"Mandela Effect": False Memory in Literature

Posted by Nicole Weisbrich on

Ah yes, the Mandela Effect. One of my favorite topics. You probably haven’t been able to escape the phenomenon, but if you have, here’s a little backstory: In 2013, the South African President Nelson Mandela passed away. Which, yes, was incredibly sad, but that’s not why people were freaking out. You see, many people remember him dying DECADES earlier while he was in prison. They even remember watching funeral clips on TV. However, this is hardly the first time this phenomenon has happened. More commonly known as “false memory” it was originally investigated by Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud. Today, there’s even an entire website dedicated to occurrences of the Mandela Effect.

Here are a few examples of the Mandela Effect in books:

The Berenstain Bears

This is one of the most common examples because everyone, and I mean EVERYONE remembers it being The Berenstein Bears. But nope, it’s “stain,” not “stein.” Always has been. Publishing records prove it. If there was ever proof that we are in an alternate universe it’s the fact that a couple people were able to find VHS tapes and toys that ACTUALLY SAY BERENSTEIN. So all of us 90s kids that remember it that way aren’t totally bonkers. Logically, we can probably chalk it up to some advertising/production typos, but I still like the idea that we are in an alternate dimension.
Berenstain Bears Mandela Effect 1 An ancient relic - a VHS tape that actually spells the name "Berenstein!"
Berenstain bears Mandela Effect 2 Clearly the designers made a mistake on these toy tags, as they read "Berenstain" at the top and "Berenstein" below.
Regardless of how you remember these books, there’s no denying the joyful nostalgia of picking up a Berenstain Bears book. Plus, there are so many fun new installments in the series, from cookbooks to devotionals for the child (or nostalgic adult like me!) who loves this iconic bear family.

Curious George

Remember the adorable children’s book about the little monkey? Or maybe he was a chimp? Whatevs, he was totally adorable and guess what y’all. He. Did. Not. Have. A. Tail. Um. This one is wild because I could have sworn I have seen him hang from it, but no? I guess that would make a lot of sense if he’s actually supposed to be a chimp as they don’t have long tails they can hang from. So I guess we are all just remembering him hanging from his arm, but the more and more I live in this alternate dimension the more concerned and paranoid I grow.
curious george mandela effect Clearly no tail. So why do I remember him swinging from it??

Interview With the Vampire

This is one that, thankfully, doesn’t cause me stress. I’ve always known the title is Interview With the Vampire but apparently loads of people remember it being Interview With a Vampire. There’s even a video compilation of author Anne Rice, and many of the stars of the film, saying “Interview with a Vampire” which has people up in arms about this alternate dimension that we are all clearly living in. However, many in the comments disagree and clearly hear THE. So, agree to disagree on this one.
Mandela Effect Interview with the Vampire How the author (probably) feels about everyone remembering the book's title wrong.

Are there any other misremembered books with a Mandela Effect? Let us know in the comments!

Page Chaser is operated by HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc. (HCCP), the publisher of The Berenstain Bears series.
Berenstain Bears Category_Blog Posts Curious George Interview with the Vampire Mandela Effect Mandela Effect books Memories misremembered books The Berenstain Bears

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