Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?

berenstainberensteinbearsMany people who visit the Mandela Effect website have fond memories of the Berenstein Bears books. They read them as children, or family members read them aloud. It’s a cherished childhood memory.

However, the books in this timestream are Berenstain Bears. A, not E, in last syllable.

That’s not what most visitors seem to remember. The following are among the many memories people have shared, sometimes as part of longer comments.  The vast majority recall the books as Berenstein Bears.

In March 2014, JM said:

I too clearly remember it as ‘Berenstein’ even though I never read the books. Why would anyone change that? Seems irrelevant.

Jennifer Shepherd said:

I had overlooked the material here about people remembering the popular children’s books as being Berenstein Bears, not Berenstain Bears; I just saw that today and it blew my mind! I was a meticulous spelling nerd as a child and have ZERO doubt that the books the kids were reading were about the Berenstein Bears. I tried to research Library of Congress and trademark info today, to see if maybe there had at some point been a changeover due to multiple parties using variations of the name. Nope, the official records state that the series was always Berenstain, after the very real last names of the authors (Berenstain.)

In April 2014, Tee said:

I notice changes everyday. For one I saw the Berenstein/Berenstain Bears thing mentioned and I always knew them is Berenstein.

Nat replied:

Berenstain Bears?! I could’ve sworn it was spelt Berenstein too. Wow, how peculiar…

In May 2014, Heathyr said:

…We both remember berestein bears rather than berenstain,

In June 2014, Louis asked:

Does anyone remember the Berenstein Bears? I do. Although somewhere along the line the name has changed to the Berenstain Bears. No record of “stein” which is definitely how it was when i was younger. No question about it.

Matt said:

I specifically remember Berenstein Bears, not Berenstain Bears. My wife didn’t remember, but I did, I liked them a lot.

Mary Garcia said:

…it was always Berenstein and now it is Berenstain. My 20 year old daughter, who had ever Bear book was just as creeped out when I showed her this, she said “no Mom it was always Berenstein”. I joked that at least we came from the same reality together, so I took great comfort in that.

Sandi said:

It was always Berenstein bears for me. I was a voracious reader as a child and pronounced it as either “stine” or “steen” I eventually settled with “steen”. Now if it had been spelled “stain” there would have been no question of my pronunciation of that. I noticed this difference about 5 years ago and chalked it up to new editions being re-labelled. Now it seems it was NEVER called that to begin with.

Stephen Comer said:

I would like to say that I VERY CLEARLY remember “Berenstain Bears” being Berenstein Bears. I very specifically remember it being pronounced “STEIN” on the show.

aldooze said:

Another one worth mentioning is the children s books about the ‘Berenstain Bears’ . Every single person I have talked to swears it was spelled ‘Berenstein Bears” .

LadyJEM5 said:

While my children were small my mother & I purchased the entire Berenstein Bears library collection. At no time have I ever known them to be anything other than that, however I will confirm this for my own peace of mind by digging them out of storage.

John said:

Absolutely 100%. Berenstein/stain had me spooked

KingKen6669 said:

I, too, remember pronouncing Berenstain – “Burn-steen” my entire life. The books were a big part of my childhood; my grandmother read them to me until I was much too old, and i enjoyed every second of it. I was quite surprised when I saw the thread and the claim – it’s a hard thing to swallow. My first thought, naturally, was “i’m misremembering” – that wasn’t enough, I tried to make some sense of it in my post here.

When did this Berenstein vs Berenstain debate begin? I can remember an event less than 5 years ago – I was referencing them in a text message to a friend, and do remember looking up the correct spelling on my phone – I remember it clearly being STEIN. However, part of me feels that i’m buying into the “crazy”, and the other part of me trusts that i’m not mis-remembering.

Mina said:

I also KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, that the childrens books were the “Berenstein” Bears, not the “Berenstain” Bears. I am a readaholic, and have been since I was 4 years old. I read every single word, just as I have done with these comments! ALL the time, I was reading BERENSTEIN, and our next-door neighbor was Mr. Steinman (pronounced “STINE”) so I asked my grandmother if it was pronounced Beren-STINE or Beren-STEEN. She said it was pronounced “Bern-Steen” Bears, different than Mr. Steinman’s name… I would never have asked her how to pronounce it, if it had been spelled “Berenstain”!

Brian said:

Other things I remember are Berenstein…

However, like most of these memories, readers aren’t in lockstep, universal agreement.

In March 2014, Steph said:

I very vividly remember The Berenstein Bears being called The Berenstain Bears.

In June 2014, DG said:

As clearly as my memory’s of Billy Graham’s death are, I still remember them as the BerenSTAIN Bears.

So, what do you remember, Berenstein or Berenstain? Leave  your comments below. Thanks!


168 thoughts on “Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?

  1. Brandon

    I absolutely remember them being the Berenstein bears. BerenSTAIN bears sounds stupid and I also would have been making jokes about “stained” bears at that age.

    1. S

      Berenstein for sure. Stain looks and sounds so silly. I bet if I go through my books from when I was a kid next time I visit my childhood home, I will find the Berenstein Bears books.

  2. Mel

    Yep, my husband and I remember the Berenstein Bears and the weird thing is we pronounce it differently. My mom used to read me these books (never saw the tv show) and she pronounced it steen, she would’ve read it as stain had it been so. My husband also read the books (he’s a little older) and distinctly remembers pronouncing it stine. This is bugging me constantly, but I will not let a dimension slip or whatever it may be alter my memories! It may alter the physical, but not the emotional/spiritual side of people, so this may happen more and more frequently. (It may be time to start keeping a journal again…).

  3. Julia

    Fiona – have you seen the blog – “Wood Between Worlds” regarding “Berenstein Bears – We are Living in Our Own Parallel Universe.” (I’m sorry I can’t think how to link it.) Stan and Jan Berenstain’s son Mike even writes a comment about this. Of course to him, the books were always Berenstain, just like the family name. How very odd it must be to the Berenstain family to have so many people remembering the name different – he just sounds bemused.

      1. Fiona Broome Post author


        There’s no “proof” that anyone’s comments are by the person whose name is attached to them.

        For example, your apparently Canadian IP number might be real… or it might not. Your email address, “thisisstupid…” leads me to suspect your real name isn’t Amber. For all I know, it’s Horace and you’re posting from an eastern European country, or somewhere in Asia.

        Spoofing is so rampant, I’m more likely to raise an eyebrow when I see a famous person’s name applied to a comment.

        An apparently anonymous comment…? I’ll take it more seriously. No identity fraud is involved. (Note: I said “more seriously.” That’s not the same as believing it.)

        This topic is nebulous at best. Nearly all comments here are speculative, anecdotal, or both.

        We focus on the possible incidents, influences, and significances of the Mandela Effect. That’s what’s more interesting… for me, anyway.

        Fiona Broome

  4. TRDropDead

    I’m 18 and the only one that rings true with me 100% is the Berenstein discrepancy.
    I don’t believe in alternate timelines. I don’t believe in parallel worlds.
    I’m not gullible, at least I mean, I’m not into occult or paranormal things at all.
    I’m a pretty rational person. But I know for a fact it was Berenstein.
    This isn’t something I would misremember. I read those books a lot as a kid. I was always a great reader. I would not have misread it.

    The fact that I can’t find any evidence of a name change or that it was ever Berenstein, confounds me.

    1. Dude

      You are only 18 and can remember the Berenstein books. That means whatever happened was probably within the last 12 years. My wife and I have 2 children to whom we have read the books and, watched the shows with. We are both adamant that it was The Berenstein Bears.

      What the hell happened? The Hadron Collider?

      1. Dude

        We also have some of those books which are titled Berenstain. This one is called “Too Much Birthday” and was copyright 1986. Does not give the date it was printed. There are some other numbers but I do not know what they mean

  5. jonny A

    I always remember it as being spelled The Berenstein Bears. Just out of curiousity, when was this first noticed, or when were people talking about this? 2012, 2013 or 2104?

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Jonny, that’s a good question. I thought the spelling issue had been raised over a year ago, but when I searched posts and comments, the only references (at this website) were this year (2014). Weird.

      1. John

        The original “Wood between the Worlds” Berenstain Bears post was August of 2012 (this was the site which eventually led me to Mandela Effect this past Sunday) Synchronicity for me being that the next morning Monday June 23rd 2014 this same author makes his first follow-up post after two years:
        This update is an great summary of his experiences since posting and also has a lists of links to other forums discussing it.

  6. JM

    That new Wood Between Worlds article seems like a hit piece on the whole Mandela Effect phenomenon. For me though I have an absolute memory of New Zealand being farther north, not north of Australia just noticeably farther north than it is now.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Thanks, JM!

      Until someone runs into something radically different from a memory he or she knows is real, it’s kind of difficult to accept the Mandela Effect concept. In the meantime, they can be defensive or even hostile. I’m okay with that. The sheepish emails I receive from formerly snarky people… they take any edge off the skepticism, and give me lots of smiles.

      In my opinion, people who discover one sure memory that doesn’t fit, but still raise an eyebrow about the Mandela Effect… they’re still processing. That’s okay, too. They’ll sort this out eventually. In the meantime, I’m fine with whatever they say, including rejections of my ideas. After all, maybe I’m wrong. None of this can be proved… yet.

      The maps issue fascinates me because we can go back through old maps (in this timestream) and see if past map errors were corrected in recent year. After all, that would explain the different memories. However, all the map searches I’ve run so far… they’re not explaining the alternate locations of some islands and countries.

