The 1893 Ghost of Snettisham Church - A Norfolk Ghost Story
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Picture (c)
                    by John Ashley Photography

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!

Picture (c)
                    by John Ashley Photography