The Acheri Demon | Acheri Explained | Native American Mythology And Folklore [Ep.3]
In Native American folklore, the Acheri is
a Demonic spirit that takes on the guise of a sickly, frail little girl. In other accounts, The Acheri is a Chippewa
legend of a young girl who died a horrible death. This means the girl was either murdered
or, more likely, abused and then murdered or left for dead. The girl may also have
died from infections or diseases. The vengeful ghost of the dead girl then rises and becomes
a plague upon the living known as the Acheri. It is believed she returns from the spirit
world to live in the hills and mountain tops, waiting for night to fall. At night, she flies
through the valleys spreading a shadow of illness over sleeping children. The Acheri
does not need to touch its victims, it merely has to cast its shadow upon them, and the
children will then succumb to a terrible respiratory disease that will surely kill them. Its touch,
however, is just as deadly as its shadow, at spreading disease. During the day, Acheri takes on a physical
form allowing her to be accepted by children. She differs in appearance to what people think
a demon should look like, she appears as a frail child with grey coloured skin. Anyone
who viewed her would have sympathy, thinking she is merely a sick child and she uses this
sympathy to create a friendship with those who feel sorry for her. Folklore also states
that she takes on a second form, but this is kept well hidden whilst she makes her acquaintance.
The second form is a hideous monster with a skeletal frame, demon red eyes, long clawing
fingers, out to make other children suffer as she did. She is said to sing and drum through villages
which is a forewarning of impending illness or worse, death. The Acheri is known to spread
untreatable illness, specifically to children. Her shadow is similar to inhaling disease
from a highly infected person. The disease is one that takes a child’s life in a long
drawn out, often painful process. The Acheri, while nominally out for vengeance,
is not very specific in its targets. It will kill any children it can, and will turn
on adults too, if it must. It rarely seeks revenge only on those who wronged it in life.
It will usually withdraw to its mountain home if noticed by adults. Occasionally it
will attempt to lure children back to its home, where they will meet a grisly fate.
The Acheri wants her victims to suffer as she is said to have suffered and with each
life she takes she becomes stronger. The Acheri thrives on human misery, so the more sadness
around the child’s illness, the more powerful this demon becomes. However, It is believed that items of red
protect against the Acheri. Amulets, Bracelets, necklaces, clothings and ribbons of red are
believed to ward against a visit from this evil demon. Chippewa Parents would thread
charms of red with red ribbon or weave red necklaces for their children to wear for protection
from the illness the Acheri spreads. Red is a common color for anti-spirit charms, prevalent
in both Europe and Asia as well as the Native American legends.
According to the Chippewa tradition, the only way to kill an Acheri is to wrap a Medicine
Woman’s red cloth around it’s neck. Otherwise, protect yourself from the shadow of an Acheri
at all costs. Salt was another method of protection. Salt
was lined around property boundaries or kept in leather pouches carried by children.