      Still the maps are great. For a lot of people, it’s easier to say “No, I remember that different” when it’s something visual. That’s more tangible for them. It’s not just words, it’s something they saw. They just need that one sure memory that doesn’t fit. Then, they’re willing to consider the Mandela Effect.

      I’m enjoying these discoveries.


    2. Reece

      Hey, Wood Between Worlds author here. I can promise, I wasn’t doing a hit piece on the Mandela Effect. I don’t think you guys are crazy or anything, I think you’re trying to make sense of something that really happened to you; for whatever reason, you really do have memories Mandela dying in the 80’s. I only mentioned you guys at all because you come up so frequently in discussions about the Berenst*in Bears.

      I think the most likely explanation for all of this stuff is a particular kind of memory problem. It’s not simply mis-remembering something, or forgetting something, or being wrong about something. I think especially with the Henry VIII portrait and the Berenst*in Bears, it seems one possible solution is that the human mind just has certain paths it wants to take, and that there are certain concepts or images kind of lying around, and as we recall things from the past we are recalling them in according with these paths and images lying around. I have a notion that King Henry VIII was kind of a glutton, and I have a notion of fat gluttonous kings eating turkey legs, so when I need to recall an image of Henry VIII, I put these things together. This creates a memory, but one associated with the past, and one that is now wrong. You really have this memory, but it’s not a memory of anything real.

      There’s also the possibility of dreams being half-remembered and replacing real memories. I used to have a very vivid memory of Hagrid and Voldemort from Harry Potter being roommates in the Chamber of Secrets. I had visual memory of a scene playing out, with Voldemort going in to his shared room with Hagrid and telling him the jig was up, Hagrid trying to flee, and then the authorities came in. I recently learned that none of that happened, and was confused, because of how strong the memory was. I opened up the book again to double check, and I was totally wrong. It dawned on me that my memory was like a scene from the movie, but that I associated it with reading the book, not watching the movie which only came out years later. I am very sure that I fell asleep while reading and dreamed of that scene, then woke up and resumed reading and put those two together. I have a real memory of Hagrid and Voldemort being roommates, even though they really never were.

      I think there’s definite possibility for those two explanations, and a possibility to gain a greater understanding of the human mind by studying more Mandela Effect phenomena. It’s likely most people just weren’t paying attention on these things, but on some of them, there is probably something really weird or interesting going on, and understanding it may help us understand memory diseases like Alzheimer’s or amnesia.

      The alternate universe hypothesis is a fun one. My cousin and I are currently developing mathematical models of “swapping” when the universes interact. Suppose we made a questionaire of the various Mandela Effects, and asked every one in the world to fill out how they remember each of these events. How many people would we expect to answer all of the questions exactly the same? If universe swapping were occurring, then this would help us understand more about how many universes there are, or how often these things happen.

      There are some questions I’d need to know in order to really investigate this. How many universes are there in which Mandela died in prison? Just one? Or billions? What happens when we cross over? Do two universes “merge”, or do they just swap residents? How many people are swapped each time? What else is different besides Mandela dying thirty years earlier? Are the various permutations of the Mandela Effect phenomena the only universes? So, there’s a universe where Mandela died in prison, New Zealand is north of Australia, there was never the Henry VIII portrait, and they were spelled Berenstain Bears — then another universe where Mandela died in prison, New Zealand is SOUTH of Australia, there was never the Henry VIII portrait, and they were spelled Berenstain Bears?

      I’m asking all of these questions so that I can get a better idea of how we might actually test the hypothesis that there are alternate universes.

      The other thing is, in any universe, under the assumptions made, there are bound to be people with perfect memories — that is, whose memories accord perfectly with the recorded history of this universe. They’ve always been in this universe, and have never left it. They would remember that Mandela never died in jail, New Zealand was always south east ofAustralia, there was never such a portrait of Henry VIII, they were always Berenstain, there was never a show called Taps, etc. How many of them would we expect to exist? We’d need to know more about how many universes there are and what happens at the collisions to really find out, but it gives another way to test the alternate universe idea.

      But then we’d have to ask, based on chance, assuming a single universe and people with occasionally faulty memories, what’s the expected number of people with perfect recollection of facts, or the expected number of people who will agree on a particular string of answers. Would these numbers be different from the numbers with multiple universes and swapping? If not, then this polling idea isn’t a good way to test the alternate universe hypothesis and we need something else. But if it is, then there’d actually be a way to test the idea. You’d just need to do the mathematical models and run some samples. Assuming your model was correct, you could demonstrate the feasibility of the alternate universe hypothesis.

      To me, that would be fun to study. If I had time, then I totally would.

      All that said, I am actually a graduate student in physics, and do want to actually work as an actual scientist someday. While it wasn’t a hit piece, I was trying to distance myself from this page. I think it’s a fun and intriguing idea — mundane differences we normally attribute to faulty memories offering a proof of parallel universes — that would make for an excellent book or movie. But I really can’t lend any credence to it beyond that. As the idea is currently formulated, it reeks to much of anthropocentrism. That is, it is humans and their minds that transfer, but not also physical things like books or maps. Why would the universe target humans? How would the process of transfer even recognize humans? Also, it tends to focus on the things that humans focus on — people dying, the locations of island nations, spellings of names — but not on the things that the universe cares about, like all of the billions of billions of atoms displaced during the 1980’s prison riots when Mandela died, and all the entropy and heat and CO2 produced in the roof fires that no doubt followed. Did global CO2 levels decrease for us when we transferred? Did some of the CO2 come with us? Did the global entropy decrease or us when we transferred? To really make the theory scientific, we’d have to have an explanation, and one that works at the physical level, not just the psychological and sociological level.

      But I think it’s a fun idea, and I don’t think it’s any weirder than some of the other stuff people believe. Make sense of the world however you want. You’re not crazy for having a “wrong” memory, and I understand your motivations for holding on to it, which are also normal. I don’t personally believe it, but who am I, really?

      TL;DR It wasn’t a hit piece, I think it’s a fun idea in a science-fiction kind of way, it isn’t a scientific idea and not one I take seriously in describing reality, I think there are other psychological explanations that make more sense, but I really don’t care what you guys decide to believe and have no interest in insulting this group or calling you crazy.


      1. Fiona Broome Post author

        Hi, Reece!

        Wow… thanks for posting that lengthy, thoughtful comment! For me, there was no DR and it was not TL. I’m a big fan of “what if…?” discussions and speculation, and your comments raised lots of cool questions. I like to think that nearly everything at this site is open for intelligent discussion. That’s not insulting, and I didn’t feel as if you were calling me or my readers “crazy.”

        I know that I recall Mandela’s death. It’s not a fleeting memory. It covered many days. “Sliding” from one reality to another seems the simplest explanation, but I’m sure it’s not the only one. What stood out for me were the number of things I recalled that exactly matched what others said in the Dragon*Con green room when we first discussed this.

        Ditto my annoyance over the amount of media coverage of Billy Graham’s funeral. It’s an extended, rich memory. Lots of days, lots of irritation. I mean, he’s a great man who’s done wonderful things and provided comfort to millions, but when he died (in my timestream), his funeral pre-empted many regular TV shows. The bulk of my memories, over several days, included turning on the TV and seeing his funeral on every major network. I’d surf through the channels, sigh, and turn off the TV in frustration.

        The Henry VIII painting is very clear in my mind, and it was in the Holbein style. However, in my case, there may be a simple answer. I had access to the back rooms of a major American art museum. The museum had been sold many convincing forgeries over about a 10-year period. I may have seen the painting there, and — when it was exposed as a fake — the painting vanished along with all records of it. That was the tidy way to deal with the embarrassment. So, I won’t rule out a very logical, normal explanation for that memory.

        You’ve raised some great questions… really great questions. And, for the record: I didn’t take your article as a hit piece, but I understand why some might have felt defensive when they read it. I try to understand both sides. It’s what I do.

        For some, the Mandela Effect is just plain strange. That’s okay. If I didn’t have the memories I do, I’d feel that way, as well.

        Also, I understand when people have an alternate memory or two but want to distance themselves from this particular explanation. That’s equally fine with me.

        Since I spent a lot of my childhood (and adult years) at M.I.T., I understand intellectual curiosity. I’m also familiar with the need for professionals to distance themselves from extreme and unproved theories and phenomena. On some of my research trips, you’d think we were all at an AA meeting: “Hello, my name is Henry, and I’m interested in the Marfa Lights,” or whatever.

        Okay, I’m being flippant, but more people are interested in this topic than are willing to admit to it. I completely understand that, as well.


        You mentioned the idea that humans and their minds seem to transfer, but other things don’t.

        Good point, and physical things might transfer. I’m not sure about that. I was kind of rattled when I was collecting past comments for this article but none were from before 2014. I was nearly certain this topic had come up around 2012. In fact, I can remember talking with one of my kids about it, before she moved to another state in 2012, and the only way I’d raise the topic is if it was at this website. In general, I don’t go looking for more weird topics; they have to show up here… but where are the 2012 comments about Berenstain and Berenstein Bears? They’re not showing up in any searches I do. I plan to go through my backup copies of the site. It might be a simple restore-from-backups issue at the server, and something fell off the site in the process. (As time permits, I always look for a logical explanation, first.)

