Title: The Ghost at Dawn’s House
Author: Ann M. Martin
Series: The Baby-Sitters Club #9
Blurb: Dawn has always thought there was a secret passage hidden in her house. But she never thought there was a ghost… until now. All kinds of creepy things go on whenever Dawn’s at home. There are even spooky noises behind her bedroom wall!
Dawn is sure there’s a ghost in her house. And so are the other Baby-sitters. But they’re so busy with their baby-sitting jobs that they hardly have time for a ghost hunt. Will Dawn and her friends ever solve the mystery, or will Dawn have to share her house… with a ghost?
Review: It’s a reunion! The Club is back after being separated for part of the summer. Dawn went to California with her brother to visit her dad (her parents are divorced – it’s why she moved to Connecticut). Mary Anne and Stacey went to the beach with the Pike family (see the last Nostalgic Reads post), Claudia and her family went to New Hampshire, and poor Kristy didn’t get to go anywhere. She does live in a mansion now though, so I don’t feel too sorry for her.
Dawn’s family live in an old farmhouse, built in 1795. There are always weird noises coming from somewhere in that house: creaks, groans, tapping. Dawn gets pretty creeped out. She does find a secret passage in her house though, and I have to admit, it’s a little scary. It runs from the barn, under the house, and right to Dawn’s bedroom. She finds an old buckle and an old key in it, and she’s sure this means that there’s a ghost there. It’s actually pretty convincing. Dawn keeps finding objects in the passage that weren’t there the last time she looked, like an old nickel, peanut shells, even an old book. Honestly, that would freak me out too.
But it turns out that most of the ghostly noises were actually made by Nicky, one of the Pike kids. We learned in the last book that Nicky is going through a rough time. The Pikes have eight kids, four boys and four girls. The other three boys are triplets and always hang out together. They exclude Nicky all the time which leaves him to play with the younger girls, which he doesn’t want to do. His parents have allowed him to wander away from the house on his own as long as he stays within two blocks of home. He found the barn at the back of Dawn’s property, which was exactly two blocks away, and shortly found the trap door that led into the passage. He left the food remains, he left the book, and he actually left the old coin as well because he has a coin collection. They talk it over with Nicky’s parents and give him permission to use the secret passage as a hideout for when he needs to get away, which I thought was sweet. It doesn’t explain ALL the weird noises coming from the passage though. Nicky doesn’t come over at night. Dawn did find an old story about a crazy man who disappeared centuries ago, so maybe there really is a ghost down there after all. We may never know.
I loved this book as a kid. It was one of my favorites because I liked mysteries and ghost stories, but this one wasn’t so extreme that it gave me nightmares.
Categories: nostalgic reads