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

The Ghost at Dawn's House is the 9th book in The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann M. Martin. It is the second book narrated by Dawn Schafer.

Back Cover

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 BSC members. 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?

Main Plot

Dawn thinks her new house in Stoneybrook is haunted! She hears strange noises behind her bedroom wall (like moaning) and even finds a secret passage!

Later when she reads about the history of Stoneybrook, she discovers that the ghost of Jared Mullray may haunt the secret passage and her entire house.


Nicky Pike, Dawn's charge, keeps disappearing while he's being baby sat for! What is going on and is he up to something?


Dawn's Family

BSC Members





  • Schafer House
  • Perkins House
  • Kishi House
  • Brewer/Thomas House
  • Newton House

Pop Culture and Real-Life References

  • In Chapter 1, Dawn and her little brother, Jeff, watch National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) during their flight to California.
  • In Chapter 2, there is mention of the movie (1968) / TV series (1970-1975) The Odd Couple. Dawns says "I love my mother and we get along great, but she's kind of like Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple and I'm like Felix Unger." Even in the 2020 reprint, this 50 year old reference still remains.
  • In chapter 6, there's an allusion to Alice in Wonderland, when Dawn narrates "I dropped down, down, like Alice through the rabbit hole." There's also a reference to The Tailor or Gloucester.
  • In chapter 7, the Brewer/Thomas kids mentions books that they want to read. These include: The Little Engine That Could, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Ramona and her Father.
  • In chapter 10, to avoid going to bed Jamie wants to read "Harold and the Purple Crayon" and "Make Way for Ducklings."
  • In Chapter 15, during a slumber party, the girls each suggest a movie they would like to watch. Kristy names Ghostbusters (1984), Claudia names Star Wars (1977), Stacey names Mary Poppins (1964), Mary Anne names Sixteen Candles (1984), while Dawn names The Parent Trap (1961). In the end they had to randomly select the two movies to watch as a vote ended in a five-way tie.

Continuity and Inconsistencies



  • The secret passage goes down while on the cover Dawn and Jeff are looking up. However, there is a part in the book where they are searching the house, this is most likely the scene depicted on the cover.
  • In Chapter 1, Dawn mentions she baby-sat for two children, named Clover and Daffodil, while she was in California. She then goes on and says "My Dad says their parents were hippies in the sixties. Flower children, he calls them. I'm not sure what that means." This hasn't been updated even in the 2020 edition, which makes the parents of Clover and Daffodil, who are 5 and 8 years old, well into their sixties or seventies.
  • In Chapter 1 of the 2020 Edition, there is mention of the 1985 movie European Vacation, starring Chevy Chase, "We saw European Vacation, starring Chevy Chase". In the 1998 UK 3-book Collection, the name of the movie isn't mentioned, only "We saw a film starring Chevy Chase."

Ann M. Martin's Dear Reader Letter

Dear Reader,

As a young reader I, like Dawn, enjoyed ghost stories. And like Claudia, I loved Nancy Drew books. One of my favorite Nancy Drews was called The Hidden Staircase, in which Nancy solves a mystery involving a secret passageway in an old house. I spent at least several afternoons one summer wandering around my own house knocking on walls hoping to find a hollow section, and feeling along the banister and floorboards hoping to find a secret trigger. Of course, since we built our house in 1960, there was no chance of finding anything secret like the passageway in Dawn’s room.

Since I so enjoyed reading about ghosts and secret passages when I was young, I wanted to write about that subject in the Baby-sitters Club series. However, to make Dawn’s story more fulfilling for the reader, I needed to create an environment that would lend itself to finding a secret passage or a ghost. Even though I never found a ghost or a secret passage in my own house, I had a lot of fun writing The Ghost at Dawn’s House. And I hope you enjoyed reading it.


  • This book is the first reference to Cam Geary.
  • The brand of ice cream that Nicky buys is called Good Humor Man.
  • Ann M. Martin said that she was inspired to write this because she had a desire to find a secret passage in her house. [1]
  • On her vacation Claudia did a little baby-sitting, watching a little boy named Skip at the resort.
  • Claudia has read more mysteries then Dawn did.
  • Jeff isn't allowed having friends over if he's home alone.
  • This is the first time Mallory is a second baby-sitter for her siblings.
  • Nicky can go off by himself within a two block radius.
  • The passage from the barn start straight going left and then a sharp right sloping up until you get a staircase.
  • Sharon has been going out with different men that she met through her parents, office, or at a party.
  • The passage is described as being between Dawn and Sharon's bedroom, however, in later books its described as being directly in her room.
  • Mary Anne was the first BSC member to know about the passage.
  • Nicky declares Dawn as his favorite baby-sitter.