        Physical changes interest me, because they aren’t events, per se. I think we have some: For example, NZ and Sri Lanka in different places. The guy who used Google Earth to look at his childhood school, but it’s now an older building… like 80 years older than when he went there, and now it’s made of bricks. (I need to follow-up on that. It might have been a Google Earth glitch, albeit an unlikely one. He said the neighboring features were a match for his childhood memories; only the school was different.)

        Those are big things, and make me wonder about smaller things. Like when someone thought he left the keys by the front door — in fact, he’s about 99% sure he did — but they turn up on the kitchen counter. Is that merely a faulty memory? Occam’s, without a doubt, but is it the right answer?

        Also, I’ve been surprised that we don’t have any comments about eye colors changing, or a birthmark or scar moving, or something like that. Unless this is a holodeck and I keep creating the same avatar with no variations, or I’m always in this physical body in the holodeck (as in Star Trek), it seems to me that something should change, physically. Why does NZ move, but I still have a scar on my lower lip?

        So far, casual studies suggest that we’re not “sliding” together or uniformly. Some people recall just one or two things from the list of alternate memories, and they’re absolutely certain their other memories match the current, “normal” world. I know that my own memories include less than half the alternates. However, many of the rest are things that I wouldn’t have paid much attention to, anyway.

        I see this as a website that’s collecting data, but — so far — that data is incomplete and unaligned.

        I try to run surveys now and then, like the one about TAPS v. Ghost Hunters, where people were when they first saw the show, and what they thought it was called. I really thought it would turn out that conservative newspapers and TV stations called it “TAPS,” to intrigue people; they knew most of their audience would feel “Ghost Hunters” was disturbingly un-Christian.

        But, that’s not how the replies have lined up. The TAPS memory seems to be all over the map. Literally. (And one star of the show, Jason Hawes, is insistent that he never allowed others to use the TAPS name for the show… but how would he know if Houston, Texas’ newspapers used the TAPS name for a couple of weeks? Of course, he wouldn’t.) I can understand that the show featured the truck and hats and maybe some tee-shirts that said TAPS, so a few viewers were confused. However, at this point, that doesn’t answer all the questions.

        I’m not sure that I’m looking for a single answer to this. To be honest, I’d probably be uneasy if the Mandela Effect was nice and tidy. As weird phenomena go, this doesn’t feel like a “one size fits all” topic. In fact, I suspect we’re looking at several different phenomena, but describing them in the context of memories.

        What I don’t know is what those phenomena might be. “Sliding” seems to fit as well as anything, at the moment, but I’m open to other explanations… aside from crazy, delusional, or stupid, that is.

        I’ve rambled, but your comments raised many great points and I wanted to reply to a few of them. Others need more thought. They’re very, very good, and I appreciate you taking the time to share your views and questions.



        1. Julia

          I can’t help it – I have to mention this. My grandmother, who died in 1995, had a birthmark identical to mine – a small round indentation about 3/4 of inch in diameter, symmetrically placed just below our necks. I’ve never seen anyone else with this birthmark. A doctor once started to ask me if I had had a tracheotomy, when she realized it wasn’t quite in the right place for a breathing tube.

          Anyway, I seen the birthmark all of my life, but it was gone the last few years, and she couldn’t remember having it (though she did have some dementia.) At one point, she did have a pacemaker put in, and I reason that that MUST be the reason the birthmark disappeared – somehow when the did surgery that part of her skin was removed and healed without the birthmark – which as an indentation isn’t just a mark on the skin but something you can physically feel – but that always seemed really strange – as did her lack of memory of it. So – lol – maybe birthmarks can disappear. WHO KNOWS?

      2. Pryce

        “I used to have a very vivid memory of Hagrid and Voldemort from Harry Potter being roommates in the Chamber of Secrets. I had visual memory of a scene playing out, with Voldemort going in to his shared room with Hagrid and telling him the jig was up, Hagrid trying to flee, and then the authorities came in.”

        It’s news to me that this didn’t happen…

        1. Reece

          Voldemort revealed Hagrid, but they weren’t roommates. In the book, Hagrid used to go to the dungeon to raise his spider, and Voldemort caught him. In my memory, Hagrid kept the spider in a box in his room in Slytherin house, and that’s where Voldemort caught him. I even had a memory that after Hagrid told the kids about this, they remarked on him being a Slytherin, and Hagrid pulling out a handkerchief, dabbing his face, and saying “I know… I’m so ashamed”, or something like that. I only found out ten years later that Hagrid was never in Slytherin.

      3. Jason

        I’ve been trying to find the right place to post this, and this seems as good as any. Just heard of the Mandela Effect yesterday, and I’ve been surfing the web to get as full a picture of it as possible. I wanted to share some ideas I have on it, and get some feedback. This is not a fully formed theory, just some possible connections I’m making that could be relevant. It’s all crazy sounding, but this seems the place to share a little crazy…

        Most of the discrepancies I’ve seen described involve elements where a large number of people have been attentively focused on the same thing: a famous person’s death (Mandela, Ernest Borgnine, Princess Diana, Kirk Douglas), or shared educational “study” (the number of Mars’ moons, the location of New Zealand, Berenst*in), for examples. You could call these moments of corporate consciousness. This could be an answer to Reece’s observation that most discrepancies have an anthropocentric bias. It could that it is the very nature of anthropocentrism that causes the Mandela Effect.

        Many of these moments of corporate consciousness are spontaneous; a celebrity dies, a disaster occurs (Challenger, 9/11). But, there are other such moments that are planned: prayer healing tent revivals, business corporate retreats. These planned events are predicated on the group expectation that something incredible, or “miraculous,” will happen; the business will see increased prosperity, the lame will walk. This leads me to a question: is a miraculous healing, in fact, a timeslip? Is it a moment when a group of attentive, focused people somehow “believed” their way to a timeline where an injury no longer existed? Or in the business world, it can look like Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field,” described by his biographer as the way Jobs got engineers to do the seemingly impossible – – by convincing them to believe along with him that the task at hand was not actually impossible. Was Jobs just talented at manufacturing timeslips? Is that a talent that can be learned?

        I’ve also come across some discussions that suggest the size of the event, or the degree to which an event is a shared consciousness event, is an indicator of the power of the timeslip. For example, 9/11, I’ve read, seems to have had a ripple effect of +/- 5 years. In other words, because of 9/11, a large number of MEs exist for the 1995-2005 period. I’ve not gone down this particular rabbit hole, but it seems interesting, and I’m wondering if anyone has more to add to this idea. If there’s anything to this, it seems to indicate timeslips will become increasingly powerful and abundant, given the growth of real-time shared information, social media, etc.

        And here’s as crazy as I’m willing to go right now. If, big IF, the above is true, if corporate consciousness somehow creates the environment where timeslips are more likely to happen, and IF some groups of people already understand how this works, what would those groups do? Would they plan and stage events that are likely to create a powerful moment of shared consciousness? Would they be able to customize their very own timeslips by staging celebrity deaths and large scale disasters?

        I wish I had a TL;DR for this. The best I’ve got is, “I’m not crazy in real life, but the Mandela Effect is making me consider some pretty crazy things.”

  7. Mika Cooper

    Read them to both my children starting in the early 1990s. Definitely they were always the BerenstAin Bears!

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Mika, that’s great if your timestream always had the Berenstain spelling. It’s just not what others remember from their respective timestreams.

  8. JM

    The thing about physics is the higher level material you get into, post-grad etc, the more squirelly and esoteric it becomes. There is a hubris about physics at the grade 12 level where everything is Newtonian, but some of the more advanced college level stuff is pretty out there.

  9. Vivek narain

    Can’t help thinking that matrix is a child,changing just a vowel in a children’s book is certainly a childish prank and so is with, the vampire and a vampire,vampire concept is also childish sense of ghoulish humour.May be in eons to follow the matrix will grow up to be a man/woman and stop confounding hapless mortals.

  10. samferina

    check this out
    plus I too remember Berenstein Bears as well. I had a collection of those books which my fave being “No Girls Allowed” even my Husbands mother who use to work in the kid section in the Library distinctively remembers BerenSTEIN!! I asked her to spell it to make sure and she said No not Stain but Stein. I asked my cousin and sister the same and they all 100% agreed.

  11. ken

    I definitely remember it as being Berenstein Bears…. I recall when the author (Jan) passed away in 2012, the headlines spelled Berenstain, and I had this weird feeling that it was not right. So I googled up ‘Jan Berenstein’ and got no results. I didn’t understand it, and thought i typed it wrong. I looked back at the headline and saw the name was Berenstain. I shrugged, and forgot about it until a cousin posted on facebook about this. That brought back my memory of reading the books and it definitely was Berenstein. Today at work, I asked everyone what they remembered it was spelled as. EVERY one of them said STEIN…. My brain is fried today, thanks to this weirdly outworldly tid-bit….

  12. Joe Crollard

    Fiona Broome, I’m a writer for a local paper in Port Angeles Washington, and was hoping I could get a clearer explanation of your theory and perhaps ask you a few other questions. I sent you an email through your contact form but wanted to make sure you at least got it. Let me know if you think you can provide some information. Thanks!

  13. Pokebert

    I also remember it clearly being Berenstein. I remember my grandma had the books for me to read as a little kid; strangely, I don’t think I’ve seen them in the last few years.

