Tradition: Amerindian folklore (northern US) (*)
Type: Ghost, human
Time active: Night
Disposition: Malevolent, non-appeasable
Similar entities: Vila, Rusalka
This solitary ghost of a little girl is portrayed as a thin, frail creature with a grey complexion wearing worn-out deerskin clothes. It comes down from its mountain dwelling to sing and dance in human settlements, sometimes drumming an accompaniment. It revels in human misery and is considered to be primarily a bringer of sickness to children. It acts by casting its shadow over its victim. An acheri may be the ghost of a child
that died of disease. Hearing its song or voice is a sign of impending illness or death. Acheri have the knowledge of incurable sicknesses.
The colour red affords protection against this entity. Typically a red thread is worn around the child's neck but it was common practice among mothers to make sure that their child was always wearing a bit of red somewhere in its clothing and red fabric, thread or beads are widely used in the embroidery or fringes of garments worn by the tribes it haunts. The ghost is, as far as I can tell, indestructible--par for the course for a bringer of disease--but there is a Chippewa tradition, mentioned in a recent report of a mystery disease outbreak that was said to be an acheri manifestation, that says that wrapping the red cloth of a medicine woman around its neck will put it to rest. No mention is made of how to capture it but its pursuers are advised to also wear red for protection.
(*) Some sources mistakenly place it in Hindu mythology, probably due to confusion about the term "Indian.".
Encyclopedia Mythica (http://pantheon.org/)
Hot Spots (http://users.twave.net/b13/leech_lake.html)
The Crypt (web address defunct)
The Fabulous Bestiary (http://www.angelfire.com/mi/geniusboy/bestiary3.html)
Kithain und Gallain (web address defunct)