holy-land-usa

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Mom and I adventured the abandoned Holy Land USA amusement park. Thanks for letting me know about it @congenitaldisease! There were Boy Scouts there cleaning up the little area saying it was part of their Eagle Project.

Note: Please do not trespass in private property unless given permission. I contacted the current owners of Holy Land USA to make sure it was alright before going to the location.

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Holy Land USA
Waterbury, Connecticut 

Holy Land USA was once an 18 acre Bible-themed park located in Waterbury, Connecticut. The park had about 40,000 visitors a year until it closed in 1984 for renovations. Holy Land USA never opened back up again due to the death of owner John Greco in 1986. It has been abandoned ever since. The abandoned acres of the theme park have been watched over by groups of nuns for decades, but the place keeps getting more and more creepy as the park continues to deteriorate. 

On top of the vandalism and eeriness the park gives off, a teenager was murdered on these abandoned grounds in 2010. Since then police records have shown that the amount of trespassers have been decreasing which just means abandoned Holy Land USA is as creepy and deserted as ever.

Let me tell you guys about the local landmark known as Holy Land.

Atop a large hill in the middle of town sits a very large Christian cross that lights up a variety of colors. It is the third cross to be up there, proceeded by a wooden one and a stainless steel one. On one face is a sign, ala the Hollywood sign, that says “HOLY LABD” in big letters.

Opened in the ‘50s, Holy land had a (several acre) replica of Jerusalem, hand made diaromas of various scenes from the bible, and catacombs that had tours running through them. It was open for nearly 30 years. It was internationally famous, with aomw 40,000 visitors a year. It shut down ib 1984 shut down​, nearly falling to pieces over time. It was revered as folk art by some, an eyesore by others.

There were some restoration efforts…until it becane the scene of a violent r/ape and m/urder. It was left alone (and became a popular “haunted” spot) until 2013 when they updated the cross to what it is now.

To this day, Holy Land sits above the city, decrepit and enigmatic, left to the ravages of time.

Then:

Now:

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An infamous part of Waterbury known nationwide: Holy Land USA. This was a cool experience and I had never had the balls to trespass until today. It’s cool to be a part of a city with a place as creepy and interesting as this run down theme park in it. I wish it wasn’t off limits so more people could come see it and I could have spent more time there without feeling like I was going to get busted any minute.

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Photos of Holy Land U.S.A. in Waterbury, CT found here

The first photo is of the 50 ft cross, standing at the very top of Pine Hill in Waterbury, CT, you can see it from I-84 and it marks the very spot of where the religious theme park, Holy Land U.S.A. use to be. 

Back when this park was in full operation, it brought about 40,000 visitors per year. After receiving a message from his God in the 1950’s, attorney John Greco created the park as a homage to the Holy Land in Israel where he created miniature towns of Bethlehem and Jerusalem. By the time he was done, he had created over 200 unique structures in his park. Unfortunately, Holy Land U.S.A. closed in 1984 and the park is now closed to the public. Yet, the curious, and the vandals still make their journey out to the park. Most of the park is in ruins or either slowly crumbling, and looks nothing like it did in the 50’s. 

Me and my friend tried to knock on the nun’s door (who now own the property) but no one was home at the time, so we just walked around for a little bit to take pictures. The park is very creepy and has almost a post-apocolytic feel to it with everything being demolished and in ruins. Seeing the cross at the top of the hill is quite a site to see, with an absolutely beautiful view of Waterbury down below.

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Largely built by community volunteers using reused materials and cinder blocks, by the 1980s, Holy Land USA needed a bit of a face lift and closed in 1984 for refurbishment and expansion. Two years later, with the works still unfinished, John Baptist Greco passed away. Holy Land USA never again re-opened to the public. Today the park is in an ‘advanced state of disrepair’. RoadsideAmerica.com recommends exploring the abandoned attraction “with caution (and with an up-to-date tetanus shot)”.

In 2010, the eerie remains of Holy Land USA turned truly sinister when news broke of the rape and murder of a 16 year-old girl inside the park. 

Finally this summer, after numerous failed attempts to sell the property, the Waterbury mayor and a car dealer jointly purchased Holy Land USA for $350,000.