  14. BrandonD

    It was definitely spelled BerenSTEIN but pronounced BerenSTAIN – I distinctly remember this because the name was not pronounced how it was spelled. That is precisely the reason why I remember it, if it was spelled STEIN and pronounced STEIN, then there is nothing unusual about it and no reason to specifically remember it.

    1. Gurluas

      Are you sure “Stain” was the alternate pronounciation and not “Steen”`?

      Because that’d be very curious.

      1. BrandonD

        I’m only remembering how my mom said it was pronounced when I was a kid. She pronounced it BerenSTAIN but when I looked at the books it was written BerenSTEIN, and that was the reason it stood out for me: it was spelled and pronounced differently.

        This brings to mind an interesting observation: what if these sort of “reality alterations” are happening much more frequently than we realize, only we do not notice them because they are details that we didn’t pay much attention to, in the way that I paid specific attention to this name.

        1. Sarah

          I don’t normally comment, but this is freaking me out. My situation seems to be a little different because most of the time travel theorists here are claiming that it was always E.
          I remember it being spelled BerenstAin. Pronunciation varied between STEEN and STAIN sounds.
          However, I just went to visit my friend a couple states away over the 4th of July. She had one of the old books that we ended up reading to her young nephew. It was the Bear Scout one.
          I distinctly remember looking at the cover and thinking “Huh that’s weird. This one is spelled with an E… Berenstein Bears. Must be an early edition and they changed it later”.
          Now I’m scared because today I find out about a bunch of people claiming there was never an E spelling? I will try to get her to take a picture of the book with the E. Because I am certain that is what I saw. I only noticed it because it was different than the spelling I remember.

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  17. Cathy

    I’m thinking I remember saying steen because it’s a more common pronunciation, whereas stain (beren-stain) sounded funny. I also remember a sensed dichotomy between the spelling and expected pronunciation, and I would let my mind slide over it without dwelling on it or thinking about it. BUT now that I’m reading these comments, I’m wondering if it WAS steen! And pronounced stain?! That would have been a dichotomy as well.

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  19. jen

    I remember watching a show called the Berenstein Bears on TV. Definitely not the Berenstain Bears.

    I also remember the Kelis song “Lil Star” being out years before it did (early 2000s) and mentioned to my husband it being a rerelease and he didn’t remember it at all. Upon looking it was only released in 2007.

  20. Christine C.

    Funnily enough, I remember it being spelled with an E– Berenstein– and not knowing how it was pronounced. I watched the TV show for a while that pronounced it “Berenstain” in the theme song and found that pretty strange.

  21. Cynthia M.

    An informal family poll of 5 persons reveals that we all remember the spelling Berenstein, with the youngest of us (41 yo) remembering a pronunciation of “stain” while the rest are “steen”. All baron, not burn. Wild!

  22. Poppy

    It was ABSOLUTELY “Berenstein” and nothing will convince me otherwise (no, not even the family!) I wonder if it was spelled different;y in different countries – ? (Much like thinking the U.S> has 52 states, which I also distinctly remember learning in school, coincidentally.)

  23. Matt Roberts

    Hey! I was told about this site from a friend, and now I’m hooked. I was a child in the 80s, I grew up reading those books, watching the cartoons, and I even had one or two little figurines sold by, I believe, Burger King. I might still have one floating around my house somewhere. I most definitely remember STEIN, as does my wife. As another commenter mentioned, I distinctly remember as a kid trying to figure out how to say the last name, whether it was STEEN or STINE.

    My entire life I’ve had dreams of places that I had never been before, and know for a fact I had never been to those places. And then some time later, I’ll go to them. I once described a dream of a place so well to a buddy of mine, that when we passed by that place on a drive through the country, he noticed it before me. I don’t know if there ARE alternate realities, but I like to believe there are. Always have.

  24. chase

    I cant say I fully remember if it was stain or stein. but I remember I always went by stein or steen! And so did the TV show. The narrarator also called them the steins. quite glad ive discovered this website.. figured out alot today. and still much work needs to be done

  25. Az Wolfy

    From Sri Lanka. Just wanted to confirm that I remember this being “Berenstein” as well. I had a book with me a long time ago and was one of my favorites. It’s gone now…

  26. meme brulee

    Possible other convergence of timelines, I remember the comedian Eddie Griffin dying like 10 years ago, and apparently he’s still alive

  27. Daniel

    This whole Berenstein/Berenstain fiasco is what introduced me to the mandela effect. I definitely remember it being BerenSTEIN. And I would always make sure to enunciate the STEEN not STAIN. We owned many of the books an read them all the time as a kid but they are all gone now. I even confirmed this with my grandmother and she definitely remembers it being Berenstein also.

  28. JM

    I also remember 52 states. This is one of the most compelling of all the ‘shared alternate memories’ because you would think it’s a very set in stone type of thing, why would there be so many anomalous memories surrounding it?

    If I had to put my thumb on when things began shifting, I would say around 1991-1993. That seems to be some sort of nexus point of shifts, one of them at least.

    I had the strangest experience when I was about 9 years old, must have been a timeline shift.

    It was 1990 or 91, it was the end of an eventful summer with lots of vacations. I was sitting on top of our steep driveway and looking up at the sky. And I was staring into the sky I said to myself “I’m on Mars now”. That’s how I interpreted it as a kid, some sort of intuitive gnosis that reality had just shifted. Something deep inside me saying “what the hell?” I just got shifted to an alternate Earth. The thought “I’m on mars now” just popped into my mind, not as an idea but as a knowing. Mars in this sense representing a sort of Earth B, resembling the current one but different.

    I feel that this 1991 time period was one the shifts first began, and probably why I was able to notice it.

    1. David W.

      Yep 52 states, taught in school and home school. Now I’m like where are they! I wish I could remember what was a state that now isn’t. Seems though we could have just been taught wrong.

  29. Alex S

    It has always been the BerentSTEIN Bears. As a child I remember mispronouncing the name as “Burn-steen” until the cartoon came out and the narrator clearly stated them as the “Beren-STEIN Bears”. I’m curious to find an old book to see what I can find. I’m no stranger to this whole Mandella Effect, however. I clearly remember a separate book as a child, one of those picture bibles for children that had a whole passage that one day was suddenly missing as if it were never in existence.

    1. Ryan

      Interesting you mention part of a book disappearing; I had a 200-in-1 electronic kit thingo as a kid that you could use to build 200 different projects by joining the wires up in different configurations to the components built into the kit. One of these was a lie-detector. I wondered how it worked and I either asked dad or maybe there was a brief in the book which came with the kit. It said that a lying person would sweat so if you taped two wires from the kit to their arm a short distance apart, the sweat would close the circuit if they were lying, either making the meter go up or activating the light or buzzer or something. One day I decided to make it and got the kit out; and there was no lie detector plan. The kit and book was pretty old and well-used so I just figured that page may have fallen out. However, each plan was labelled 1-200 and there were no missing numbers..

  30. Jessica

    I was a very voracious reader as a child and I have a distinct memory of them being the BerenSTEIN Bears. I’m really weirded out by this!

  31. Vivek narain

    For a week there were 42 thoughts,and now 2 thoughts have been added (18 and 19 august) but the column says 43 thoughts.On actual counting it comes out to maybe 41,it is too much of a job could be i am wrong here.

  32. di

    I remember the books, a long time ago, as being Berenstein Bears, and I thought it was a funny name & spelling and I didn’t know how to pronounce it at first. When did the publisher start making the change to the ‘stain’ spelling. It has been a topic at work, 3 of us thought it was Stein, and 1 thought stain, but we all pronounced it as stain. Who knows?????

  33. JM

    Found this on Reddit.

    Here’s an image from the Office Season 8, it shows team names for a quiz in a gay bar with ‘spoof’ team names, what’s important though is that they use ‘stein’. (The guy added the highlight.)

  34. My mind BTFO

    I came on here to relate a story and immediately I saw this, the blood ran out of my head, pretty freaky mang.
    My wife and I have discussed this, we remember Berenstein Bears…wow

  35. Hope Shellnutt

    Hey im 18 and it wasnt long ago for me to remember this but i always remembered The BerenSTEIN Bears not berenstain? why stain? what the heck. so i looked all over for my books, no luck, then i came across 2 just the other day and it said Beren”stain” bears! my friend even said he remember Berenstein! and even when i google Jan and Mike Berenstein, google corrects me and puts Berenstain. and all othe the pictures of the books show Berenstain. The Berenstein Bears were named after Jan and Mike’s last name: Berenstein! Even auto-correct changes it to Berenstain! My question is how the heck was it all changed and why change it in the 1st place?

    1. Vivek narain

      But that’s not possible,a material proof of alternate reality is anathema,post an image of the relevant portion of the book if it is published by a reputed publisher.

      1. Fiona Broome Post author

        Vivek, I’d have asked the same thing, but I’m not sure it’d prove much. Critical skeptics and self-doubters might suggest the image had been Photoshopped. And, there’s a (very distant) possibility it’s a lookalike that was published by a company overlooking copyright laws for their own profit… and altering the cover, deliberately or out of confusion.

