Wednesday, July 22, 2009

#9 The Ghost at Dawn's House

This is my all-time favorite BSC book, no contest. I used to read it out loud to my siblings, who weren't even BSC fans. :)


The BSC members are back from their various family vacations, and eager to make the most of the rest of the summer. Dawn decides to really search for a secret passage in her house, and actually finds one by falling through a trap door in the floor of her barn. How did they not notice the door before? Was there hay on top of it or something? Anyway, as she's exploring it, she finds some old-looking items and convinces herself that not only were they left there by someone who was locked in the passage to die, but that her house and barn were now haunted by that person's ghost. The strange noises that she hears coming from the passage at all hours of the day and night only confirm her theory (or so she thinks). Mr. Ghostie gets an indentity when Dawn finds the legend of Jared Mullray in an old book of her grandmother's. The book doesn't specify the location of the Mullray farm, where Jared supposedly disappeared, but Dawn is sure it's her house. The mystery of the strange noises and the appearing/disappearing items is at least partially solved when Dawn catches Nicky Pike in the passage. His trouble with the triplets has gotten even worse, and he'd been going there to escape. Nicky was only using the passage during the day, though, so the nighttime noises are still a mystery. I think we're just supposed to assume that it's the wind or something, but I'm with Dawn on this one: I think it's a ghost. :)

Thoughts and Things
  • At Dawn's BSC slumber party, Mary Anne wants to watch Sixteen Candles. I would've pegged her as more of a Sound of Music type.
  • Dawn doesn't tell the other BSC members (besides Mary Anne) about the passage until the aforementioned slumber party. Why in the world would she keep it a secret, and why did Mary Anne not tell anyone? Secret passages are kind of a big deal, and the girls usually tell each other everything.
  • I can't even tell you how many secret passage searches I went on as a kid. I never found anything, but I probably made lots of friends and relatives think I was crazy for knocking on walls and looking for trapdoors everywhere.
  • Dawn describes her room as the calm eye in the center of a hurricane. In later books, her room's a mess. I definitely see her as more of an organized type. She'd have to be, with her mom being so out of it.
  • Nicky buys a fancy ice cream cone from the ice cream truck that costs a WHOLE DOLLAR. I wish fancy ice cream cones only cost a dollar in real life....
  • Fried baloney sounds absolutely revolting. I can't even stomach non-fried baloney.
  • The Trip-Man doesn't sound all that bad. I wouldn't date him or anything, but I think Dawn and Jeff were a little hard on him.
  • I ALWAYS wanted to look like Dawn does on this cover!


  1. the book was kinda boring to me.
    they didnt solve any mysteries and dawn and jeff were horrible to the trip man.

    nice blog post, but boring book.

  2. this book was actually pretty good, but i wouldnt exactly put it on my favorites list. the triplets were so awful to nicky, and dawn was kinda horrible to mr. trip. i feel sorry for sharon.

    jeff didnt seem so bad though. such a shame they don't mention jared much the rest of the series.

    good post though.

  3. I'm suprised Karen Brewer doesn't show up with kristy...I don't think it's really mentioned exept for about once later in the series.

  4. I don't really like the whole "Question, not statement" thing that the girls always do. It just irks me.

  5. Yes, this was one of my favorites too!

    I haven't thought of this book in years, really, but you know I think it explains why I have so many weird dreams about houses that often involve a secret passage. I think this book planted that idea in my head well over 20 years ago.

  6. I hate how she never finds out if it really was a ghost or not. Seriously Ann.m. Martin , complete your stories, you left Mr in total suspense and at the end I never got the answer, I still looked the book tho

  7. I actually like that Martin left it a little open ended. Most things were accounted for in the secret passage that we can attribute to someone other than a ghost except one thing. Dawn is more interesting in this book than she’s been up until this point as well. It’s still disappointing though how much I don’t care for her going through the series again when I loved her as a kid.

  8. I love that I've found another BSC blog!

    This was the first BSC book that I ever read, and still one of my favourites. It's just so quintessentially eighties. I kinda liked the Trip-Man too - in my head he looked like Crockett from Miami Vice, and I always liked Crockett. I just figured that Dawn didn't like him because she didn't want her mom dating anyone other than Richard Spier, and Jeff just sorta followed Dawn's lead. (Also, he's a teenage - or pre-teen - boy. One thing I learned from my foster kid is that teenage boys mock *everything*. Though girls aren't much better.)