Haunted Labyrinth – Full Review

Haunted Labyrinth is a Haunted Attraction located in Cranston, RI.

804 Dyer Ave, Cranston, RI 02920
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Haunt Type(s):

Charity HauntHaunted House


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 4, 2020 by Team Hallowoosh.

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Final Score: 7.06

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It’s that time again in Cranston, Rhode Island! The amazing Haunted Labyrinth has pulled through this pandemic and managed to be the only Indoor haunted attraction in the state that has been approved for a 2020 season. For a long time, it was only one of three indoor haunts in New England approved for 2020, but as it turns out in early October a few others had been approved as well.

Haunted Labyrinth is now in its Thirty Sixth year of business! And they are proudly displaying it for all as a banner hanging from their roof. And also flaunting the fact that it is ‘Rhode Island’s Longest Running Haunt’. Thirty-six seasons means this place started it’s journey back in 1985! And as far as I can recall, I would claim that this is actually New England’s Oldest Haunt! Not just in Rhode Island!

If you are familiar with Haunted Labyrinth, you’ll know all too well that they are one of the very few attractions in the entire world that completely changes their layout every single year! They pride themselves with a different theme and storyline every season. Last year in 2019, they brought us ‘Grimm University’ the haunted college campus, and the year before that ‘Escape from Wonderland’ the twisted side of Alice in Wonderland. It’s been an awesome array of themes I have personally seen ever since I discovered them back in 2011. I can remember a great, zombie-themed year where they had a large portion of their set built up to look like I was in the middle of a post-apocalyptic city street with broken cars, shopping carts, busted street lights, tall buildings smashed apart, and this was all done in a small gymnasium!

This season they bring us ‘Space Station 13,’ an interactive escape from a mutation outbreak onboard a futuristic experimental laboratory floating somewhere in the great depth of space.

Cast: 6.08

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One thing that is almost always immediately clear about Haunted Labyrinth is that almost all of the actors are young teenagers or at least younger than most of the actors I usually encounter in my haunted travels. This attraction is one of the few in New England that is completely 100% volunteer-based. No actors at this attraction are getting paid at all for their time. It was brought to my attention a few years ago that a lot of these young actors were at least getting credit towards their mandatory community service hours, which is something the state of Rhode Island requires of some of their students in order to receive their high school diploma. Every year I visit, I could be sure to come across plenty of young actors around every single corner, some years that was a little too literal. This year, I wondered if that would be the case given the fact that only so many people can be around each other due to the social distancing guidelines. Turns out, they only had to turn away a few actors this year and they have about thirty, not the army that I was expecting. Furthermore, all the actors that they had this year are all young actors that called up asking if they could come work again! And none of them are students looking for more community service hours, these are just the cool kids who love coming back to a fun and loving community! And that’s what it’s all about.

Much like any year though, the only part I can really say there was anything even close to ‘acting’ is right in the beginning where they introduce you to the theme of the year. Ten years in a row I have been visiting and promoting this haunt that I admire very much and I feel like I can finally say it, these actors seem like they are trained to pop up, bark, and run away. Other than the building itself, the front entrance fa������ade and the crosswalk guard, the only other constant year to year characteristics about this place is the type of scare that the actors will give you. Almost everywhere I turn I bump into an actor who jumps a little and gives a short and loud grunt, more like a single bark or a cough and quickly goes back into hiding. But I am never honestly bothered by it as it’s been just a thing that everyone accepts when they come here. These are volunteering young actors who actually want to be here and getting nothing for it. I’ve just always found it a little humorous that I can count on that style of scare to always be here.

Almost every year I have attended, they have had a great introduction to their theme right as you enter the building. And the real actors of the night can be seen in this scene. Although it takes a few minutes to lay out the theme and go over the rules of the haunt, so therefore groups of people will stand on one side of the room watching the scene while inside. With an actor trapped in a room doing the same two-minute-long scene for group after group of people, also in a face mask with their dialogue muffled, it may not be the safest way to do this. Fortunately, they had already planned for this and made a great intro video that everyone can watch right before they go in. It starts off with a few lines to read about the space station I was about to enter. Then, a welcoming scientist, played by the great young theater actress Abigail Paige, goes over a few of the rules before you enter. I actually really enjoyed the play on the typical haunted house rules to make it relatable to the theme. Instead of the typical ‘Do not touch anything, nothing will touch you’ gimmick she made it fun by saying, ‘You will not be touched even though our scientists love to experiment we have our own subjects for that. We also ask that you do not touch our staff, unless you would like to become one of the test subjects, this would not be fun.’ Also, with an eating and drinking rule ‘Please do not eat or drink anything while on the tour, there are so many chemicals and experiments going on up there that we honestly don’t know what would happen to you.’ Her calm and collective attitude really sold me on this fantasy that I was actually an investor taking a tour of a Space Station that conducts scientific experiments on the unknowns of space and then everything goes terribly wrong, just like in Jurassic Park.