  36. Claire

    I am completely blown away by this. I am absolutely speechless. It sounds like the kind of thing that would be a conspiracy or elaborate internet hoax, but to my complete disbelief, it is not!! The bears were such a large part of my childhood – I had their books and watched the TV show! I would never, ever pronounce BerenSTAIN as BerenSTEIN. My whole family, I swear, said Beren-STEEN. I don’t even want to ask my family because it just sounds so much like an internet conspiracy. Also, this might be a synesthesia thing, but I always associated the color green withThe Berenstein Bears because the name Berenstein had so many ‘e’s in it and that’s the color I associate with the letter ‘e’. I associate ‘a’s with the color yellow, and made the word multicolored or muddy colored in my mind – No, the impression of the word was definitely green. Most of my memories are formed by colors or feelings; that’s not the kind of thing I’d forget. This feels like the kind of thing where I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and this will never have happened and it would’ve been BerenSTEIN all along. I don’t even know how to process this information. It freaks me out on levels that I can’t even explain.
    *Maybe* if we can find someone who specifically remembers BerenSTAIN, I might be more comforted by this discovery, but since nobody seems to remember it that way, I am very unsettled.

  37. Julia

    Actually, Claire, there are people who remember it always being written as Berenstain, including Sarah above. She commented on July 19th. I’ve read about this on other websites and there are a lot of people in both camps – but the ones who remember Berenstein are probably more likely to comment.

  38. Brian K

    I distinctly remember it being Berenstein Bears. My mom used to read those books to me as a kid. When I was in high school in the mid ’90’s, I volunteered at a library, mainly shelving children’s books, so I have memories of them from an older age as well.

    Some other websites discussing the Mandela Effect suggest a sizable percentage of “sliders” had a near death experience or were in an accident which should have been life threatening based on circumstances, but resulted in minor injuries if any. I’ve been in two accidents in which the cars were totaled but I walked away unscathed. Since the last one, about 10 years back, I’ve been noticing anomalies, and some relationships seem changed. Maybe I died, and my consciousness leaped into an alternate reality. I believe the concept is called quantum immortality. I suspect it’s been discussed here before.

  39. Marcela

    Wait hold up. I work at the library in the children’s section and I shelf books like these every day… they ARE “Berenstein”

  40. shyla

    the berenstein bear show?? WASNT THAT A THING? im highly confused??
    i dont want to be in a separate timeline what about this timelines me what happened to her did we just swap places??

  41. Erika

    Isn’t the viable alternate explanation simply that we misremember “berenstain” as “berenstein” because the -stein suffix is more common in actual last names that were encounter in the real world on a regular basis? Memory is imperfect, and we often re-write old memories in the act of recalling them…so it makes sense that we would assume that the more common suffix, stein, is the one that is used. Especially since the pronunciation is the same either way, it is easy to forget the original spelling and integrate a more common last name suffix.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author


      Viable alternative? Certainly.

      The simplest explanation? Of course.

      The only one, or the most likely with the volume of people who have this memory…? No.

      However, if it makes you feel better to think this site is for confused people with very imperfect memories, that’s okay with me. I get that a lot. It doesn’t work for me, and I doubt that most of my readers think they’ve just “misremembered,” either. That would be a simpler answer, but it doesn’t fit our memories.

      Sincerely, Fiona Broome

  42. HJM

    This maybe long but I feel the need to share, plus this is very interesting, because while I remember the BerenSTEIN bears, I honestly don’t remember what happened Madela.

    I find this all interesting because I remember the Berenstein bears stories at a specific point in my childhood, where I took the time to actually think about their name. Spelling, how its pronounces, ECT. I remember this because while I was a smart kid, I had difficulty reading. So anything involving books and words took more thought than just simply reading. I had the reading level of a 5 yr old until I was in the 7th grade, and suddenly seemed to snap into place and I jump to a high school level by the end of the year.
    I find this all curious because when I was having difficulty reading as a child I would think about the words and if I recognized them. BerenSTEIN was difficult for me I remember being corrected several times by family when I just called them the “bear books”. I remember getting frustrated to the point of not liking the books because of their named. My teachers, my parents all referred to them as the BerenSTEIN bears.
    I know many people have false memories. There is so much sensory information being thrown at us everything single second of everyday its impossible for a person to process all of that and not go insane. I’m not saying there are people that don’t have “perfect memories” but they can only remember things from their prespective, and things they are exposed too. If a person had no idea of the mismatched memories out there and only remember what they preseve, its still a imperfect system.
    Minds actually throw out information as well. A person may remember something without knowing they do.

    The point I’m trying to make is, the only way to explode and develops this theory would be throw talking to a mass amount of people and taking a mass amount of info from them, and comparing and cataloging it. So basicly become a giant brain.

    But this is still an amazing topic.

  43. Ed

    I distinctly remember spelling it with an ‘a’ when I was just learning to write… and then being told that it had an ‘e’, and being showed a book to prove it.

  44. HJM

    I’ve been reading the comments and I wanted pose some question for people to think about. I mostly want people to actively think about the memories that are different but also which ones are the same.
    One of the biggest question I keep thinking is ‘Why do some people remember one thing and the others don’t?’ I’m not so much asking why has this happened, but more a long the lines of ‘why group A of the people and not group B, or both’

    If the alternate reality theory is to be explored we cant just rely on the memories that are different, but the ones that are the same as the majority.

    -how far back dose your general memories go back? What’s the first thing you remember and when?
    – How far do your alternative memories go back?
    – Is it a personal memory, or is it one of interacting with a person place of thing?
    – how did you feel at the time? Did you notice how others felt? Was anyone close to you sick or react to the situation negatively?
    – has anything seemed different since than?

    just some questions for personal thought. I’ve been asking myself these same questions. If people really have been swapped to another reality, or there are two (or more) realities merging together we cant just look at it on a large scale but also on a much smaller personal scale.
    If its false memories on a mass scale than why, again. Why group A and not B? Do the people who have the common memories have other similarities?

    sorry for the rammbling I just wanted to share some thoughts and question.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      HJM, Those are great questions.

      So far, people seem to have some but not all of the same “alternate” memories. People who remember Berenstein Bears don’t necessarily remember Ghost Hunters being called TAPS, and so on.

      Other than that, I don’t know what the commonalities are. I didn’t talk about this until someone else raised the topic in the Dragon*Con “green room.” He casually mentioned that some people remembered Nelson Mandela’s death, years earlier. (His comment was in reference to a totally different subject we were discussing.)

      That got my attention in a hurry. And, it turned out that — in that conversation — about 65% – 75% of the people who joined in, also remembered Nelson Mandela’s earlier death. That seemed very odd, and it’s why I started this website. The people who remembered… the numbers were far too high, and the participants too educated and/or bright to write off as “confused” or “misinformed.”

      So, one similarity is whatever brought us together at the Dragon*Con “green room.” We were all speakers/panelists/celebrities at that event. The guy who raised the subject was involved in Dragon*Con’s security; he was not a speaker/celebrity.

      The conversation went on for over an hour, so people drifted in & out of the room, according to their speaking schedules. I know the discussion included an artist, a psychologist, at least two authors, a movie producer, and at least one actor. All of us love trivia and it was an upbeat, animated discussion that eventually included Neal Adams’ Expanding Earth Theory, and other topics.

      We’re all creative people. Each of us stands out in our respective fields. Ages were all over the place, mostly 30s to 50s. Gender… mostly male, in this conversation. It was mid-day, so the bar wasn’t open. And, since each of us stands out in our field and we say things that may not be popular (yet), we’re not likely to agree to something just to be part of a conversation. If anything, my “green room” conversations are often challenging.

      Regarding comments here, the balance seems to tilt slightly in the direction of men. Age, per time-specific references, seems to be all over the place. About 65% of comments are posted from IPs in the United States or Canada. The rest are very mixed, internationally, with a few more in England and India than elsewhere.

      So, there it is.

      Cheerfully, Fiona

  45. Anna

    This is crazy and really creepy. I worked under a kindergarten teacher last year, and she pronounced it Berenstein. That was the way she typed it into YouTube, and that was the way it was written on the books I spent hours rearranging. I swear it, but there’s no record of it being that way. This is so strange…

  46. Bel

    I’m not going to sleep now cause these issues have me obsessed. I remember Berenstein Bears, as does the son I read to, I recall Mandela initially as passing in the 80’s, David Soul committed suicide in my memory. I recall feeling very sad cause loved Starsky and Hutch as a kid. Billy Graham’s funeral is clear as day because of insane amount of makeup on Tammy as they interviewed her. So this feels so bizarre and I feel like some of the other people, I can let go of some but the bears? No way. Not when I read to my kids before bed Every Night and they loved and remember the stories and the name same way. Wtf?

  47. Alaiya

    I specifically remember the books being called the “Berenstein” bears. I was always very observant as a child and I looked at the title and illustrations plenty of times. I’m currently in highschool, the last time I’ve been in Elementary school where I actually read those books on a daily basis was only five years ago. I would only check out those books to read from the school library, I don’t think my memory is that bad that I can’t remember the name. Even the television show that comes on is “Bernstein.” I certainly would remember if the name was really something as odd as “Berenstain.”

  48. Cameron

    I read these books when I was first starting to read but soon outgrew them as I became an avid reader and preferred more lengthy volumes. I hate to disagree with the majority. But I do remember it being spelled Berenstain Bears. But I could never bring myself to pronounce it (aloud or in my mind) as “stain” it sounded odd though I tried to stay true to the book, however it didn’t roll off the tongue like “stine” or “steen”. Perhaps reading the word, and it not sounding “quite right” caused you to pronounce it differently without realizing and created a false memory of it being the way you said it.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Cameron, see my reply to Tiare. Same issue, same answer. I’d feel differently if a lot of the related comments & emails featured other spelling errors. Generally, the people who remember Berenstein are very precise about their spelling. While a few might be audio-visual crossovers, I don’t believe that explains the majority of them.

