Japanese Urban Legends Recommended Stories

Eight Feet Tall

Eight Feet Tall or “Hachishakusama” is a Japanese urban legend about a tall woman who abducts children. She is 8ft tall, wears a long white dress and makes a sound like “Po… Po… Po… Po… Po…”

Eight Feet Tall

My grandparents lived in Japan. Every Summer, my parents would take me there on holiday to visit them. They lived in a small village and they had a big backyard. I loved to play there during the Summer. When we arrived, my grandparents always welcomed me with open arms. I was their only grandchild, so they spoiled me.

The last time I saw them was the Summer when I was 8 years old.

As usual, my parents booked a flight to Japan and we drove from the airport to my grandparents house. They were delighted to see me and had a lot of little presents to give me. My parents wanted to have some time by themselves, so after a few days, they took a trip to another part of Japan, leaving me in the care of my Grandma and Grandpa.

One day, I was playing out in the backyard. My grandparents were inside the house. It was a hot Summer’s day and I lay down on the grass to rest. I stared up at the clouds and enjoyed the feeling of the soft rays of the sun and the gentle breeze. Just as I was about to get up, I heard a strange sound.

“Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po…”

I didn’t know what it was and it was hard to figure out where it was coming from. It sounded almost like somebody was making the noise themselves… as if they were just saying, “Po…Po… Po…” over and over again in a deep, masculine voice.

I was looking around, searching for the source of the noise when I suddenly noticed something on top of the tall hedges that enclosed the backyard. It was a straw hat. It wasn’t resting on the hedge, it was behind it. That’s where the sound was coming from.

“Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po…”

Then, the hat began to move, as if someone was wearing it. The hat stopped at a small gap in the hedge and I could see a face peering through. It was a woman. But, the hedges were high… almost 8 feet tall…


I was surprised at how tall the woman was. I wondered if she was wearing stilts or some sort of huge high heeled shoes. Then, a split second later, she walked off and the strange noise disappeared with her, fading into the distance.

Bewildered, I got up and wandered back into the house. My grandparents were in the kitchen drinking tea. I sat down at the table and, after a while, I told my grandparents what I had seen. They weren’t really paying attention to me, until I mentioned that distinctive sound.

“Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po…”

As soon as I said that, both of them suddenly froze. Grandma’s eyes grew wide and she covered her mouth with her hand. Grandpa’s face became very serious and he grabbed me by the arm.

“This is very important,” he said, in an intense voice. “You must tell us exactly… How tall was she?”

“As tall as the garden hedge,” I replied, beginning to get scared.

My grandfather bombarded me with questions… “Where was she standing? When did this happen? What did you do? Did she see you?”

I tried to answer all his questions as best I could. He suddenly rushed out to the hallway and made a phonecall. I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I looked over at my Grandma and she was trembling.

Grandpa came barging back into the room and spoke to my grandmother.

“I’ve got to go out for a while,” he said. “You stay here with the child. Don’t take your eyes off him for a second.”

“What’s going on, Grandpa?” I cried.

He looked at me with a sad expression in his eyes and said, “You’ve been liked by Hachishakusama.”

With that, he hurried out, got into his truck and drove off.

I turned to my grandmother and cautiously asked, “Who’s Hachishakusama?”

“Don’t worry,” she replied in a shaking voice. “Grandpa will do something. There’s no need for you to worry.”

As we sat nervously in the kitchen waiting for my grandfather to come back, she explained what was happening. She told me there was a dangerous thing that was haunting the area. They called it “Hachishakusama” because of its height. In Japanese, “Hachishakusama” means “Eight Feet Tall”.

It takes on the appearance of an extremely tall woman and it makes a sound like “Po… Po… Po…” in a deep, male voice. It appears slightly diffently, depending on who sees it. Some say it looks like a haggard old woman in a kimono and others say it is a girl in a white funeral shroud. One thing that never changes is its height and the sound it makes.

A long time ago, it was captured by monks and they managed to confine it in a ruined building on the outskirts of the village. They trapped it using 4 small religious statues called “jizos” that they placed at the North, South, East and West of the ruins and it wasn’t supposed to be able to move from there. Somehow it managed to escape.

The last time it appeared was 15 years ago. My grandmother said that anyone who saw Eight Feet Tall was destined to die within a few days.

It all sounded so crazy, I wasn’t sure what to believe.

When Grandpa came back, there was an old woman with him. She introduced herself as “K-san” and handed me a small crumpled piece of parchment, saying, “Here, take this and hold it.” Then, she and Grandpa went upstairs to do something. I was left alone in the kitchen with my grandmother again.

I needed to go to the toilet. Granny followed me to the bathroom and wouldn’t let me shut the door. I was beginning to get really frightened by all this.

