The Ghost story I am about to relate took place in 1893,
in the month of October to be precise. It concerned a
Mrs. Goodeve of London who whilst visiting friends in
the West Country was visited one night by a spectre.
This ghostly apparition told Mrs. Goodeve that he was
Henry Barnard and had lived and was now buried in the
village of Snettisham in Norfolk. He wished for Mrs.
Goodeve to carry out a task for him.
The undertaking to be that she should go to the church
of St. Mary in Snettisham and wait by the grave of a
Robert Cobb for further instructions. Mrs Goodeve,
obviously not of a nervous disposition, decided to
accede to Henry Barnard's 'from the grave' wishes. When
she returned to London she made arrangements to travel
to Snettisham in Norfolk, though she had not visited
this part of the country before.
At the church of St. Mary's she
arranged with the parish clerk a John Bishop to be
admitted to the church at 1.00am in the morning and to
be locked in the church for half an hour. This, the
parish clerk agreed to do.
Locked in Mrs. Goodeve waited by the tomb of Robert Cobb
and it is said that she did indeed receive a message,
which she was told to deliver to Barnards only surviving
daughter at Cobb Hall. What this message was or who
delivered it we do not know as Mrs. Goodeve refused to
tell, nor could Barnards daughter be drawn on the
subject. Though the parish clerk John Bishop who had
waited outside, confirmed that he had indeed heard
voices inside the church.
A curious tale, and one that is said to have been
investigated and authenticated by the Society for
Psychical Research. So, is there any truth in it?
Certainly inside the church of St. Mary's in the right
hand corner as you enter the church is indeed a tomb to
a Robert Cobb who died on May 15th 1743. Further
investigation in Kellys Directory for Parish Clerks for
that time, shows that the parish clerk for Snettisham
was a John Bishop.As for Cobb Hall? Well Snettisham Hall
was once called Cobb Hall after its original owner, who
was a Richard Cobb. You decide!