      Sincerely, Fiona

  49. Ten

    I, too, remember the books being the Berenstein Bears books, and I pronounced them as ‘steen’ as a child growing up in the 80’s. I recently started working in a children’s library, and was utterly shocked to find the name spelled Berenstain on the books… that was NOT how I remembered it spelled when I was a child at all! Why would I pronounce it ‘steen’ if it was spelled ‘stain’? I was and am a very conscientious speller and pronouncer of words. I chalked it up to a faulty memory, but it’s comforting that so many others remember it being spelled Berenstein as well!

  50. Tiare

    It’s so funny to see so many people say that they remember it being “Berenstein”. I’m not kidding when I say i always knew it was Berenstain and for a long time was very annoyed with the spelling because it’s pronounced as “BerenSTEEN”. It always baffled me as to why it was pronounced that way when it’s spelling is BerenSTAIN. I think that people may be rememberimg it as “Berenstein” rather than “Berenstain” simply because of the way they were pronouncing it.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Tiare, I’m pretty sure people who recall it as “Berenstein” have the visual memory. While I could chalk up some memories as audio impressions that affected visual memory, the volume of comments and emails — plus the ones I keep in confidence at readers’ requests — lead me to believe this is another example of “Mandela Effect.” The volume and vehemence of this one is fairly intense and consistent.

      Sincerely, Fiona

  51. Aidan

    I clearly remember them as BerenSTAIN, because I had a read-along book with a tape (“Berenstain Bears and the Sitter”) that pronounced it as such. I listened to that tape probably 1000 times, and I can still hear the narrator’s voice in my head. Berenstain, no doubt.

  52. Mia

    They were definitely BerenstEIn, but from a computer read along game thing that I had when I was young, it was pronounced “STAIN.” This sticks in mind because you would think from the spelling that it would be pronounced differently.

  53. Alex

    I completely remember it being the Berenstein Bears. I’m 17, so the memory is still very fresh. I remember looking for the book in the first grade for the spelling because I didn’t know whether it was “Barenstein” or “Berenstein” and I was writing a paragraph on my favorite book (I loved the one about the sister bear being envious!) I ended up writing Berenstein because that’s how it was spelled!

    I’ve asked 4 other people my age and 3 being in their late 40s/early 50s and they have all agreed with me that it was Berenstein. I definitely remember the repetitive ‘e’ in the word.

    Also, like many others, I pronounced it as “Berensteen” because I thought that the ‘ei’ would make an ‘ee’ sound.

  54. Kurt Robinson

    A year or so ago I saw a picture that was a parody of the bears, gathering around eating candy “The Berenstain Bears are HIGH AS F***” and I thought, that’s funny, why does it say STAIN instead of STEIN. I thought it must be because it’s a parody, and STAIN sounds funnier. So I was definitely curious when a link to this subject came up on my feed. I don’t really have many memories about the name, other than perhaps that I thought it was unusual. I grew up in a pretty small town in Australia, and any spelling of the name would appear foreign to me.

    This is the first time I’ve heard someone give a name to this phenomenon. I asked a friend of mine about it, and she said she remembered Willem Dafoe dying 2-3 years ago. She can’t remember any specifics, perhaps he died from drugs like so many celebrities have. Her sister has the same memory.

    Years ago, I was going through a very strange time in my life, and it was common for me to wake up and notice something had changed. It was always something small, like the colour of the paint on my walls, or the curtains. Of course I have no way of verifying if it was just the product of an overactive imagination.

  55. naciemew

    I distinctly remember it being the Berenstein Bears. Not only that, but I remember the authors’ names being slightly different from the title of their books! I loved to read and I especially enjoyed knowing random facts and trivia, and I recall reading that the Berenstein Bears was named after its authors, whose names I remember being spelled differently, probably as Berenstain. This stuck with me because I thought it was odd and also because I always wanted to know how to properly spell things(really, I won the spelling bee every year). Seeing this article, I immediately assumed it was fake, but more research has shown that it is indeed the Berenstain Bears, and I find this troubling to say the least.

  56. Katee

    My friend told me about this the other night and it’s really messed with my head. I’m 21 and I loved to read as a kid (still do) and I clearly recall it as Berenstein. I just googled it though and apparently it really is spelled Berenstain… But…I clearly remember the “ei” spelling in the book titles. I loved reading, and whenever teachers or librarians read the stories, they would pronounce it “Beren-steen.” That’s how I pronounced it, too. I don’t have my books anymore, but my mom works in a kindergarten classroom and my sister teachers first grade, so the next time I’m in either one of those rooms you can bet I’ll be searching for these books…

  57. Dahrius

    Could it simply be the cursive text threw us all off as children? I am really trying to justify this odd feeling I have right now about this whole thing…

  58. Hannah

    Alright so, here’s my experience with this: I used to read and watch the Berenstein Bears all the time. I actually can remember the very first time I was introduced to them, the teachers aid in my kindergarden class read us a story about them cleaning their room. Anyways, upon this whole thing getting brought up I recalled a memory I have from when I was about 7 or 8, which wouldve been 2004/2005. I was in my living room watching the Bears like normal, and I remember asking my mother why the last name was spelled with an a and not an e. I admit I do not have a specific memory of WHY I asked her this, but I feel as if I probably noticed it for the first time, which is strange because I would watch/read it all the time and was a very intelligent kid. It makes sense to me that the reason it took me so long to ask is because one day it really did change from an a to an e. Anyways my mom told me that the authors name was spelled with an A but the show used an E (she didnt even look at the tv screen, im guessing she was so used to the e spelling she just assumed). The thing is I also have memories of seeing Stan & Jan BerenstEin on the cover of books.

    TL;DR: I have a memory of for some reason one day noticing the authors last name being spelled with an a, even though I was a big fan and had been reading/watching the show for years before that and never noticed this.

  59. amanda

    My mother read the Bernstein Bears books to me for many years as a child between the years 1992-1998 or so and I distinctively remember her pronunciation (burn-steen) as well as the way it was spelled on the front cover as it was one of my favorite series of books. I saw one of the Bernstein bears books at a goodwill a few years ago and distinctively remember seeing the spelling of Bernstein bears had changed to “Bernstain” and i thought it may be a new print of some sort or a different/new series and payed no attention to it till i saw my books from my childhood were spelled “Bernstain” as well. My mother remembers the spelling being Bernstein as well, and she would not have pronounced it (burn- steen) if it was spelled Bernstain.

  60. Brill

    Fiona- I’ve noticed some older people distinctly remembering it as BerenSTAIN bears, so maybe that’s part of the effect. You should look at the comments and see at what age people begin to remember it as BerenSTEIN.
    I’m a teenager and I specifically remember it is BerenSTEIN as well.

  61. BessnT

    The weird thing is that in my household we pronounced it “Berenstain,” but as a child it was confusing because I specifically remember it being spelled NOT like it sounded. I seriously recall having to write some book report or something that referenced these books and authors, and checking to make sure I spelled it correctly, and that it WAS spelled “Berenstein.” I…really don’t know what to think, now, LOL.

  62. nekopush

    I remember it as Berenstein too. I remember it clearly because I got confused by ‘ei’ and ‘ie’ and had to stop and think when I spelled ‘Berenstein’. I’m also from Asia where not many people have ‘-stein’ as a name ending, so I’ve always (mis)pronounced the ‘stein’ like in ‘beer stein’, so I wouldn’t have been confused by pronounciation, or ‘normalised’ their name in my mind as it wasn’t the sort of last name I was familiar with when I was young.

  63. Vivek narain

    Asians have a tendency to spell “pronunciation” as “pronounciation”,and the are familiar with ‘ein’ because of einstein a name with double ‘ein’.

  64. James

    Fiona’s note:

    This comment has been removed at the poster’s request. Initially, I edited this comment for longer, religious content that sparked immediate, unfortunate, and vitriolic responses.

    I realize this could be interpreted as censorship, and I’m sorry for that. The reaction to the full, initial comment was so sudden, so dramatic, and such a distraction from the focus of this website, I felt that I had no choice.

    Also, I’m admittedly ferocious about trying to keep volatile topics out of the discussion, if they’re not absolutely essential to a deeper understanding of related memories.

    After the brief (and quickly deleted) flame war that erupted from the comment that was here, I explained my revised comment policies at the Re:Comments page.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author


      Thanks for your comments.

      I’m like-minded in many ways, but not on every topic.

      However, this is a good time to make an important point: I’ve avoided religion-base rhetoric. It’s too easy to let faith-based bickering distract and divide us.

      I understand the importance of having something that’s constant. Something that always makes sense, when other things don’t. That’s important, especially when your memories don’t seem to match the world around you. Nevertheless, this is a global community with varying cultural, religious, and personal beliefs. My aim is to keep the focus on what we already have in common.

      Though this website represents a conversation, we’re sharing data. The collective, relatively consistent data make this topic startling. The explanations…? Not so easy.

      Like you, I think the answers are more complex than “oh, you’re just misremembering.” Too many people. Too many consistent memories. No doubt, some things were misunderstood when they happened. We’re busy people. It’s easy to half-listen to the news and get it a little wrong. I understand that.

