York Hall – Nelson House

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The spirit of a British soldier who died nearby has moved inside.

A female spirit can’t let go of her unbearable loss.

Spirits from two long-term resident families come back to visit!


York Hall/Nelson House is huge, three story, 1730, solidly built, brick home. This grand home is a stellar example of a home built in the Georgian style, which was named in honor of “four British kings named George, who reigned from 1714 to 1830.” York Hall/Nelson House has a “simple, balanced appearance,” giving an impression of “order and stability.”

It has the typical triangular pediment above the front door and the cornice, where one can see a cannon ball from the Revolutionary War decoratively sticking into the bricks! One can see the decorative molding, under the eaves of the roof, reflecting ancient Greece and Rome decor influences.

Most of the Nelson House is made of the original materials, including the bricks and most of the mortar in the outer walls. Inside the house, the wall panels and most of the wooden floors are also original.

This stunning townhouse has a lovely garden reminiscent of an English garden from their old country.



This townhouse was the home of the Nelson Family and later the home of three generations of the Captain George Preston Blow family.

The Nelsons were movers and shakers in both business and public service. The Patriarch grandfather Nelson immigrated from England in 1705, became a prosperous and influential merchant, who not only built the Nelson family business, but also this glorious townhouse in 1730. His son, William continued to successfully run the Nelson family business, spend the money wisely buying property and served the community as president of the Governor’s Council and as acting governor.

William’s son, Thomas Nelson, Jr followed in his father’s footsteps, by running the family business, served the public in the Continental Congress, the state legislature and was governor of Virginia from June through October 1781. He was also a dedicated patriot. Not only did he sign the Declaration of Independence, but was a brigadier general, who commanded the Virginia militia at the Siege of Yorktown. He died 6 years after the war ended due to an asthma attack caused by ill health he suffered from, due to the exposure to elements found in the battlefield environment. Perhaps he inhaled smoke or some chemical agent from battle and hurt his lungs.

Lucy, his wife lived in their family home for 30 more years before she died. This home stayed in the Nelson family throughout the 19th century. During the Civil War, this home became a hospital for both Confederate soldiers and later for Union soldiers. The Nelson descendants put the home on the market in 1908, in need of renovation and restoration. In 1914, Captain and Mrs. George Preston Blow bought this grand fixer upper and renovated the Nelson House, giving it a place of honor as the center of a large property, known as “York Hall.” In 1968, The National Park Service bought the Nelson House/York Hall and restored it to its original colonial, Georgian style appearance.



The Revolutionary War Battle of Yorktown was a fierce fight between the British Troops and the Continental Army and militia forces. British Commander Cornwallis’ signed a surrender agreement because his troops were taking a beating and it was inevitable that they would loose.

Members of the Nelson family loved their home for over 100 years, and took very good care of it. It makes sense that some of them may choose to visit on occasion or reside there instead of going to the other side because of issues they still hang onto, and are restless.

Three generations of the George Preston Blow family also loved this house; their York Hall. They also took good care of it. Some members of this family may also come for a visit on occasion, or may have issues which they are still upset about, making them restless as well.



The Entity of the British Soldier

This young male entity of a British soldier who was killed in the Siege of Yorktown has moved into this fine home which must remind him of his home in England.

His apparition has been seen on occasion in various spots around the house.

Footsteps, cold spots, tricks on the living, and playing with the lights are probably occurrences due to this young man who needs to have some chuckles too!

The Female Entity on the Third Floor

The sobbing of a woman was heard coming from an empty third floor room.

One of the women in either the Nelson or Preston Blow family suffered a terrible loss for which she still grieves

Unknown Guest Entities

Entities of the families who lived here sometimes return to visit to see how the living are taking care of their house.

Perhaps the staff of this house museum may see apparitions sitting in the parlor or other parts of the house with various styles of clothing on.


Yes indeed. The entity of the British soldier and the sorrowful lady are residing in this grand house. Other entities are known to visit on occasion, from time to time.



702 Main Street
Yorktown, VA 23690

York Hall/Nelson House can be found on the corner of Main Street and Nelson Street in the historical town of Yorktown, right across the street from the battlefield used in two wars.


  • yorkcounty.gov [Bad Link] * nps.gov
  • HAUNTED PLACES: The National Directory by Dennis William Hauk
    The Penguin Group, 2002

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Virginia