After a while, Grandpa and K-san took me upstairs and brought me into my bedroom. The windows were covered in newspaper and lots of ancient runes had been written on them. There were small bowls of salt in all four corners of the room and a small Buddha figure placed at the center of the room on top of a wooden box. There was also a bright blue bucket.

“What’s the bucket for?” I asked.

“That’s for your pee and poo,” Grandpa replied.

K-san sat me down on the bed and said, “Soon, the sun will be setting, so listen carefully. You must stay in this room until tomorrow morning. You must not come out under any circumstances until 7 o’clock tomorrow morning. Your grandmother and your grandfather will not speak to you or call you until then. Remember, do not leave the room for any reason until then. I will let your parents know what is going on.”

She spoke in such a grave tone that all I could do was quietly nod my head.

“You have to follow K-san’s instructions to the letter,” Grandpa told me. “And never let go of the parchment she gave you. And if anything happens, pray to Buddha. And make sure you lock this door when we leave.”

They walked out into the hallway and after saying goodbye to them, I closed the bedroom door and locked it. I turned on the TV and tried to watch, but I was so nervous, I felt sick to my stomach. Grandma had left some snacks and rice balls for me, but I couldn’t eat them. I felt like I was in prison and I was very depressed and scared. I lay down on the bed and waited. Before I knew it, I was asleep.

When I woke up, it was just after 1 AM. All of a sudden, I realized that something was tapping on the window.

“Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap…”

I felt the blood draining from my face and my heart skipped a beat. I desperately tried to calm myself down, telling myself it was just the wind playing tricks or maybe the branches of a tree. I turned up the volume on the TV to drown out the tapping noise. Eventually, it stopped altogether.

That was when I heard Grandpa calling me.

“Are you OK in there?” he asked. “If you’re scared you don’t have to stay in there all alone. I can come in and keep you company.”

I smiled and rushed over to open door, but then, I stopped in my tracks. I had goosebumps all over my body. It sounded like Grandpa’s voice, but somehow, it was different. I couldn’t tell what was, but I just knew…

“What are you doing?” Grandpa asked. “You can open the door now.”

I glanced to my left and a chill went down my spine. The salt in the bowls was slowly turning black.

I backed away from the door. My whole body was trembling with fear. I fell to my knees in front of the Buddha statue and clutched the piece of parchment tightly in my hand. I started desperately praying for help.

“Please save me from Hachishakusama,” I wailed.

Then, I heard the voice outside the door saying:

“Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po…”

The tapping on the window started up again. I was overcome by fear and I crouched there in front of the statue, half-crying and half-praying for the rest of the night. I felt like it would never end, but eventually it was morning. The salt in all 4 bowls was pitch black.

I checked my watch. It was 7:30 AM. I cautiously opened the door. Grandma and K-san were standing outside waiting for me. When she saw my face, Grandma burst into tears.

“I’m so glad you’re still alive,” she said.

I went downstairs and was surprised to see my father and mother sitting in the kitchen. Grandpa came in and said, “Hurry up! We’ve got to get going.”

We went to the front door and there was a large black van waiting in the driveway. Several men from the village were standing around it, pointing at me and whispering, “That’s the boy.”

The van was a 9-seater and they put me in the middle, surrounded by eight men. K-san was in the drivers seat.

The man on my left, looked down at me and said, “You’ve got yourself in quite a spot of trouble. I know you’re probably worried. Just keep your head down and your eyes shut. We can’t see it, but you can. Don’t open your eyes until we’ve got you safely out of here.”

Grandpa drove in front and my dad’s car was following behind. When everyone was ready, our little convoy started moving. We were going fairly slow… around 20km/h or maybe less. After a while, K-san said, “This is where it gets hard,” and started muttering a prayer under her breath.

That was when I heard the voice.

“Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po…”

I clutched the parchment K-san had given me tightly in my hand. I kept my head down, but I peeked outside. I saw a white dress fluttering in the breeze. It was moving along with the van. It was Hachishakusama. She was outside the window, but she was keeping pace with us.

Then, suddenly she bent down and peered into the van.

“No!” I gasped.

The man beside me shouted, “CLOSE YOUR EYES!”

I immediately shut my eyes as hard as I could and tightened my grip on the piece of parchment. Then the tapping began.

Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap, Tap…

The voice became louder.

“Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po…”

There was tapping on the windows all around us. All of the men in the van were startled and on edge, muttering nervously to themselves. They couldn’t see Eight Feet Tall and they couldn’t hear her voice, but they could hear her tapping on the windows. K-san started praying louder and louder until she was almost shouting. The tension inside the van was unbearable.

After a while the tapping stopped and the voice disappeared.