      That said, the consistent memories amaze me, partly because I have the luxury of seeing emails and comments people ask me to keep in confidence. I do so, at least until someone else raises a particular topic that doesn’t match the current reality. When the (real) IP numbers and distinctive phrases indicate two (or three, or five) different — and geographically diverse — people have nearly identical memories, that gets my attention.

      The sun color is an interesting topic. As an artist, I know there are explanations. Many are related to other color references at the time you’re looking. Those include the landscape, the sky color, the weather, smog levels, and so on. Those, in turn, may be affected by Milankovitch cycles, and other contributing factors. So, sun color is a perception-based topic, and less easily documented as a Mandela Effect issue.

      By contrast (no pun intended), the Bernstein/Berenstein/Berenstain Bears issue is literally literal. That makes the name a compelling, relevant topic since these memories aren’t based in opinion or relative perceptions. Like dilemma/dilemna, this topic is about something printed. Something we saw often, held in our hands, and so on. For many people, these are cherished memories, as well.

      So, let’s keep the focus on what we have in common. Let’s discuss “alternate memories” we can research for conflicts and correlation in news reporting, physical evidence, and so on.

      And, if you know of or want to start a site/forum for discussions about the diverse subjects you’ve raised, it’s okay to share that link, once. That’s a better way to talk directly to like-minded people about those not-quite-Mandela-Effect topics.



      1. Vivek narain

        Some of the alternate memories are very frequent and mundane and some are very infrequent and deep.One dulls our cognitive senses and the other raises doubts over the credibility of being an authentic witness.If nothing else, has pried open the giant sink holes existing in long drawn out court cases

    2. James

      Fiona, I ask that you please remove my comment from this post. I did not know you were going to edit out anything I said about Jesus and the bible. It does kinda feel like selective censorship to me. I am not trying to argue with you or start a fight. But please remove the whole comment. If the message cant be given in its entirety then I would rather it was not given at all. Thanks

  65. lauren

    Interivew with A Vampire! YES! I thought I was going crazy…don’t know why I didn’t attribute it to the “mandela effect”. I remember it REALLY bothering me for days when I thought I had the title incorrect.

  66. Woah!!

    Really? The books were written by Berenstains. Where was the confusion?

    Oh, wait, I only realized this after I Googled it…. I thought it was Berenstein, too.

    I guess I stopped reading at Beren…. it sounded so German. So I supposed the suffix.

  67. Vivek narain

    The way this topic is progressing,i can imagine perry mason books becoming hot property,and internet getting censored for E S Gardener’s books.Mandela Effect will have the last laugh.Fiona will have her day of glory.

  68. Satoshi

    Dear God. I clearly remember the book being named The Berenstein Bears.


    Now that I check ever single childhood memory I have in my attic all I see is Berenstain! Just Berenstain!

    But this is the part that shook me the most. I found a childhood picture. Of me. With the longest child grin across my face as I opened up my brand new set of…

    …Berenstein Bears books.

    I swear! I’m staring at the picture right now in disbelief. Then I remember my grandmother taking the photo with her bulky 1980’s camera. I drive over there as fast as I can with my wife Rose, who damned well remembers it being Berenstain Bears.

    I asked my grandmother if she recalled our 1986 (she remembered which year) Christmas when she bought me those books. She cheerfully said yes and showed me the picture.

    My feeling of excitement diminished. The picture, clear as day, showed Berenstain Bears. Same picture. Same angle. I glanced back I picture I had, only for it to say the same thing. That day I didn’t have a single explanation as to what happened.

    Until I saw this article.

    I clear as day believe I transferred dimensions somehow while driving. Rose, out of all people, said even she saw my picture and it saying Berenstain.

    I don’t understand this.


    1. Julia

      That’s amazing, Satoshi. Just to clarify, did your wife say the first picture that you found actually had said Berenstein, with an “e”?

  69. Lisa

    I just read about the Mandela effect yesterday. I have but one B__ Bears books. I am convinced I grew up with The Berenstein Bears series, and my husband is quite sure, too. I retrieved the book from my car (it’s like 26 degrees out! But this was disturbing me since yesterday!) I am SHOCKED that my book is The BerenSTAIN Bears!!!

  70. Billy S

    I’ve never read the books, but I’ve seen them, and from the first day I ever saw them (maybe 10 years ago) I always saw BerenstAin Bears. I thought it was kind of a weird name.

  71. Eli S

    Another person weighing in with remembering “Berenstein.” I don’t have any particularly clear memories of noticing the spelling, but I have definitely always pronounced it “stine.” There’s no way I would have pronounced “Berenstain” that way; even if I’d made the mistake early, my parents or I would have corrected it later.

  72. Gray

    I remembered always saying it as the Bernstein Bears when I was younger, and that’s how I remember it being said in the theme song on the show. I remember a few years ago finding some of those books we had and being confused at the spelling of their name, because I remembered it being said berenstein and not berenstain, but I just assumed that I had made a mistake or misremembered. But I think part of this whole thing could maybe be the song, because it definitely sounded like berenstein and most kids aren’t reading that well or maybe not even at all when they’re at that age, so it makes it easier to misremember it since you couldn’t understand written words

  73. TrickyD

    I think the point of this change is being narrowed down to around august 2001. there is little evidence left around that it was ever Berenstein but some remnants of the past still remain. The following is taken off the internet from CoasterBuzz which people are talking about Berenstein bear country being replaced with Peanuts gang at ValleyFair MN. Here is the link to that page

    This conversation takes place early 2001 notice not one person even spells it Stain not even out of habit.
    This could be why many insist it has always been Stain because, 1 They were born after 2001 or were too young when the change happened to remember. 2 They saw the change after 2001 and mistakenly thought that is was always that way, then associated the spelling to their previous memories.
    There are other examples on the internet of pre 2001 spellings being with the Stein and not Stain. We just need to seek these examples out and share with others Heres is one more example this link is from post august 2001

    and the same site pre august 2001

    1. Julia

      I have a friend who just turned 51 on December 1. She had her first child at age 23 in 1987 and another child in 1990 and she read the books to them and only remembers them as Berenstain. She seems to be an exception though. I’m the same age – about 3 months younger than her. I was working in a book store during those same years and while my memory of the books is not strong – not being personally interested, I do remember seeing them at some point later, perhaps at my nephews’ house, and thinking “Weren’t they Berenstein?” I’m not sure if that’s where I saw them though – it’s weird to me that I can’t place where I had first had that thought.

  74. Rhi

    I was reading those books when I was learning to write, and I traced the letters. It was an e.
    My husband also made the icky face and said no, it has to be an E!

  75. Vivek narain

    The bears may not be the only anamolous characters in a book,if this parallel reality has some grain of truth,other discrepencies must show up.In fact they do,I am repeating my earlier statement, a book ‘foreign exchange’ by jimmy sangster mentioned meryl streep and barbra(or barbara)streisand according to my memory.I still have the book(1970) but it says marilyn monroe and barbra streisand.Streep evidently was too young to be in the reckoning at the time book was published(1968),that is, according to current timeline.So you see,a lot of unambiguous and unsubtle discrepencies,in this particular but unshared memory.

  76. Daniel

    I remembered it to be BerenstEin as well. I quizzed a few people on the spelling as well who are around my age of 36 for which they responded with the “E” as well in disbelief. There was 1 person however who is 10 years my junior who responded to spelling it with an “A”.

    It seems that the movie “The Giver” based on the book makes a slight mockery of things not quite explained in texts. For instance, near the end of the movie it shows clips of Tienanmen square and Mandela. Both of which others have purported to have an alternate memory.

    Sometimes it does appear that memory has been altered in some way or perhaps there are parallel worlds that we are traveling in. However, from my own personal experience it seems to be that the jump from one parallel to another or memory paradigms as we believe them to be are the result of a physical “death”.

    In addition to memorizing it as Berenstein I also recall Berensteen which I believe came before “stein” if I can coax my early childhood memories. However, for some reason it switched back to Berenstein. I think it is important to note that I was in a severe car accident around 7. A tractor trailer jumped over my mother’s 4-door sedan smashing the entire back seats and trunk of the car. Our luggage was found in the undercarriage of the tractor trailer and my brother and I, who were sitting in the back seat, left the scene without any scratch.

    I believe the 2nd major incident may have centered around the 911 attacks. While at work I saw an image shoot out at me from my monitor approximately 15 minutes before the 1st “hit” happened at the WTC. The image was a red face with horns on either side which sat in between 2 pillars surrounded by red smoke. (By the way, I worked nowhere near N.Y.)

    I have had a lot of paranormal experiences that I am sure only some can come to understand because they have had them too. Before I end this message though I think it is interesting that we have, for the most part, accepted the idea that energy can be neither created nor destroyed.

    1. Daniel

      Correction- Berenstein first then Berensteen(spelled) and went back to Berenstein. The Berensteen seems to have been around the time of a great change in my life. I Moved to another state with my father who died approximately 2 years later. Before he died we traveled often although he was narcoleptic (my mother informs me). Woke up in a ditch at night one time in our tan Volvo while sleeping in the back. (This was the 2nd car incident which is why I am really being to feel like it has something to do with death or extreme stressors) . Confirming the validity of stories is difficult to do- I would like to put it in writing that what I have mentioned is truthful. I hope this may positively help others as I am piecing together occurrences that have happened to me.

      I am still interested in this topic and look back at the comments every now and then. It looks like I am alone on there actually being a spelling of Berensteen but that was how I saw it around age 10.

