Something spooky is happening at the Heritage Village during the Fieldays 50th anniversary.

Legend has it the former Waikato Hospital, sited in the Village, is haunted.

"It's very possible that it's haunted," Cambridge Historical Society committee member Irene Cooper said. "It is an old hospital after all."

In 1889, the Waikato Hospital Board established a medical homestead on a 50-acre block of land which became known as the first Waikato Hospital. The first patient was James J Daley from Pirongia, whose hand was shattered by a gun barrel bursting.

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The old Waikato Hospital in the Heritage Village at Mystery Creek. Photo / Adam Edwards
The old Waikato Hospital in the Heritage Village at Mystery Creek. Photo / Adam Edwards

Daley went out early one morning to scare off some sparrows. He was using his brother Charlie's gun that had an old muzzle-loading piece that was a relic from the Waikato Wars.

It was not an efficiently designed weapon and due to his mistake when loading the gun to scare sparrows, an air lock caused the whole barrel to burst open and shatter half of his left hand.

In Te Awamutu, he was told that his hand would have to be amputated but he went to the hospital in Hamilton he had heard about for a second opinion. He lost his thumb and two fingers but kept the remainder of his hand.

At Mystery Creek, the hospital includes beds, supplies and other furniture from its heyday.

The Cambridge Historical Society has a search game offering a lollipop as the prize to help entice the younger generation to learn.

A very excited 8-year-old Anna Smith did not care about the lollipops, she was there because she had heard from other people at Fieldays that the hospital was haunted and she was intrigued.

"A man by the tractors told me that this place [the hospital] was haunted. That's so cool," Smith said. "Mum, can we go see the ghosts?"

The old homestead was moved to the Heritage Village in the 1970s.

The Heritage Village is open by appointment and freely open during Fieldays. The committee is looking at opportunities to open the history-filled acre to the public more frequently.

The village includes an old school house, the old Kihikihi jail, a blacksmith forge and Mystery Creek Motors.