Book corner: Lancashire dad publishes scary story books to support children’s mental health

Written to help youngsters face the overwhelming number of challenges that impact on their everyday lives, Zak Bellingham entertains, scares and thrills with his two-part scary story books – Be Afraid.

With both instalments mixing up the literary genres – from children’s horror, mystery, comedy, science fiction and more – children and their parents/guardians find themselves immersed and entertained by stories that engender courage and, without exception, have the mental health of readers at their heart.

kids scary story books Be_Afraid_Trilogy

Aimed at children aged 7 to 14 (but still a great read for older kids and adults) and with no ‘dud’ story in either compendium, these two instalments by Zak Bellingham are attracting five-star reviews from captivated readers and will leave an indelible and supportive mark on all its readers.

And all fans will also be pleased to learn a third edition of his scary story books is in prospect.

kids scary story books Be_Afraid_Trilogy

The stories:

Be Afraid… – A Little Book of Strange & Scary Stories for Kids

Nobody likes being afraid. If you’re a child, would you dare to read this book on your own in a dark room? Don’t worry – it’s ok to be afraid.

kids scary story books

This is a collection of 14 highly original short stories for kids (and adults) to read together or alone, around a campfire, or as bedtime stories. These are strange little stories that may frighten, excite or make you think. Who was the twin in the cupboard? Why did Laura cry “Alien!”? And what is the Fear Feeder? If you want to find out more, read on – and face your fears…

Stories Included:

  • The Fear Feeder
  • The Popcorn Animals
  • The Girl Who Could Fly
  • Don’t Eat the Apples
  • The Monster in the Clouds
  • The Twin in the Cupboard
  • The Girl Who Cried Alien
  • The Super Powers
  • The Eye
  • The Invisible Boy
  • The Train of Thoughts
  • MYPhone
  • Neil vs the Eel
  • Lost in Music


Be Afraid … Volume II – More Strange & Scary Stories for Kids

From pizzas that attack, to teeth that just want a bite, Be Afraid… Volume II is a follow-up to the original Be Afraid… that launched the series in spring 2023.

kids scary story books


Be Afraid… Volume II follows in the themes of the original and contains strange stories that focus on children overcoming fears and challenging circumstances. Where did the Boy find his Voice? Why did the Crowd go Wild? And do aliens really exist? If you want answers to these questions, you’d better get reading!

Stories Included:

  • A Pizza The Action
  • Can’t Get Out Of Bed
  • I am Batman
  • The Boy Who Found His Voice
  • Truth Or Dare
  • The 1-2-3 Gang
  • Beauty Versus The Beast
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Crowd Goes Wild
  • The Teeth
  • Anxious Amy
  • The Bats
  • The Girl In The Playground
  • The Book That Wrote Itself


The author says:

“Some years ago, when my daughter was just seven, she had a fascination with horror stories. As we had no actual children’s horror books in the house I was forced to essentially make up stories on the spot, every evening – for years! After a year or so of inventing a story each night at bedtime, I told her that I would one day pick out the best stories and create a book.

She responded by rolling her eyes at me; eight years later, I finally found enough free time to achieve my goal, and I hope that my thought provoking books create an opportunity for a good discussion and debate between children and parents about the meaning of the story.”


Independently published, Zak Bellingham’s Be Afraid scary story books are available on Amazon as follows:

Be Afraid… A Little Book of Strange & Scary Stories for Kids –  on 



Be Afraid … Volume II More Strange & Scary Tales for Kids –  on 



The author:

Zak Bellingham is an author from the North of England. His passion is helping kids and creating thought provoking stories for both children and adults, with a key focus on helping kids face their fears and draw courage from adversity.

While providing plenty of thrills and entertainment, Zak’s stories all have an underlying thread of young protagonists finding the courage to face up to their fears.

Several of the collection also tackle everyday issues such as grief and trauma, as well as bullying and mental health.

He hopes the collection will have a positive impact on his young readers, and encourages them to tackle their problems.

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