And before she is able to finish her final rule about holding onto all your personal belongings some static interrupts her message. A scientist named Dr. Brown had apparently sent out an emergency broadcast warning everyone to get off the space station. ‘This is an emergency broadcast to everyone on station 13, there has been a breach in the Hive, we need to get to the Escape pods now and get off the station! … Great scott, they have infiltrated the cryostation. We need to get off the station now! This is not a drill! Keep your masks on and get to the escape pods!’ ‘ Then he bear hugs the computer monitor and runs away ‘ not the actual computer or any important notebooks or anything important like that …. just the monitor.

I do have to say that I loved how they wrote it into the story about keeping your masks on. As if there is some kind of deadly infection spreading through the station and it’s the best thing for everyone to keep their masks on.

Costuming: 4.65

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I honestly can’t say too much about the costuming this year. Haunted Labyrinth has always had plenty of actors simply in a mask and maybe some dark sweatshirts if they happen to have them. This year it’s required that everyone bring their own masks and costumes so plenty of what I saw seemed to come from whatever they could find at the nearest pharmacy store or whatever they had stuffed away in their closets.

With the theme being of a space station laboratory, I would assume that the majority of the actors could be mutated humanoids or scientists or astronauts, but unfortunately, I came across one too many cheap clowns and ghost face masks. Again though, all volunteer work and all getting their own stuff. I’m not about to expect any of these guys to go out there and buy a space helmet or $80 worth of makeup and prosthetics.

I can say that I was happy to see at least they were all wearing face masks. Even the few who may have been allergic to latex had some scary dark makeup on their face with a face mask over their mouths.

Customer Service: 8.55

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Haunted Labyrinth is run by some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in the haunt community. The first people I bumped into that night were two very nice and happy ladies in charge of taking everyone’s temperature and handing out plastic gloves. As serious as it all was to adhere to all these regulations, they were a bit of sunshine on this dark time. Naturally, I was expecting a little bit of strictness coming from any haunted attraction this year with regards to staying socially distant and keeping a mask on and what not. But these girls were laughing and excited to see me and told me everything I needed to know with a smile. The same thing can be said for the ticket booth lady, all the handlers outside of the entrance, and even the officer working as a crossing guard.

Due to the pandemic this year, Haunted Labyrinth has had to make a few changes. As stated before, this is one of the few places that require gloves and provides them right after they take your temperature through your wrist (rather than your forehead like most other places). It can feel a little silly and ridiculous at first to wear these cafeteria worker gloves, especially when it seems a bit overkill since hardly any business is asking their guests to do the same. But anyone that knows and has been through Haunted Labyrinth knows that one of their most famous characteristics is hidden doors! Every year I’ve attended there have been at least six rooms that I have to figure out how to get out of. Sometimes it’s a refrigerator, sometimes is a small fireplace, sometimes it’s literally the whole wall! Well as you can probably imagine, this requires a lot of touching and pushing and pulling and as a lady with bronchitis on the news once said, ‘Ain’t Nobody got time for dat.’ So to create the safest environment without completely ruining the effect of the haunt, you will be told to wear the gloves while pushing open doors inside the attraction.

The other COVID procedures they are following this year were excellent! The first thing anyone will notice when arriving is the entire waiting line outside is coated with plastic. The Labyrinth’s waiting line has always been outside (except for one year) and it has never been able to fit a large number of people as it is just the small lawn area in between the building and the sidewalk. This year they had to do the safest options available and wall up the waiting area with thick sheets of plastic so as to stay divided between the zig-zag of the queue lines. In total, it’s still only 80 feet of space and with the 6-foot social distancing requirements, realistically they can only fit 6 or 7 groups of people in the waiting area. So this year they are also offering ‘In-car’ waiting where they’ll call you when you can just walk right in and avoid standing in line. Also, this is most useful on those rainy nights. They are only allowing six people to a group this year.

The planning for these events begins in early February where they start designing a theme and a layout. Several meetings occur with a large group of volunteers in between then and July. All summer long and up till the very first guest walks through they are building like crazy! A lot of work goes into making this event happen every year. This year was particularly difficult due to the pandemic. For a long time, they didn’t even know if Rhode Island would allow such an event to happen. So the haunt had to become a tad bit shorter due to making more wide spaces for rooms and they had to take out some tricky hidden doors too so people could get through the attraction a bit easier. It was literally the hour of opening night that the inspector decided to approve this attraction! Great job on everyone for getting it done!

Atmosphere: 7.72

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In a regular year, Haunted Labyrinth has a nice concession stand along the queue line. People can get some snacks and some drinks or even some fun merchandise. This year they unfortunately had to put a halt to their concession booth. Although they do have awesome Haunted Labyrinth printed face masks for sale at the ticket booth!

Speaking of the ticket booth, did I mention the booth is a Haunted House of its own!? The Labyrinth puts up a great fa������ade every year over the main entrance to the building. A grand, two-story-tall weathered haunted mansion with bright glowing letters in front ‘Haunted Labyrinth’ and the ticket booth is prominently stationed right inside this awesome visual. Sometimes they even have a monster screaming at everyone from the top!

Special Effects: 8.02

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I’ve always been impressed by how many effects this relatively small low-tech haunt has been able to produce. But this year they have gone crazy with the effects! From the lights to the sounds and the air cannons everything was just working so well together!

