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 September 24, 2021 by Team Hallowoosh.

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Final Score: 7.36

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Oh Yeah! The Haunted Labyrinth is BACK for its 37th season in Cranston, Rhode Island. It is quite possibly the longest-running official haunted attraction in New England.

Every year I’m beyond proud of how much Haunted Labyrinth dedicates their time to bring us a brand new show. Nothing against the vast majority of attractions that put massive amounts of work into their scenes and leave them there for a few years, deservedly so. Haunted Labyrinth is one of the only haunts that I have ever been to that not only changes all of their scenes every single year but also keeps the entire attraction centered around a singular theme. Last year in 2020, they presented a story from outer space and called it ‘Space Station 13’. It involved a fun horror story where the paying customer played the role of an existing or potential investor onboard an experimental laboratory space station. The tour of the facility is cut short when the station gets attacked by blood-thirsty aliens or mutated creatures. With you being the last surviving member of your party, you had to find your way to the escape pods before getting eaten alive or infected or both!

They try their absolute best every year to bring us this kind of energy for the haunt season. I haven’t missed a season in 10 years. If only I had discovered them sooner. I would have loved to know what crazy ideas came before 2011.

This year in 2021 Haunted Labyrinth brings us ‘Midnight Masquerade.’ The eerie tale of a journey through a glorious haunted mansion on the night of a lavishing masquerade ball. The only question you need to answer is’ Will you attend?

Cast: 6.17

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Not only is the Haunted Labyrinth the longest-running haunt in New England, but it probably gets the award for the youngest actors every year as well. Since the attraction is owned and run by a Christian Youth Center, plenty of their young members can’t wait till this time of the year to suit up every weekend and have a blast scaring the thousands of people that come through. In my 10 years of attending Haunted Labyrinth, I can honestly say I might have seen less than 10 actors over the age of 18, or at least that’s what it has felt like. This is not necessarily a bad thing since I do have to consider the fact that this is a Christian Youth Center and everything they do is for the children who are having a great time doing something they love.

With that being said, I shouldn’t shy away from the truth that the acting at this attraction is not their strongest suit. The majority of the cast relies heavily on the, for lack of an official name, ‘freeze and startle’ scare tactic where the actor will pretend to be a prop until we get close enough and suddenly nudge towards us a little bit with not so much as a scream but more of a short yell.

There is a good handful of returning actors and actresses who do quite a good job actually. In fact, the characters that introduced me to the attraction usually have more dialogue than most characters I bump into at any other haunt. This year we were welcomed into the masquerade ball by ‘The Dutchess’. After a few technical difficulties, she frantically tried to fix something and on the spot, she quickly escorted us into the beginning of the house.

I will admit that I enjoyed some better attempts at scares this year compared to previous years. We received some great screamers and some actual stalkers following us. Even the last character of the night did a great job at convincing us that ‘(something) is a trap’ instead of the traditional ‘freeze and startle.’ But the reality is that everyone is having fun and it’s all volunteer time. When I can feel that the people genuinely like doing what they do, it has a great effect on how much I will enjoy my time with them.

Costuming: 6.1

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The pandemic year forced all actors to wear a face mask. The majority of the cast usually wears a Halloween mask of some sort practically every year that I’ve attended. Last year it seemed that they had all worn a face mask underneath their masks, and it’s not much different this year. I may have come across two or three actors wearing only the face mask and a little touch of makeup. Just some blackened eyes, nothing crazy.

It feels like gears might be moving in the right direction with the actual costuming this year. Most years I find costumes and masks not fitting the theme too well, like a clown mask on a spaceship or a hockey mask in an old western saloon. This year I was pleased to see that the majority of the costuming was actually relative to the scene the actors were in. The kitchen lady was wearing an apron, the scientist was in a lab coat, the piano player was in a fancy suit, and obviously, the lovely hostess was in a velvet dress and masquerade mask. I found that this year was one of the more appropriately attire-conscious years I’ve attended in a while.

Customer Service: 8.42

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Some of the most friendly people I’ve ever met are part of the haunt industry and the crew over at Haunted Labyrinth is no exception. If anything they are probably more friendly and helpful than most. Despite the spooky exterior, I’m always greeted with a smile or a handshake and a friendly ‘Hi there! Would you like to see our haunted house?’ Although I may be attending the show in search of some scares, this hospitality always puts a smile on my face.

This attraction is almost impossible to miss. The crosswalk from the small parking area to the entrance of the Youth Center is patrolled by police with their cruiser lights on. The street can get rather busy as it’s one of the main routes through the city. I’m glad to have an officer helping us and others safely cross the road. Speaking of safety, there is a short staircase leading up to the official beginning of the haunt and a short one going down to exit the haunt. Both staircases have someone constantly watching to make sure nobody trips and falls.

Every year I ask them when they officially start talks on the current year’s design. Consistently they tell me, ‘During the middle of last season’ which is quite honestly what I hear from a lot of haunted attraction owners. The ideas for every season begin turning well before the current season officially ends. But the official meeting for the next season begins in February and the designing and planning usually last till July when they start building the haunt. Haunt build lasts right up to the opening night. That’s almost 3 months of building all in their off time, all volunteered.

Atmosphere: 7.92

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The Haunted Labyrinth has become known for its infamous haunted house fa������ade that covers the front entrance to the building. Flashing lights in the windows give off the lightning effect, glowing lanterns, broken boards, all kinds of typical haunted house decor make this place impossible not to realize this is a haunted house. Even a hand-made, old-timey black hearse rests outside of the ticket booth with its own flame illusion lanterns.