Baby-Sitters Club Books
The Summer Before | #1 Kristy's Great Idea | #2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls | #3 The Truth About Stacey | #4 Mary Anne Saves the Day | #5 Dawn and the Impossible Three | #6 Kristy's Big Day | #7 Claudia and Mean Janine | #8 Boy-Crazy Stacey | #9 The Ghost at Dawn's House | #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! | #11 Kristy and the Snobs | #12 Claudia and the New Girl | #13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye | #14 Hello, Mallory | #15 Little Miss Stoneybrook... and Dawn | #16 Jessi's Secret Language | #17 Mary Anne's Bad-Luck Mystery | #18 Stacey's Mistake | #19 Claudia and the Bad Joke | #20 Kristy and the Walking Disaster | #21 Mallory and the Trouble with Twins | #22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet-sitter | #23 Dawn on the Coast | #24 Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise | #25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger | #26 Claudia and the Sad Good-bye | #27 Jessi and the Superbrat | #28 Welcome Back, Stacey! | #29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary | #30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance | #31 Dawn's Wicked Stepsister | #32 Kristy and the Secret of Susan | #33 Claudia and the Great Search | #34 Mary Anne and Too Many Boys | #35 Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook | #36 Jessi's Baby-Sitter | #37 Dawn and the Older Boy | #38 Kristy's Mystery Admirer | #39 Poor Mallory! | #40 Claudia and the Middle School Mystery | #41 Mary Anne vs. Logan | #42 Jessi and the Dance School Phantom | #43 Stacey's Emergency | #44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover | #45 Kristy and the Baby Parade | #46 Mary Anne Misses Logan | #47 Mallory on Strike | #48 Jessi's Wish | #49 Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street | #50 Dawn's Big Date | #51 Stacey's Ex-Best Friend | #52 Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies | #53 Kristy for President | #54 Mallory and the Dream Horse | #55 Jessi's Gold Medal | #56 Keep Out, Claudia! | #57 Dawn Saves the Planet | #58 Stacey's Choice | #59 Mallory Hates Boys (and Gym) | #60 Mary Anne's Makeover | #61 Jessi and the Awful Secret | #62 Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever | #63 Claudia's Freind Friend | #64 Dawn's Family Feud | #65 Stacey's Big Crush | #66 Maid Mary Anne | #67 Dawn's Big Move | #68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter | #69 Get Well Soon, Mallory! | #70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders | #71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy | #72 Dawn and the We Love Kids Club | #73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss | #74 Kristy and the Copycat | #75 Jessi's Horrible Prank | #76 Stacey's Lie | #77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever | #78 Claudia and Crazy Peaches | #79 Mary Anne Breaks the Rules | #80 Mallory Pike, No. 1 Fan | #81 Kristy and Mr. Mom | #82 Jessi and the Troublemaker | #83 Stacey vs. the BSC | #84 Dawn and the School Spirit War | #85 Claudia Kishi, Live From WSTO! | #86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC | #87 Stacey and the Bad Girls | #88 Farewell, Dawn | #89 Kristy and the Dirty Diapers | #90 Welcome to the BSC, Abby! | #91 Claudia and the First Thanksgiving | #92 Mallory's Christmas Wish | #93 Mary Anne and the Memory Garden | #94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter | #95 Kristy + Bart = ? | #96 Abby's Lucky Thirteen | #97 Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby | #98 Dawn and Too Many Sitters | #99 Stacey's Broken Heart | #100 Kristy's Worst Idea | #101 Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout | #102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess | #103 Happy Holidays, Jessi | #104 Abby's Twin | #105 Stacey the Math Whiz | #106 Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade | #107 Mind Your Own Business, Kristy! | #108 Don't Give Up, Mallory! | #109 Mary Anne to the Rescue | #110 Abby the Bad Sport | #111 Stacey's Secret Friend | #112 Kristy and the Sister War | #113 Claudia Makes Up Her Mind | #114 The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier | #115 Jessi's Big Break | #116 Abby and the Best Kid Ever | #117 Claudia and the Terrible Truth | #118 Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer | #119 Stacey's Ex-Boyfriend | #120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight | #121 Abby in Wonderland | #122 Kristy in Charge | #123 Claudia's Big Party | #124 Stacey McGill... Matchmaker? | #125 Mary Anne in the Middle | #126 The All-New Mallory Pike | #127 Abby's Un-Valentine | #128 Claudia and the Little Liar | #129 Kristy at Bat | #130 Stacey's Movie | #131 The Fire at Mary Anne's House
Super Specials
#1 Baby-sitters on Board! | #2 Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation | #3 Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation | #4 Baby-sitters' Island Adventure | #5 California Girls! | #6 New York, New York! | #7 Snowbound | #8 Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake | #9 Starring the Baby-sitters Club #10 Sea City, Here We Come! | #11 The Baby-sitters Remember | #12 Here Come the Bridesmaids! | #13 Aloha, Baby-sitters! | #14 BSC in the USA | #15 Baby-sitters' European Vacation
Portrait Collection
Stacey's Book | Claudia's Book | Dawn's Book | Mary Anne's Book | Kristy's Book | Abby's Book
The Baby-Sitters Club Notebook (1987) | The Baby-Sitters Club Postcard Book (1991) | Trivia & Puzzle Fun Book (1992) | Ann M. Martin: The Story of the author of the Baby-sitters Club (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Guide to Babysitting (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Chain Letter (1993) | The Baby-Sitters Club Secret Santa (1994) | Audio Books on Cassette Tape (1994-5) | BSC Movie Novelization (1995) | The Complete Guide to the Baby-Sitters Club (1996) | Autograph Book (1998) | BSC Graphic Novels (2006-present) | We Are the Baby-Sitters Club: Essays and Artwork from Grown-Up Readers (2021) | Welcome to Stoneybrook: A Guided Journal (2021) | The Official Coloring Book (2023)