Hey there, and welcome back to Scary Stories To Tell Around The Fire. It's that time for another story. This one is said to have started in Japan around the year 2008. I guess it even had an anime, but the less said about it here, the better; it's had a bit more high rating. All in all, though,
One more thing before we go on: Most of these stories have been retold already by other people throughout the years as well as the Internet. I'm just telling those stories in my own words.
Uploading Date: April 19, 2021
Eight Feet Tall
One summer day, a boy was relaxing in the backyard. He was spending the summer with his grandparents in rural Japan while his parents had a vacation in Tokyo. He enjoyed laying down in the grass and watching the clouds in the blue sky.
As he was relaxing, however, he heard a strange sound that he hadn't heard before. It sounded like a voice, deep and masculine:
"Po. Po. Po."
The boy perked up and saw what looked like a straw hat poking up from the hedges. He wondered who was wondering around the hedges, which were eight feet in height. Who would even be that tall enough to try and peer over the hedges?
He watched the hat bob up and down, and whoever was behind the hedges walked away. When the being became visible, he thought he could see a very tall and slender woman with long black hair and a white summer dress walking away. She did not turn around, so he couldn't look at her face.
He went back into the house and told his grandparents about this strange woman. At first, they were amused that a neighbor had paid their grandson a visit. But when he mentioned the weird "Po" sound that the woman made, their faces paled, and their eyes were wide with horror.
"How tall was this person?" his grandfather Yoshi asked in a serious voice.
"About as tall as the hedges," the boy replied. "Eight feel tall. She kept saying 'Po. Po. Po', in a deep voice."
Yoshi and his wife Ami told their grandson about this mysterious being. "It's Hachishakusama, or 'eight feet tall' in English, and her threat is to be taken seriously," Ami said. "She has been known to 'like' children, targeting them since they are still dependent on their parents. Once she set sights on a target, she does not stop until she gets them."
"That's when she takes them away from their parents and murders them," added Yoshi.
They also told him about how monks had tried to keep her at bay with a Buddha statue. But it hadn't worked out, and this being had escaped. And the more the boy heard of Eight Feet Tall, the more he got frightened.
"I'll need to go out during the night," said the grandpa, "to get help for you to go to the airport. Your grandma will call your mother and father, and they will meet you there and take you back home."
So the boy had to stay in his room all night, protected by charms of Japanese lore plastered over the walls, windows, and door. He had snacks to fill himself up, he had a TV to watch, and there was a little statue of Buddha and a bowl of salt sitting on the nightstand. He even had a bucket to use in case of a bathroom emergency. But all the while, even as he had a few snacks and watched some TV, he was getting very scared. He wasn't sure what exactly was going to happen next.
At one in the morning, a tapping sound woke him up, echoing from outside. The salt on the nightstand started to slowly darken into black. Suddenly, he heard the boy's grandpa Yoshi call, "Are you all right? I can come in and keep you company if you'd like."
The boy was ready to open the door, but he suddenly felt uneasy. He remembered that his grandfather had gone to get some help from some relatives. He walked over to the Buddha statue and prayed for help from this monster. All the while, a familiar deep masculine voice was saying from the other side of the door:
"Po. Po. Po."
The next morning, the boy awakened to see that the statue had fallen to the floor, and the salt had turned black as pitch. He was allowed to come out of the room, and Grandma Ami embraced him. Grandpa Yoshi had not really come near his room at all; he was gathering cousins of the family to help them out.
"Looks like you've gotten yourself into quite a mess," said one of the men when they arrived. "Don't worry, kid. We'll get you to the airport as safely as we can."
They brought the boy out to a large van, tucked him in between two taller men, and went on their way. They went slowly, like a turtle on the road.
Just then, a loud tapping came at the van door. The men gasped and tried to shield the boy away from the window as much as they could. Then the familiar deep voice sounded from outside:
"Po. Po. Po."
The boy kept his eyes glued to his hands, which were getting clammy and sweaty from fear. Another tap, and the boy briefly looked up. What appeared to be a woman's face was descending to greet him, and he thought that he could see the edge of a withered mouth.
"Hey! I said keep your eyes closed!" one of the men snapped, having seen this. "Don't let her see you seeing her!"
So the boy kept his eyes as closed as he could, and the men pressed more around him. All the while, the deep voice outside got even deeper and even louder:
"PO. PO. PO."
At last, Eight Feet Tall had left the van, and they were able to get to the airport safely. Once the boy was reunited with his parents, they left Japan to go back home to the United States.
Years later, Grandpa Yoshi died from cancer. But because of Eight Feet Tall, he gave strict instructions to not let his grandson back into Japan, not even to attend the funeral. His widow Ami, who was also diagnosed with cancer, was more lax and even invited him to come back to Japan for one last visit.
"Are you sure, Grandma?" the young man asked. "Even after what happened?"
"It's been years already," Ami told him. "Everything's fine now. I'd like it if you came back to Japan, just for a visit before I die."
"But what about Eight Feet Tall?" he asked. "You know, Hachishakusama?"
For a few ominous seconds, there was no answer coming from the other phone. Then there came an answer, in a deep male tone that he hoped never to hear again:
"Po. Po. Po."