K-san looked back at us and said, “I think we’re safe now.”

All of the men around me breathed a sigh of relief. The van pulled over to the side of the road and the men got out. They transferred me into my dad’s car. My mother held me close and tears were running down her cheeks.

Grandpa and my father bowed to the men and they went on their way. K-san came to the window and asked me to show her the piece of parchment she had given me. When I opened my hand, I saw that it had gone completely black.

“I think you will be OK now,” she said. “But just to be sure, hold onto this for a while.” She handed me a new piece of parchment.

After that, we drove straight to the airport and Grandpa saw us safely on the plane. When we took off, my parents breathed a sigh of relief. My father told me he had heard about “Eight Feet Tall” before. Years ago, his friend had been liked by her. The boy disappeared and was never seen again.

My father said there were other people who had been liked by her and lived to tell about it. They all had to leave Japan and settle down in foreign countries. They were never able to go back to their homeland.

She always chooses children as her victims. They say it’s because children are dependant on their parents and family members. This makes them easier to deceive when she poses as their relatives.

He said the men in the van were all blood relatives of mine, and that’s why they had been sitting all around me and why my father and Grandpa had been driving in front and in back. It was all done to try and confuse Hachishakusama. It took a while to contact everyone and get them all together, so that was why I had to be confined in room all night.

He told me that one of the little Jizo statues (the ones that were meant to keep her trapped) had been broken and that was how she escaped.

It gave me the chills. I was glad when we finally got back home.

All of this happened more than 10 years ago. I haven’t seen my grandparents since then. I haven’t been able to so much as set foot in the country. Afterwards, I would call them every few weeks and talk to them on the phone.

Over the years, I tried to convince myself that it was just an urban legend, that everything that happened was just some elaborate prank. But sometimes, I’m not so sure.

My grandfather died two years ago. When he was sick, he wouldn’t allow me to visit him and he left strict instructions in his will that I wasn’t to attend his funeral. It was all very sad.

My grandmother called a few days ago. She said that she had been diagnosed with cancer. She missed me terribly and wanted to see me one last time before she died.

“Are you sure, Grandma?” I asked. “Is it safe?”

“It’s been 10 years,” she said. “All that happened a long time ago. It’s all forgotten. You’re all grown up now. I’m sure there won’t be a problem.”

“But… but… what about Hachishakusama?” I said.

For a moment, there was silence on the other end of the phone. Then, I heard a deep masculine voice saying:

“Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po… Po…”



  • My friend told me her cousin got possessed by something she was going crazy, screaming, kicking, you know stuff like that. So they had to lock her up in her room, I don’t know what they did but after a month she was back to normal and didn’t remember anything, my friend told me it was scary.

  • That was simply creepy… I had my heart sink while I was reading it and though I know she is in Japan, yet I am scared >.<

  • Wow!! Great story!!! I loved it!! Creepy!! I’m so happy that I’m not from Japan!! Amazing!!! :D :D

  • Japanese Legends are pretty creepy… But seriously if they all are real then there is no way people could survive in Japan xD


  • T_T this is really scary now im afraid to go to the bathroom because of the small window O.O s-she might be outside……….. even though i dont live in japan & i keep telling myself shes in japan but still…… i feel scared… IM ONLY A 12 YEAR OLD FOR GOD SAKES! save me god T_T my dream was to go to japan T_T t-this might have ruin it and…… im terrified of kuchisake onna well il just pray T_T hopefully i get a nice life if i can avoid ghost and all that and sorry for makin ya read such a long comment :P

  • lol yeah its sounds more like poo poo poo .. anyway if this is true i guess there has to be some police reports about missing children in japan.

  • So this hachisakusama phoned him? It pretend to be his grandma? Haha..
    Anyway this story make chill run down my spine. Spooky.

  • Pretty cool and interesting. So many Japanese legends….how do they even walk out their front doors. Haha.

  • nw thats what m call story…!! Bang .,.. This story really nailed it…. Thrilling with excitment just like movie…..!! I will rate perfect 9.7 out of 10 scream ….. U reallly nailed it this time … @sfk

  • @PurpleGirlTheHorrorFan I’m assuming it wasn’t if he heard “po po po” but I thought adults couldnt see or hear her. It states he’s all grown up but I’m not sure.. I assume

  • OMG! that is so scary! I’m so happy I don’t live in japan! and @FurryKittensAreEvil0 LOL!
    but its so scary how even after 10 years, she’s still after him… and that the person he was talking to on the phone wasn’t his grandmother…. O.o

  • At first I was pronouncing “po” as “poo” but it made the whole story funny, so I pronounced it as “poe” and it was pretty good especially the ending, it really wasn’t his grandma…

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