it. This year was inspired by 2008, when we did a circus. It was everybody's favorite so we decided to bring it back and added some new stuff, special effects and lighting.
Pat Kane: We built our maze in the gymnasium. We're a nonprofit and can't compete with places that have a large area and can put a lot of money into their project. So because we're nonprofit we depend on a "skeleton" crew (ha ha) and budget, which impacts what we can do, but the building team is so creative that they do a lot with the little they have.
Joe Fazio: We do change every single year. We never repeat. People always wonder, what do they have up their sleeves this year?
Although the Haunted Labyrinth had some creative elements, the overall quality of the costuming and acting puts it at a very strong 3.5 stars, almost 4 stars. Although I cannot give it a higher rating compared to some of the better funded competitive attractions, with a charity venue, you go to support their charity and see the kids enjoying spooking you. If you are in the area you should go!
Find The Haunted Labyrinth at 804 Dyer Ave, Cranston, RI, or at www.hauntedlabyrinth.com.