I heard about a short story where a psychologist or psychiatrist conjures up a demon. He analyzes the demon who shrugs off his evil aspect and an angel emerges. I'd love to know the author and title.

  • 2
    Off topic: but sounds like one of the story lines of the current Lucifer TV series
    – fdomn-m
    Jun 12, 2019 at 17:09
  • 1
    I'm not sure which of my two posted answers is the best match for your question. In "The Devil Was Sick" the demon is transfigured into an angel, but he is not "analyzed" as in psychoanalysis, he is cured by an advanced tech device. The demon in "Fallen Angel" is psychoanalyzed, but does not turn into an angel. Can you tell us if either one of these is the story you were looking for, or should we keep looking? From your question it sounds like you haven't read it yourself; where did you hear about it?
    – user14111
    Jun 13, 2019 at 3:38

2 Answers 2


"The Devil Was Sick" by Bruce Elliott, published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1951, available at the Internet Archive. In the far future, a student summons a demon as his thesis project, then takes it to the Sane Asylum where it's cured by advanced technology:

The doctor picked up an instrument. A pulsing light came from its S-shaped lens. The doctor bathed the thing in its light. He said, "This will only take a moment. That is, if it's going to work. If not, there are many other things to do."

Suddenly his voice failed him. Acleptos backed away from the table until the wall stopped him. Ttom gasped. Only the robots were unimpressed.

For the thing was changing. Wherever the lambent light touched it, the scales fell away.

The doctor whispered to the robots, "Release your hold!"

As they did so the creature arose in glory. A golden light played around its soft sweet face. It stepped to the window and the smile that played around its lips was like a valedictory. It poised on the windowsill for a moment before it spread its huge white wings.

It said, "Pax vobiscum." The wings swirled and it was gone, wrapped in serenity.

That is why Acleptos changed the words of the motto in front of the Sane Asylum. They now read: A devil is just a sick angel.

[Stolen from my answer to this old question.]

  • Good catch! I remembered the story well, just not the title, the author or the source...
    – Mark Olson
    Jun 12, 2019 at 0:23

"Fallen Star" by John Collier. This devil gets the "talking cure" from a 20th century psychoanalyst; however, he does not exactly turn into an angel.

"And what does this devilishness amount to? I think we shall find it is a protest, arising out of a sense of rejection which may very well date to the actual moment of your becoming a devil. Even human birth is a traumatic experience. How much worse must it be, to be born a poor, rejected devil!"

The wretched fiend shifted his shoulders, pulled at his dewlaps, and showed other signs of distress. Thereupon the analyst drove home the attack, referring to fits of depression, vague fears, a sense of guilt, an inferiority complex, spells of insomnia, a compulsion to eat and drink too much, and psychosomatic aches and pains. In the end the poor devil positively begged to be analyzed; all he asked was that he might be given extra sessions so that the cure could be accomplished more quickly.

[Stolen from my answer to this old question.]

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