The small Suffolk village of Blythburg sits at the head
of the River Blyth estuary about four miles west of
Southwold. As well as the ghostly tale associated with
the church of Blythburgh there is also another ghost
that is said to haunt this small village.
This ghost is sighted where the Walberswick road meets
the A12 known locally as Toby's Walk about half a mile
to the south of the village close to the picnic area.
Back in the year 1750 a detachment of Dragoons were
based at Blythburg. In June of that year the body of a
local girl Anne Blakemore of Walberswick
was found. The finger of suspicion pointed at one of the
Dragoons a Tobias Gill. Tobias was a tall muscular black
man who had the nickname 'Black Tob'. He had a way with
the ladies but when in his cups had a reputation for
brawling. He was actually found lying next to the body
of the dead girl in a drunken stupor, but when roused
swore that he had not harmed her.
Despite his protestations of innocence he was found
guilty and sentenced to be hung in chains on the spot
where the body of the girl had been found. So on 14th
September 1750 Tobias was dragged still pleading his
innocence to the scene of the crime, where gallows had
been set up.
Spotting the local mail coach, Tobias asked that instead
of being hung that he be dragged at the end of a rope by
the coach, but to no avail and his sentence was carried
out and he was hanged.
However, when things had quietened down
again in the village, questions began to be asked as to
whether Tobias had been guilty of the girls murder. The
coroner admitted that there had been no marks on Anne
Blakemore's body and in fact there was little evidence
that she had actually been murdered, but may have died
from natural causes.
As a result of this probable injustice Tobias's ghost is
said to roam the spot where he was hanged bemoaning his
fate. Other sightings have seen him thundering over the
common in a coach pulled by four black chargers. There
have also been reports that suggest that the ghost of
Anne Blakemore haunts the area by running in front of
cars and then disappearing.