Location: 17b Hood Street, CBD, Hamilton. Historic Places Category: 2
Constructed on land that was part of Hamilton's original Militia settlement, this structure was built in 1903 to house the office of The Waikato District Hospital and Charitable Aid Board and was primarily used as an administrative block and boardroom. In March 1911 a fire destroyed most of the hospital's records that dated prior to 1901. In July of 1911 the go ahead was given for the renovations and alterations to commence. The board moved out of the building in 1938 after having outgrown it and James Treloar one of the Waikato's early inventors of dairy farm equipment (Treloar Milking Company) moved in and remained there until 1959.
It was used as a retail site for a number of years until 1994 when the building was lovingly renovated restoring the beautiful kauri floors, reinstating ceilings and sash windows and opening up as Diggers Bar & Grill. In 2000 an upper floor addition ensued and in 2007 consent was issued to cover the courtyard area and add a first floor balcony to the earlier upper floor extension. Today it houses Biddy Mulligans Irish Bar after premises it was housed in on Victoria Street, burnt down.
Staff of Diggers and patrons alike have made various claims over the years regarding this building and what they have deemed as 'unusual' events occurring. Everything from objects being moved, chiller doors opening by themselves, banging and crashing coming from parts of the building that are known to be unoccupied at the time, bottles falling off the shelves, handles falling off the hanging wheel for no apparent reason, shadows in the back bar, feelings of not being alone in the attic bar and taps being witnessed as turning on by themselves. Patrons have reported similar things including a couple witnessing a drink flying off the table when no one was anywhere near it.
It is rumoured that a Doctor hung himself in his office when the building was occupied by the Waikato District Hospital and Charitable Aid Board.
After extensive research the Quantum Foundation have been unable to find any evidence to confirm this event.
The Quantum Foundation has been privileged enough to gain access to Diggers on multiple occasions for the purpose of conducting investigations. The first one was in 2011 and we were able to interview a number of staff members who were employed there at the time. All but one believed the place was haunted with some staff refusing to be alone in certain parts of the building. The staff at the time nicknamed the ghost 'Richard'.
Our investigations have always been interesting at this location. We have captured numerous light anomalies on Video and IR Cameras that are clearly identifiable as air borne particles or insects. However there have been investigators and staff present who have witnessed flashes of light in the back bar with their own eyes. Headlights from cars were ruled out as the doors leading to the back bar were closed and there were no windows that would have enabled light of any kind to filter through.
On our first investigation of this location footsteps were heard on the wooden stairwell which lead up to the attic bar. These were clearly heard at the same time by Harley (investigator) and Caitlin (staff member) who were in different parts of the building. Static IR camera's showed no one walking up or down the stairs at the time. Interestingly enough some 3 years later whilst undertaking another investigation of the same building, footsteps were heard coming down the wooden stair case again but by a different investigator. Again, the static IR cameras show no one coming down the stairs at the time.
During one investigation we experienced temperature drops of 3 - 4 degrees in a particular area and our equipment being drained of all charge despite being fully charged only minutes before. No explanation could be offered for either. We also had one of our voice recorders turn off during a 'dead' EVP session. Upon the recorder being retrieved and examined it was found there was no timer set. We then tested the recorder and found it to be in perfect working order. No explanation has been offered for this occurrence to date.
A further investigation appeared to be very quiet. Upon reviewing photographs taken during the evening, a guest investigator captured what appears to be a very clear, dark solid large figure of someone's head and shoulders sitting at one of the bench tables. We returned to the building to take further photo's in an attempt to debunk this capture but were unable to do so. We have not been able to find an explanation for this to date.
We have captured multiple EVP's of male voices and numerous investigators have had personal experiences at this location. We believe this location to be worthy of further investigation and look forward to returning in the near future.
Research Status: Ongoing
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