The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki

Dawn and the Surfer Ghost is the twelfth book in The Baby-Sitter's Club Mystery series.

Back Cover[]

Surf's up! Dawn is back on the coast just in time for the big surfing competition. She loves catching those waves and soaking up sun.

But soon Dawn has a mystery on her hands. Thrash, the most radical surfer around, has mysteriously disappeared. Only his bashed-up surfboard – and his ghost – remain.

Can Dawn solve her California mystery without the help of the BSC?

Main Plot[]

Dawn is happy to be back in California. She and Sunny are spending all of their time at the beach taking surfing lessons and helping out with an after-school beach group for the younger kids. One day at the surf shop, Sunny points out a 20-year-old guy named Thrash to Dawn, who is one of the hottest surfers on the beach.

Dawn thinks he’s cute, but he’s not her type & too old for her, but she finds him fascinating & talks to him about surfing the next time she’s in the shop. She learns that Thrash has been surfing all over the world. As Dawn and Sunny leave the shop for their surfing lesson, he calls Dawn “Kelea” (which is the name of a Hawaiian princess). Sunny is convinced that Thrash likes Dawn, but Dawn isn’t buying it.

Several days later, when Dawn and Sunny go back to the beach, they get some bad news. Thrash’s mangled surfboard turned up on the beach and people think that he’s dead. The only person who doesn’t believe Thrash is dead is Gonzo, who is another regular surfer. There is a big surfing competition coming up and Gonzo is convinced that Thrash faked his death because he knew he wouldn’t win the competition. Dawn doesn’t think so especially when she finds out that Thrash’s surfboard might’ve been tampered with.

One night when Dawn, Sunny, and the kids from their after-school group are having a cookout, they spot a surfer way out into the ocean. Since it’s rare for anybody to be surfing so late in the evening, Dawn is convinced that it’s the ghost of Thrash out for revenge on whoever murdered him by tampering with his board. Dawn and the girls of the We Love Kids Club discover the mystery surfer again when they’re at the beach together, but this time he is performing a move that only Thrash is known to be able to do. Dawn discovers a new guy working at the concession stand who is tan with short, black hair which makes her suspicious.

As the surfing competition gets closer, there are a lot of accidents starting to happen to people at the beach; people who never fall off their surfboards get hurt, become injured, and one girl burns her eyebrows off while working the grill at the concession stand. Sunny ends up getting badly bruised in a surfing accident and her mom makes her give up surfing for awhile which leaves Sunny with more time to help Dawn solve the mystery.

When Dawn sees the concession stand guy again, she realizes that he’s Thrash in disguise. She confronts him when she catches him the surf shop tampering with Gonzo’s surfboard. Thrash said he wanted revenge on Gonzo who tampered with his surfboard in the first place. Dawn is able to talk him out of it and Thrash goes to the police. Gonzo is arrested at the surfing competition. Thrash wins first place in the competition while Dawn finishes third place in her division. Thrash decides to use his prize money to surf in Australia for awhile, but before he leaves, he gives Dawn his snake ring.

Sub Plot[]

Back in Stoneybrook, Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold are involved in gymnastics, but after Carolyn injures herself during practice at home, Marilyn feels responsible and decides that she’s not going to leave her sister’s side again.

For a while, the girls seem happy with the arrangement, but the BSC knows that it isn’t terribly realistic for them to stay that way, so they come up with a plan. They have a friend call each of the girls one day and invite them out somewhere, but only if they come by themselves. At first, Marilyn & Carolyn turn down the invitations, but then they decide that they would rather have fun than stick together all of the time.

Characters in this book[]

Dawn's Family

BSC Members




Places in this book[]

Pop Culture and Real Life References[]

  • Tom Cruise
  • Winona Ryder
  • the book Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
  • The Narnia book, The Silver Chair
  • Mad Hatter

Continuity and Inconsistencies[]



  • On page 17, aunt Cecelia is called Jessi's great aunt rather then being her actual aunt.


  • This book was mentioned by title in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt episode "Kimmy Gets a Job." It helps solve a plot point within the episode.
  • Dawn would like Carol if she wasn't dating her dad
  • The beach is not walking distance from Dawn's father's house.
  • Dawn is taking surfing lessons, but she knew a little about surfing before.
  • Maggie and Jill like horseback riding better than surfing, although Jill was a serious surfer in Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever.
  • Sunny is the only member of the club that Dawn knows well.
  • There's a description of Vista Private School on page 24.
  • Marilyn has been taking piano lessons since she was four.
  • Margo and Marilyn are friends.
Mystery Books
#1 Stacey and the Missing Ring | #2 Beware, Dawn! | #3 Mallory and the Ghost Cat | #4 Kristy and the Missing Child | #5 Mary Anne and the Secret in the Attic | #6 The Mystery at Claudia's House | #7 Dawn and the Disappearing Dogs | #8 Jessi and the Jewel Thieves | #9 Kristy and the Haunted Mansion | #10 Stacey and the Mystery Money | #11 Claudia and the Mystery at the Museum | #12 Dawn and the Surfer Ghost | #13 Mary Anne and the Library Mystery | #14 Stacey and the Mystery at the Mall | #15 Kristy and the Vampires | #16 Claudia and the Clue in the Photograph | #17 Dawn and the Halloween Mystery | #18 Stacey and the Mystery at the Empty House | #19 Kristy and the Missing Fortune | #20 Mary Anne and the Zoo Mystery | #21 Claudia and the Recipe for Danger | #22 Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade | #23 Abby and the Secret Society | #24 Mary Anne and the Silent Witness | #25 Kristy and the Middle School Vandal | #26 Dawn Schafer, Undercover Baby-sitter | #27 Claudia and the Lighthouse Ghost | #28 Abby and the Mystery Baby | #29 Stacey and the Fashion Victim | #30 Kristy and the Mystery Train | #31 Mary Anne and the Music Box Secret | #32 Claudia and the Mystery in the Painting | #33 Stacey and the Stolen Hearts | #34 Mary Anne and the Haunted Bookstore | #35 Abby and the Notorious Neighbor | #36 Kristy and the Cat Burglar
Super Mysteries
#1 Baby-sitters' Haunted House | #2 Baby-sitters Beware | #3 Baby-sitters' Fright Night | #4 Baby-sitters' Christmas Chiller
Other Series
Baby-Sitters Club | Super Special | Portrait Collection | Readers' Request | Baby-sitters Club: Friends Forever | California Diaries | Baby-Sitters Little Sister | The Kids in Ms. Colman's Class