CRANSTON — The Haunted Labyrinth, a faith based non-profit, run entirely by adult and youth volunteers at the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center, kicked off a new season of scares on September 25. As other local Halloween attractions cancel plans due to the pandemic, the staff and volunteers of the Haunted Labyrinth will continue the decades-long tradition by adding increased safety protocols approved by the city.
Associate Director of Youth Ministry and Director of the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center Pat Kane explained that leadership has been meeting with representatives from the city of Cranston, which included staff from the Rhode Island Department of Health, in order to get a license to operate.
“After completing the Covid-19 event plan, we met with the licensing board who reviewed our plan and gave us a license to open according to the approved plan,” explained Kane. “It will include mask wearing, social distancing and providing gloves for customers. We will also have screening checks for all volunteers and customers and will ensure regular cleaning through the evening and at the end of each night.”
The actual experience of the Haunted Labyrinth, Kane added, will still include walking through the maze in small groups and being surprised by volunteers.
While the construction for the 2020 Haunted Labyrinth began in June, as soon as the previous year’s event wraps up, the crew immediately begins planning for the Fall.
For the longest-running haunted house in New England it’s not just about Halloween and scaring, it’s about bringing young people into the Church and offering them roles of leadership. Hundreds of youth and adults from parishes within the Diocese of Providence have participated in this unique annual project, assisting with design, building and performance.
“This event not only provides our youth volunteers with their required service hours, but gives them an opportunity to be part of a team, learning to work together and contribute their talents to an important cause,” said Kane. “Many of the young people enjoy it, especially if they are involved with acting and theater. Of course, many young people come as customers with their families, friends and parish youth ministry.”
As a fundraiser, Kane shared that it is important to the young people throughout Rhode Island, because along with the Catholic Charity Appeal funding that Rejoice in Hope Youth Center receives, the money raised supports many youth ministry efforts in the parishes.
“The funding also helps make it possible to offer events and programs that bring the young people together to experience a sense of the larger church community in the diocese.”
The theme for this year’s Haunted Labyrinth is Space Station 13. Young people in grades 8-12 are still welcome to inquire about volunteering. To learn more about volunteering, admission, directions and more, visit hauntedlabyrinth.com, or call Rejoice in Hope Youth Center at 401-942-6571.