Enriching the lives of youth one surprise at a time


CRANSTON — Not much is more exhilarating than a caught-off-guard surprise. In October, that’s what the youth volunteers at The Haunted Labyrinth live for – a light-hearted scare, immediately followed by some of the biggest smiles you’ll see during “spooky season.”
And, it’s all in good fun. There’s no blood or gore — The Haunted Labyrinth doesn’t need it to get the job done. Instead, the attraction features many skillfully designed rooms to entertain the community through the art of a good-old-fashioned scare. The Haunted Labyrinth, a faith-based nonprofit, run entirely by adult and youth volunteers at the Rejoice in Hope Youth Center, remains one of the few positive, yet still thrilling, family-oriented Halloween events in Rhode Island.
For 39 years, 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. Some use the time for their school community service hours and others just for the fun of it.
The preparations for the 2023 Haunted Labyrinth began in March with building brainstorming sessions and the hands-on work began in June. Since its beginning, nearly four decades ago, The Haunted Labyrinth has raised approximately $2 million for the Diocese of Providence, averaging about $52,000 per year.
Travis Chartier, a senior at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket, lifted his mask to reveal kind eyes and a big smile. For the past four years, the teenager has volunteered his scaring services to The Haunted Labyrinth. He shared how this is certainly an out-of-the ordinary occasion to open a door to the Catholic Youth Ministry to Rhode Island’s young people.
“It’s amazing here and it’s a good opportunity for the youth to come and experience the fun. All of the people who help run it are amazing and I really love them — that keeps me coming back. It’s nice to see people having fun. This is the highlight of my Halloween.”
For The Haunted Labyrinth leadership, the priority is placed on more Bible than “boos.” Before the line of eager patrons begins forming outside of the Haunted Labyrinth, 50-70 volunteers, depending on the night, are busy putting the finishing touches on their costumes and taking time for prayer and reflection. The Haunted Labyrinth offers a chance for many of the teenagers to learn about aspects of the Catholic faith. For those who are unchurched, this might be the first time they hear a passage from the Bible or learn what a saint is. The staff is always available to answer questions and willing to engage in conversation with them about their faith.
For the hundreds of volunteers who have returned inspired and excited each year, The Haunted Labyrinth has offered the youth an opportunity to use their gifts, talents and creative energy in a positive, productive and fun way.
Pat Kane, director of Rejoice in Hope Youth Center and associate diocesan director of Youth Ministry, shared how she has seen lives impacted for the youth who help create The Haunted Labyrinth in the most positive ways. Countless young people who began here have continued to be involved with the many other Catholic Youth opportunities offered during the year.
“We have had a few young people converted to Catholicism because of their start with The Haunted Labyrinth. We have seen young people personally grow in their confidence, sense of belonging and acceptance. Some have developed a stronger faith and become more active in the Church.”

For tickets, hours and more information, visit www.hauntedlabyrinth.com or www.facebook.com/hauntedlabyrinth.