The first thing I noticed walking into the attraction was the sounds! I’m used to entering this haunt and usually hearing just some typical haunt music if anything at all. This year I walked into an airlock with a giant door that said please wait. And all I could hear was this great soundtrack of what sounded like a crazy space monster ripping through the walls of this space ship I was in. And then suddenly I was blasted by a large gust of air as the door opened automatically! This was way more than I anticipated, they really stepped up their game this year.

Soon after, I walked into what seemed to be a computer room with multiple monitors all over the walls and a bunch more on some kind of master control station. The awesome illusion here was that these monitors were just printed sheets of paper that had colors on them that changed dramatically in the right kind of light! The lights they had kept changing color and making the printed screens look like they were actually displaying static on a monitor! They didn’t even mean to make that happen but I don’t care because it was awesome!

I was thoroughly impressed by all the different effects they had this year. I got attacked by some kind of giant mutated beaver looking head with glowing eyes. I walked on what seemed like a space station bridge that was hundreds of feet up in the air. And even the popular vortex tunnel simulating a zero-gravity ‘space walk’ was a fun way to wrap up the night. But my favorite effect they built for this year was the spiked wall! Somewhere in the middle of the haunt, I found myself in a strobe light room with no obvious exit points. I looked around to see if I missed anything and I couldn’t see what direction I was supposed to go. Then I looked closer at this strange wall and noticed it had bloody spikes and strange little creatures on it. That’s when the wall started caving in on me and I had no idea where to go! Luckily I found my way out but you’ll have to find out how on your own.

Theme: 8.23

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Every year Haunted Labyrinth changes its theme and design. This year they bring us ‘Space Station 13’ the alien and mutant or weird space chemical outbreak on an actual space station you must escape from. Also, every year, they produce a short little teaser video sometime in the summer. I have come to love these little creepy teasers they make because it doesn’t flat out tell you what the theme is. They just give a subtle yet creepy hint at what it could be. This year they released a short video of what looks like a complicated radar system screen. It is accompanied by some eerie science beeps and hums and some hard to make out voices on a radio. That was it! No one knew what it could possibly mean other than the theme for this year had something to do with technology and it creeped me out!

Upon entering the attraction, I was shown a short video describing what exactly the theme was. After a brief video of some text in front of a pretty red nebula, I understood that I was playing the role of an investor that was about to take a tour of this outer space facility to see what exactly I was paying for. The screen read, ‘Our spacecraft, space station 13, for 36 years has served the nation in exploration and discovery and is now the home of the CETR Program’ which I am only assuming might stand for Center for Extraterrestrial Research, but it could also stand for Cranberry Electric Tongue Ripper for all I know. ‘Visitors will relive some of our most monumental discoveries and have a special look into some of the very ominous experiments to happen here at CETR. You will conclude with a tour of our cryosleep area, a spacewalk simulation, and finally, our escape pod platform’. Then the video began with the welcoming science lady introducing me to the station and the house rules.

Scare Factor: 7.07

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The scariest part of Haunted Labyrinth to me has always been the anticipation of what is behind the creaky hidden doors. They always have something very unique and creative up their sleeves and I never know what it’s going to be or when I’m going to see it until it’s staring right at me. One year, I’ll never forget, they had a hallway that was painted top to bottom in sections of purple, black, purple, black, purple, etc, very Tim Burton style. I was walking down the hall when suddenly a black shadow came out from one side of a black section and disappeared into the other side! It was perfect! This year will be one to remember with their spike wall almost crushing me! Even though I have been visiting these guys for ten seasons now, I still know to keep my eyes out for a whole bunch of surprises I never see coming.

Entertainment & Value: 7.63

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Tickets are still just $12 at the door if they are available and $13 if purchased online. Also, they now accept card payments at the ticket booth which they never had before. I had stated before that this year they had to cut the walk down a bit. I’m used to spending at least twelve minutes in this attraction but this year I made it through in about seven minutes. Although I would bet that most people move a bit slower than I do. And I’m a bit accustomed to looking for doors in this place and this year the doors weren’t nearly as difficult to find. But this leaves Haunted Labyrinth with a minutes per dollar value of .58. More or less meaning for every 2 dollars you spend you’re getting two minutes of entertainment. Not terrible considering all the unique stuff I got to see.

All the profits go to fund the youth center and other churches and youth centers all over the country! They provide great learning programs for children and help keep a happy healthy community with fun events for everyone. As a matter of fact, one of the great community events that helps the kids of the youth center is actually helping to build this haunted house every year! They get a little taste of construction work learning how to do some simple carpentry and other trades during the summer months.

I’m very excited that they are actually selling real tickets this year! For the longest time, it was just a regular raffle ticket or one of those impossible to take off wristbands. Now, it’s a great big, 2inch by 5inch glossy ticket with the logo and name and ‘Admit One’ in a creepy font. SO COOL! For a haunt nut like me.

Although they might not score as one of my higher ratings, Haunted Labyrinth continues to be one of my favorites in all of New England. Their passion and dedication to making a brand new event every single year keeps me coming back. And I love that it helps their local community in the best way possible by building leadership skills and programs for the youth and creating family fun events for everyone.

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