The creation of increasingly large multipartite entangled states is not only a fundamental scientific endeavour in itself, but is also the enabling technology for quantum information. Tremendous experimental effort has been devoted to generating multiparticle entanglement with a growing number of qubits. So far, up to six spatially separated single photons have been entangled based on parametric downconversion. Multiple degrees of freedom of a single photon have been exploited to generate forms of hyper-entangled states. Here, using new ultra-bright sources of entangled photon pairs, an eight-photon interferometer and post-selection detection, we demonstrate for the first time the creation of an eight-photon Schrödinger cat state with genuine multipartite entanglement. The ability to control eight individual photons represents a step towards optical quantum computation, and will enable new experiments on, for example, quantum simulation, topological error correction and testing entanglement dynamics under decoherence.