The waiting line for Haunted Labyrinth is usually decorated as well. Sometimes they had carved out plywood headstones. This year they went with the simple dark brown picket fence. Most years that I have attended they have a little snack and merch shack on the side of the building where we waited. Sometimes they even have a DJ with their own lighting effects and stage making the haunt even more impossible to miss.

Special Effects: 6.95

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The Haunted Labyrinth has quite an old-school feel to it when it comes to special effects and it’s one of the many things that I love about them. I imagine these effects are the ones I may have come across in the 70’s or 80’s that were so simple yet so effective. It’s refreshing and somewhat nostalgic to see some of these effects when I walk through. They aren’t effects that I suspect to see because I don’t encounter them in other haunts and it’s brand new effects every year so it’s always a surprise! I can say that this is definitely Haunted Labyrinth’s strongest characteristic.

Fans of the Labyrinth will agree that ‘Labyrinth’ isn’t just a spooky name they take for granted. This attraction does an amazing job redesigning the floor plan every year into what could be identified as a ‘Labyrinth.’ We’ve had to choose the right door in a room of doors, find which bookshelf is actually a secret door, crawl through a fireplace or two, even wait for an entire wall to almost crush us to death before realizing that wall actually IS the door! Naturally, this type of attraction leads guests to pushing and grabbing many different things trying to escape to the next room. Although there was a little bit of figuring our way out last year, the majority of the haunt had to become a little more obvious last year due to the pandemic. They even gave us gloves to go into the attraction because we still would have to push and grab a few things. Well, this year wasn’t too much different other than the gloves. They did have a few surprises in store for us but the reality is they are still trying to do their part to limit the amount of contact between guests, actors, and sets.

But what they had to take away in unique exit points they made up with old school and unique scare effects. We walked past what I think was a poker table only to watch the thing suddenly come to life! What we thought was just some type of life-sized doll made out of rolled-up sheets was laying in a bed not looking like it was capable of doing much damage. The thing jumped out of the bed and almost landed on the side of my face! I think it was honestly more the sound that got me. I’m more used to hearing air compressors hiss and pop before any moving parts start to happen. This little jump scare was worked with a simple wire or rope on a pulley system. The quick ‘zip’ sound accompanying the sudden jump of this weird doll thing was incredibly unexpected to me.

Theme: 8.28

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The changing of the theme every year is the thing that I remember most about Haunted Labyrinth. Many haunts will change only certain areas of their attraction or add a new set here and there or pretty much not change their attraction for many years. Haunted Labyrinth is the only attraction I’ve ever been to that loves to completely redo their haunt every single year and practically start from scratch with a new theme. Granted the haunt takes up the entire space of a youth center’s gym, so it has to be disassembled every year anyway. But even the few haunts that I know of that need to disassemble every year don’t put in the effort to redesign when they have to put it back up.

Remembering the themes since I have been attending I can recall them making a dark and twisted fairy tales theme, Alice in Wonderland, a western ghost town, a carnival, a child’s nightmares, a college campus, a camp, a zombie apocalypse, even a space station! It’s been a while since they have done just a good old classic Haunted Mansion theme. And what is a Haunted Mansion without a spooky masquerade party? So Haunted Labyrinth brings us ‘Midnight Masquerade’ for their 2021 season. It’s an interactive journey where the paying guest gets invited to the most lavish of parties only to find that this is no party at all. We had to find our way through the haunted house dodging monsters and disfigured creatures and outright mean and nasty residents to finally reach the enchanted ballroom. But we also find that we are the only guests to arrive and the further we go into the house the further we might be falling into a trap!

Scare Factor: 7.57

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By far the creepiest thing about Haunted Labyrinth is that I never know what I’m about to walk into. The exit and entry points from one room to the next are not always obvious, so naturally, I think to myself a lot ‘Did I choose the right door?’ and more importantly ‘Is there something behind this door that isn’t behind that other door?!’ And like I mentioned in the Theme category, sometimes the little unsuspected sounds that I’m not used to hearing in a haunt are the things that give me a startle. Also, obviously the fact that I will never return to the same show year after year. So even though Haunted Labyrinth doesn’t compete with some of these over-the-top, grotesque, in-your-face haunts I can always count on them to give me something unpredictable every year. Now, that’s something that I find extremely rare in this industry.

Entertainment & Value: 8.65

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Haunted Labyrinth is only $12 a ticket and $13 if you purchase them online. Which is probably the cheapest ticket you’ll find in New England for a full-blown haunted attraction, don’t quote me on that but I’m willing to bet that’s pretty accurate. The Labyrinth had to decrease in length last year due to the pandemic and it seems that this year was no different. While I remember spending an average of twelve minutes to get through the whole haunt, it went down to seven last year and remains seven this year too. The price is still great for what we get; unique scares and a great night with friendly people who love what they are doing.

This fundraiser event supports the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center and other churches and youth centers all over the country! It provides the materials and time dedicated to helping kids develop the skills and well-being to become the best they can be. Even the haunt itself is a way for the youth to learn valuable skills in building and customer service and community.

They came out with a new version of their tickets this year! It was only last year when they finally got a professional-style glossy ticket that I could take home. And now this year they have the ones that have the little tear-off part at the bottom! Just like a real ticket! And I’m WAY too excited about it!

They might not be exactly what most haunt goers hope for when it comes to haunted attractions, but I believe that Haunted Labyrinth is a real gem of New England. I love extreme scares and loud, over-the-top sets and all that craziness just as much as the next haunt enthusiast. But there is something that I love about these passionate, dedicated, loyal community-based attractions that make this season so special. No amount of Oscar-worthy acting, award-winning makeup, expensive giant props, or crazy special effects can replace the magic that we see come out of Haunted Labyrinth every year.

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