The Mandela Effect can really mess with your head, ya know what I’m saying?
You think you remember something clearly happening and then you find out that it never took place…
How weird is that?!?!
And if you’ve never had it happen to you, these stories from folks on AskReddit should make it clear what it’s like to experience this strange phenomenon.
1. The rock.
“The one that always gets me is particular to my friends and I from when we were kids.
There was a creek that ran under the street in the neighborhood and we would sometimes hang out in the banks on either side of the road. There was this big rock that we would sit on all the time. Except one day we were walking by and it wasn’t a rock.
It was a small tree. Fully rooted in and established and the rock was nowhere to be seen. Mind you, it was an extremely heavy boulder. We passed that spot all the time and all of us remember that rock. We call it the shapeshifting rock.”
2. I know what I saw!
“This one is a bit more personal to me, but growing up my mom and I always made an effort to go to the beach every Friday afternoon.
When it got too dark to be in the water, we would make our way to the park that was right next to the beach.
On some Fridays, we would just chill on one of the slides and look at the stars. One day I saw this light spinning around and I remember asking my mom what it was.
She told me that it was a lighthouse, and that it’s used at night to stop ships from crashing into the shore.
I remember this vividly because it was kind of like my gateway into hyper fixating on sunken and shipwrecked ships.
Years later, over a decade (so this was probably in the mid to late 2000s), I got back into lighthouses. I go online to see if this lighthouse that I saw was still in commission, and I can’t find any traces of it.
So I ask my mom, and apparently this conversation we had never took place according to her. I insist, and finally she’s like “idk babes, I probably forgot”
So I go looking deeper, and apparently there was never a lighthouse where I thought it was.
To this day it f**ks me up, because I KNOW what I saw, I KNOW what we talked about.”
3. In Brazil.
“First of all: in Brazil you typically don’t go to school (middle school or high school, doesn’t matter) for the whole day. You are in school either in the morning (usually 7.30 am to noon) or in the afternoon (usually 1pm to 5.30pm).
Every single person who was a kid in Brazil (and was not in school in the mornings) when 9/11 happened remembers watching Dragon Ball Z and having it be interrupted for the breaking news of the attacks. And I mean EVERYONE. It comes up every time someone asks “what were you doing when 9/11 happened”.
Except DBZ wasn’t on at that time. Someone checked the airing times and compared to the time when the attacks happened. Definitely not on.
Still, a whole generation of kids is 100% sure they were watching DBZ when the news broke out.”
“The Fruit of the Loom cornucopia for sure.
It was there. I remember distinctly, and no other brand has that specific cornucopia.
I could probably even draw it from memory if I needed to.”
5. Do you remember?
“Tom Cruise dancing in Risky Business.
I’d have sworn he was wearing a white shirt and black Ray-Bans.”
6. The Boss.
“On Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA album cover, there’s a red hat in his back pocket, not a bandana.”
“I really thought the Raisin Bran sun wore sunglasses.
8. A big one.
“The Berenstain Bears thing still makes me uncomfortable.
What gets me on this, and why I do want to believe it’s Berenstein, is that I had a teacher in elementary school that had “Stein” as part of her name and I remember her telling the class how neat it was that their names were so similar.”
9. Bond. James Bond.
“A Bond Movie. Moonraker.
Jaws (the guy with metal teeth) meets a girl (Dolly) partway through the movie. The girl smiles at him and they immediately hit it off. Why? Because she has braces on her teeth.
This…apparently didn’t happen though. Go watch the movie now. No braces. Even the actress who played her said she didn’t have braces.
DOLLY. HAD. BRACES.
This is the hill I will d** on. Moonraker was my favorite Bond Movie when I was a kid (I know, its not great, I like space movies OK) and I d**n near wore that VHS tape out.
Literally the ENTIRE REASON that she and Jaws have chemistry when they meet is because when she first smiles at him, we see that they both have metal in their mouths. He has metal teeth, she has metal ON her teeth. Without that fact that whole thing DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
I’ve followed the Mandela effect for years. Dolly not having braces and the Fruit of the Loom cornucopia are the two things that literally make me question this reality.”
“The Abominable Snowman plot in Rudolph.
I had always thought it was a heartwarming lesson that he was mean because he had a toothache, and the dentist elf pulled the bad tooth, so now he can be a friend!
Nope. I watched it again as an adult, and they just rip all his teeth out so he can’t bite anyone.”
11. Not quite…
“That when Agatha Christie disappeared mysteriously for several days, she was never seen again and presumed d**d.
Legit had an argument with a friend over this before i figured out what was going on.”
“So I actually grew up…. Inside one of these.
I spent my formative years at my parent’s family owned restaurant Emilio’s Pizza. My earliest memories are of learning how to fold a pizza box, stealing pineapple and pepperoni from the ingredients table (yes sometimes at the same time, sorry everybody) and riding in the back of my Dad’s Toyota Celica on deliveries where he promised to give my brother and I any tips he made if we could win the quiet game.
