3.4
18 votes

Holy Land U.S.A. (Abandoned)

38 Bergen St, Waterbury, Connecticut 06706 USA

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“Abandoned Christian theme park”

This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner.

Holy Land USA was an 18-acre theme park in Waterbury, Connecticut, inspired by selected passages from the Bible. It consists of a chapel, stations of the cross and replicas of catacombs and Israelite villages constructed from cinder blocks, bathtubs, and other discards. The park has been closed to the public since 1984, but its grounds remain intact.

Since its closure, Holy Land USA has fallen into a state of advanced disrepair. Although it is not open to the public, the site continues to attract attention.

In 2002, the Waterbury Region Convention and Visitors Bureau received more than 150 calls a year for directions to the site.

Many attractions and statues at the site have either been vandalized or otherwise fallen into disrepair. There has been ongoing debate about the site's future. It has been suggested that the park be preserved as folk art, and there have been numerous failed attempts to restore the park, including one involving the Knights of Columbus in 2000. I

In July 2010, the rape and murder of a 16 year-old girl inside the park received widespread media coverage and generated renewed interest in the unused property and its future use. Reports indicated that trespassing had reduced in the years before the murder.

Despite the lack of full restoration, some renovation projects have been undertaken since the park was closed. In 1997 a group of Boy Scouts repaired the illuminated “Holy Land USA” sign as part of a community service project and in 2008, the original 56-foot cross was replaced with a 50-foot stainless steel one, which was dedicated in a ceremony led by Archbishop Henry J. Mansell.

There have been whisperings of strange and potentially paranormal occurrences on the grounds of the 18-acre park. Stories of phantom ladies in white who disappear before your eyes, and disembodied voices echoing through the derelict and forgotten park are common subjects of discussion among thrill seeking ghost hunters.

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Reviewed by
bostonbaker

  • 5 Reviews
  • 10 Helpful
October 23, 2014
Rated 5.0

You CAN visit as long as you email/call the caretaker! The people who own/run this place are really sweet! I scheduled a date and time to come by and take photos and they let me in no problem. Wonderful people. The place itself isn't as fascinating as other abandoned places, but it's still a nice trip!

6 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tigerlily.Boyce

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
September 13, 2013

It wouldn't do any good restoring it, people only go there because its abandoned and creepy

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
jeremy.aiken

  • 1 Review
  • 2 Helpful
September 06, 2013

Just visited last week and its kind of cool but not worth going out of your way to see. It's definitely a shady area/town and we saw a drunk passed out under the big cross and half expected to get mugged the whole time we were there. The big sign is totally overgrown so you can get a pic of the whole thing and you have to scramble through thick scrub to see anything. I guess in my mind I expected something more like the abandoned 6 Flags in New Orleans.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 314 Reviews
  • 350 Helpful
September 19, 2014
Rated 4.0

First off, this place is on private property, and there are "No Trespassing" signs plastered everywhere, so visit at your own risk.

That much out of the way, this place is insane. As if theme parks based on Bible stories weren't creepy enough as it is, ABANDONED theme parks based on Bible stories are even more terrifying.

It's pretty run-down, so you can see just about everything there in an hour, so you might not want to plan a trip specifically for this place, but its worth a stop if you're into abandoned places.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 772 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 3.0

Originally built in the 1950s, the 18-acre, biblically-inspired theme park has been closed since 1984, but its catacomb replicas, Israelite village, stations of the cross and chapel remain intact, albeit in states of ruin. Although it's not open to the public, the Waterbury Region Convention and Visitors Bureau receives tons of calls a year asking for directions. Trespassers have reported experiencing paranormal occurrences.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
craig.a.snyder

  • 3 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
February 02, 2014

just went today, it was totally an awesome place to explore. We just parked at the front gate and walked right in. The sign says there's video surveillance but there's not a camera in sight. Just be careful not to stay too long to avoid attracting attention, but there isn't too much to see. It's definitely a great place to get some creepy pictures!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Nate

  • Tour Guide
  • 46 Reviews
  • 13 Helpful
August 08, 2013

You can tell why this was put here. Churches ALL OVER the area, however it's a bit of a shady area.
You can drive right up to the front gates, however it is now posted with "No Trespassing" signs. When you get to the gate you could probably still park and walk around the gate, as it's not sealed off, and no one can really see your car. There are two houses just down from the gate, but again, not a very active neighborhood.
As it was the same trip as my visit to the Little People Village, I was losing light, and it was already storming so I didn't venture in.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
sarahgieseler

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
August 21, 2012

it is creepy, yet breathtaking

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
travisdingus1

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
December 15, 2018

who are the owners? I would like to talk with them

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Reviewed by
renpia

  • 3 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
September 06, 2015

We just used the address to get here and it took us to a dead end street. You can see a cross at the top but there was no seemingly passable path to get to the park area without what looks like difficult trail blazing through woods.

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Holy Land U.S.A. (Abandoned)

38 Bergen St
Waterbury, Connecticut
06706 USA

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