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8 eerie, abandoned amusement parks

By: Matt Hickman on Sept. 2, 2011, 9:12 a.m.
boarded-up king's castle

Photo: anotherkindofdrew/Flickr

5 of 10

Heritage USA

Location: Fort Mill, S.C.

Years in operation: 1978-1989

Creepy factor: 8

This is the amusement park that Our Lady of the Tattooed Eyebrows built. At its height in the mid-1980s, Heritage USA, a Jesus-y theme and water park built by fiery PTL televangelist Jim Bakker and his then-wife, the late Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, was a top American vacation destination on par with Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Then the attendance-damaging trifecta of Jessica Hahn, the IRS and 1989’s Hurricane Hugo hit and not even the Lord himself (or Jerry Falwell) could save the park from closure. Since then, some of the park’s 2,300 acres have been repurposed and redeveloped, but the creepiest castle in all the land, once home to a Christian arcade and go-kart track, remains standing. Check out more photos here.