Now, nobody in our family knew the original Emilio, the store had been in business for years before my parents bought the place when they were in their early 20s. They kept the name and the recipes and even some of the staff when they took over.
Some of the old timers claimed to remember a Mr. Emilo who would drift in and out to check up on the place. A few of our customers claimed to have been ordering from us since “Emilio Vespucci… or was it Verspucci? Ahh its been so long who could know… anyway Emilio himself used to work the phones and take deliveries.”
It was subtle, it was minor, but it was always there. Emilo? Or Emilio? Just one letter but also a whole extra syllable. Much like Ber-en-stein vs Bern-stain. Probably just a trick of the memory and yet we met people in this little town who were adamant that the name had been changed.
We sponsored some local house league teams, baseball in the summer and hockey in the winter and both the league convenors remembered our store from before we owned it. The ball team even had an old photo of the Emilio’s Pizza Tigers in their office. The hockey league was happy to re-establish their relationship with the fine folks of Emilo’s Pizza.
Over the years we would get calls, or drop ins from old customers who demanded to know why we changed the name… Most of them were like, “I get it, Emilio sounds more Italian but, surely re-registering everything and changing all the signs was a pain im the a** right? Why do it for something so small?”
The sign, this is what my father always came back to. The sign said Emilio, it wasn’t exactly an old sign but it was like that when we bought the place, a piece of printed acrylic that hung in front of neon lights wasn’t something you changed on a whim it was $3,000 dollars! And besides it matched the official name on everything we’d bought.
One day a customer brought in a fridge magnet that said Emilo’s… the ones we gave out said Emilio. We were stunned, it had the same font and everything and the d**n thing had a date on it. “Happy new years 1980!”
We bought the place in 88’ two years before I was born, some time in that window the name had been changed and I’d been raised in a castle of lies!
We changed the name, reverted back to Emilo’s, we’d recently had a tiff with the yellow pages over a misprinted ad and won in court so they owed us big. We switched the name, the sign, the magnets… even peeled the ‘i’ off the side of the cars. Sent out “you were right!” Flyers instead of our regular mailers and started selling the Emilo returns – combo. We still wondered why this had happened though, was it really just that the former owner wanted to “sound more Italian?”
Well one day in 2002 we got our answer, when an old man came around and ordered a slice of cheese pizza, I was sitting up front playing gameboy while he sat and ate, he remarked. “Good to see you’re looking after the old place!” My Dad used to get this all the time but over the last decade he’d met just about all the former customers.
Still, new old faces showed up from time to time. The man told me his brother used to own it. I asked if his brother was Joe, the man my parents bought the store from, and this guy chuckled “nooo no, my brother Emile.”
F**king WHO? Emile???
It took ever ounce of discipline my twelve year old self could muster to not run to the back of the store before this guy disappeared like the ghost he obviously was but when I returned to the storefront with my father the man was still there and very much still real, chewing his cheese pizza and squinting towards the ovens.
After a brief talk with my Dad the guy says “yeah, yeah, Emile ran it back in the 70s.”
Well this was it then, this was a line to the god d**n source, we could finally find out what “Emile” named the place!
Turns out we were mostly right, Emile, who was in fact Italian, but not Vespucci or Verspucci we have no clue where that came from, was always called Emilo his older relatives.
The guy explained to us that the Italian language itself was only truly standardized after the country took up technology like radio and later television in the mid 1900s and some of his family from the old country never liked the idea of using “Mussolini spelling” so everybody sort of did s**t differently. In fact when this story took place Italian was not even the official language of Italy.
He’s the only person I’ve ever heard say “Mussolini spelling” and to this day I haven’t ruled out the possibility that he was a ghost so consider everything he told me to be apocryphal at best.
So anyway Emilo was a nickname, and its what he called his pizzeria, right up until 1982 when the acrylic company he’d contracted to make his sign botched the job and shipped him one that said “Emilio’s.” Obviously the manufacturer was embarrassed and offered Emile a choice, they could replace the sign with the correct one, or they could give him half his money back and install the botched one today for no additional charge.
He took the bad sign and the refund but left everything else the same, figuring his customers would find it funny (hence why all the old timer’s remembered it was strange) and he could just change it back later when the sign wore out.
When he sold it to Joe, Joe started matching everything to the sign, hence the strange duality we inherited a few years later when he realized he wasn’t cut out to work restaurant hours.
We ran the place for another six years till the restaurant hours caught up with us too, Mom was making more than enough selling software and we sold it to my uncles to give Dad some well deserved rest. He spent a few years retired and coached my hockey team before starting a renovation business when my brother and I went off to college. It was a good time.
As for the restaurant… People talk less than they used too, I’m not complaining, I’d much rather scroll reddit than make small talk with the guy at the counter. But from time to time my Uncle will still pass along a story of some old customer demanding to know why we got rid of the ‘i’.”
What’s your Mandela Effect story?
Tell us in the comments.
Thanks a million!