305U: Diary of a girl who died (Solved)

The book in question is a ghost story that I read in the late 80s and I believe it to be a Young Adult book or possibly geared towards preteens. My impression is that it was written or published in the 70s, but that is only a guess. I cannot remember the title, but it was an off white hardcover library book with some sort of random small scene on the front relating to the story. It was a fairly thin book, maybe only 50-75 pages?

The story was about a teenage girl who had to go live with her uncle (I think) for some reason, and while she was there she found an old diary from a girl who had died many years before. The book makes many references to the ‘bogs” near the house (I didn’t know what a bog was before reading this book) and the girl who wrote the diary died after running into one of the bogs in the middle of the night and sinking. Not sure if it was accident or a suicide due to grief. I believe that there was a reference to a missing necklace or locket and the girl (who wrote the diary) had a boyfriend/lover/fiance that may have been a soldier named Ian who died.


One of the chapters in the book was titled “Letters To Ian.”  The main character becomes obsessed with the story as she reads the diary and starts having dreams/hallucinations about this girl and Ian and their deaths. Near the end of the book she finds herself either sleepwalking or hallucinating and ends up caught in one of the bogs in the middle of the night, possibly trying to find the locket/necklace.

I read this books dozens of times when I was young but never owned it and one day when I went to check it out again ( I lived next door to a library as a child) I found that the library had discarded it in a mass auction to make room for new books. I was heartbroken, and none of the librarians could provide me with the title to search for it elsewhere. We only had paper catalogs in our small town library and no computer system back then to look at what books a customer had checked out. I’ve tried for 30 years to remember the name of this book so that I can look for a used copy somewhere, with no luck.

Hopefully the little that I can still remember will jog someone’s memory.


4 thoughts on “305U: Diary of a girl who died (Solved)

  1. I am sorry I cannot offer help because this would have been right up my alley as a child. The necklace and the being sent to an uncle remind me of Janet Patton Smith’s Ghost in the Swing (necklace, aunt), but that title has no diary nor Ian. I’ll watch this space.

  2. Hello, I am the one that was looking for this book and I found it. It was Dream of the Dead and I found an old copy online. SOLVED!

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