Never Hit a Ghost with a Baseball Bat by Eth Clifford, 1993.
Mary Rose and Jo-Beth are visiting another museum with their father, but they’re not happy about it. Mary Rose is annoyed because there’s a boy she likes, and no matter what she does, he just won’t pay attention to her. Jo-Beth is annoyed because she just turned eight years old, and well, . . . she just turned eight. Nothing special happened on her birthday. She doesn’t look different, she doesn’t feel different, and she just had to go to school like normal. Their father, Harry, hopes that a visit to a strange museum dedicated to antique trolleys will help snap them out of their funks, although neither girl thinks so at first.
But, it seems like the trolley museum might be inhabited by a ghost. The owner, Sam Thorne, doesn’t think so, but his assistant, Hoot Turner, can’t think of any other explanation. Strange things are happening. Food and other objects disappear. Things are moved around. Areas are . . . unexpectedly tidy? What gives? If it’s a ghost, it’s apparently a ghost that believes in cleanliness and doesn’t mind doing the dishes. But, if the ghost is so friendly and useful, why do mysterious voices call out to them to beware?
The girls explore the trolleys parked in the museum and admire the manikins dressed in old-fashioned clothing that are part of the displays in each trolley car, but more strange things happen. A teddy bear seems to speak to them, even though it isn’t the kind with a string and a talk-box. The manikins start to seem creepier. Mary-Rose and Jo-Beth are only armed with a baseball bat from one of the displays and the old teddy bear (which terrifies Jo-Beth). But, Mary Rose is determined to find the ghost, even if it’s the last thing she does!
Telling you about one of the themes of this story would spoil the ending, but both the girls come to realize that there are people in the world with much more serious problems than the ones that they were worried about at the beginning of the story. There is a happy ending for everyone as Mary Rose turns her mind to something more interesting than a boy who takes no notice of her and Jo-Beth appreciates her birthday more by throwing a special party for someone else.
This is part of the Mary Rose and Jo-Beth Mysteries series.