  77. Cora

    I’m 20, and when I was a little one I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, even lived with them for a while. I remember having the BerenstEin Bears books around – my grandma owned them and had me read out of them when she homeschooled me. I remember not liking the name, because I never knew how to pronounce it, and as a “gifted” child that was a little bit frustrating.

    Fast forward to my high school years – this had to have been 2011, just before my parents got rid of cable TV – and I was sitting in the kitchen with my mom after school one day. My little sisters were watching the BerenstAin Bears TV show. I got confused, turned to my mom, who was 34 at the time, and asked when they changed the spelling. She didn’t even look up, just informed me that that’s how it’s always been spelled.

    I would also like to mention that, just before I turned 9 (the summer of 2003), my late brother and I took a two week vacation to Florida to visit our grandparents, while our parents stayed behind. When we got home, I had the distinct feeling that our parents (moreso my mom than my dad) were different somehow, in a way I couldn’t explain. They were not the same as they were, and I felt that they would never again be the same as they were before we left. The feeling never fully went away, but after a few years I’d all but forgotten about it. (Commence swapping theories!)

  78. Pike

    In my mind, I remember New Zealand being North of Australia when I was in school. Strangely, I am a geography buff, though I am not clear on Sri Lanka. I also remember the Berenstein Bears, not Berenstain Bears. I do not recall Mandela dying in the 80s, although I have some kind of vague memory. I do remember him being released from prison and dying recently. It would be interesting to see if people remembering Berenstein Bears would remember New Zealand being North of Australia. I thought it was, but I am wrong.

  79. Pike

    Look at Amazon books. The book is called “Berenstain Bears” yet Amazon has it labeled as “Berenstein Bears”. Even Amazon thinks it is Berenstein.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      Pike, I did check Amazon and I see only “Berenstain” among the titles. Also, when I typed “Berenstein Bears” in the search form, Amazon asked me if I actually mean Berenstain Bears, and listed the Berenstain Bears books at the top of the results.

  80. Pike

    Read customer reviews on “The Berenstain Bears Easter Surprise” on Amazon books, specifically the one by A. Wolf. First of all even Amazon prints the label as “A Berenstein Bears Easter Surprise”, which is what you must google to find it. A Wolf writes the following review.

    This review is from: The Berenstein Bears’ Easter Surprise / Cupid’s Surprise / Play Ball (VHS Tape)
    “The Bears and their Easter Surprise is just as I remember it from my youth–a real nostalgic treat! I’m still not used to the name change from Berenstein to “Berenstain”, though, especially when I see it on a classic title like this one.

    It’s almost like having a “stain” on my memory, if you’ll forgive the pun! Nothing has been the same since Jan died… Still, it’s a great family video, and one I would highly recommend to anyone.”

    He seems to know Jan and is convinced there was a name change, yet there never was apparently, at least not in this reality.

  81. Pike

    I just found an old website from 2001 called “coaster buzz” about whether to name the park Berenstein Bear Land, or Snoopy Land. At this time, in 2001, everyone spells it “Berenstein”. How could so many make the same mistake. I will copy some of them on here. Google “Berenstein Bear land or Snoopy Land”

    Berenstein Bear Land or Snoopy Land
    Recent ^ Forums -> General Buzz
    More:1 of 22>|
    January 3, 2001, 9:52A
    I think Cedar point should bring back Berenstein Bear land and take out that crappy Snoopy Land,Everyone Loves Berenstein Bears, They could have marketed a whole new series to the next generation of kids. Bring Back Berenstien Bear Land Yo!


    while I like that CP brought snoopy to the park, I don’t think they should have canned the berenstein Bears. They could have lived together in harmony… +0

    Yeah, even though I do like Snoopy, I think they should have kept Berenstein Bears. They should have kept it where the Snoopy store is now.


    January 3, 2001, 4:54P
    Dustijn Hollon
    Berenstein who?

    Face it, you can market the Peanuts, Berenstein Bears are just pretty much a dud.

    Oh and FYI it’s CAMP SNOOPY and Berenstein Bear Country, not Berenstein Bear Land and Snoopy Land.

    January 5, 2001, 4:46P
    I say keep Berenstein Bear Land and Camp Snoopy. Camp Snoopy is the area in the back of the park when Berenstein Bears were in the front.

    It continues, though some mispelled the name, not a single person spelled it “Berenstain” in 2001.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author


      You’re right: On that particular forum page, everyone seems to spell it Berenstein. That’s interesting, but the OP started the thread with the Berenstein spelling. Some people may have taken his cue and followed suit.

      At the site in general, I see several references to the Berenstain spelling, including one in 2001:

      Fiona Broome

  82. Cathy

    I work at an elementary school that has been around since the 70’s. I remembered the spelling as Berenstein as well, so I went to the school library. I found a book that was published and bought in 1974 and the spelling is Berenstain. All of the old books in the library here have the spelling Berenstain.

    1. Lin

      Cathy, there is a very simple explanation here. “stein” is simply more common than “stain” as part of a name. If Artur Rubenstein had spelled his name “Rubenstain,” probably three quarters of the world would have read it as “Rubenstein,” because that is what we expect to see. Conditioning, I guess. Also, look at the font that was used on the covers of the original books. I ran a Google image search just now and a bunch of them at first glance DID look like “Berenstein” — but closer examination revealed the “a” after all. Because most of us first encountered these books as children, with our language skills pretty limited, I’m quite certain we would read the name as “Berenstein” simply because a “stein” ending to a name is MUCH more common.

      This is such a fun exercise in our collective memory, but I’m one of those for whom it was ALWAYS “Berenstain.” And I always thought that was a weird name! :)

      1. Fiona Broome Post author


        Seeing the number of long comments you’ve posted here… well, I admire your enthusiasm for the topic. However, after thinking about this, I decided to approve the one with the most likely explanation, and delete the rest.

        You made your point and it may help some people. It doesn’t work for me.

        Like you, I’ve worked in a library. In fact, I worked in the children’s room, so I’m very familiar with K-5 literature. I shelved the Berenstein Bears books more times than I can count. My own children owned most of the Berenstein Bears books and enjoyed reading them, over and over again. Also, I’m old enough that the Berenstein Bears (or even Berenstain) didn’t exist when I was a child, so the limited language skills reference doesn’t fit.

        Oh, I appreciate your comments. They’ve helped me understand that, when someone doesn’t have these kinds of alternate memories, they really don’t understand how much we’ve researched, trying to find more logical explanations for those memories.

        You may not realize that I research every topic that’s raised here, whether the memory resonates with me or not. (Currently, my memories match only about 10% of the alternate memories suggested at this site. The minority that do resonate… they still startle me, they’re such perfect matches for memories I’ve kept to myself.)

        So, I research everything people post in comments. For example, when the geography topic came up, I studied all kinds of early (possibly erroneous) world maps, looking for Sri Lanka and New Zealand in other locations. Even “pretzel logic” at its finest couldn’t support a reasonable answer.

        Now and then, I find a good, normal answer. In most cases, it was bad journalism (picked up and repeated by others) or an editor let a pre-written obituary slip into publication, too soon. That kind of thing happens, especially when everyone’s on deadline. (“Dewey Defeats Truman” and “Gore Wins Florida” are among the iconic premature — and mistaken — headlines.)

        In some cases, the visitor simply misunderstood something, or got the news third-hand and garbled. (Usually, they come back to this site and — having figured out what happened — they ask me to delete their respective comments, which I do.)

        I also consider other explanations. For example, I’m undecided about the Tiananmen Square footage, and whether that’s simple media manipulation. And, I haven’t given up hope that the TAPS/Ghost Hunters TV show issue can be traced back to regional marketing decisions.

        Most of us aren’t eager to seize the alternate realities answer. We’d love to find a logical explanation for our apparently erroneous (in this timestream) memories. We roll up our sleeves and do extensive research, looking for that “ah-HA!” answer that explains this in very mundane terms.

        However, the volume of people who recall Berenstein Bears, not Berenstain, makes “too young to read the cover correctly” explanations seem far too simplistic.

        I always prefer Occam’s Razor explanations when they fit. In this case — for me, anyway — the simplest reasonable answer isn’t “young children aren’t very literate and — later — don’t realize their mistakes.”

        Instead, it’s: people remember Berenstein Bears as the book series name… because that’s what it was.

        Fiona Broome

        1. Lin


          Such a wonderful response. Thank you so much!

          Sorry if I went on a bit long, but the topic fascinates me. I’m more interested in the matter of perception than time-shifting, though I certainly don’t discount that as a possibility.

          Your mention of “bad journalism” and getting the news third-hand so resonates with me, since I spent many years as a small-city journalist. I cannot tell you how many times I would be at a news scene, or even the most mundane of meetings, with other reporters and be amazed at how our accounts differed in the reporting of the event. We were all there, at the same time, with the same people, but I guess simply because we were different people, with different backgrounds and sometimes agendas, we simply perceived things differently.

          I also got to thinking about how perception is so wildly different when it’s auditory versus visual. Seeing it for yourself rather than hearing about it first, second, or even third-hand. The mind conjures such radically different pictures depending on how it gets its information.

          Your research and writing is wonderful, and this is a fascinating website. It has given me much to think about on this quiet, overcast weekend (my favorite atmosphere in which to think!) .

          Thanks so much, again, for your reply. Much continued success in unraveling this very interesting mystery!


  83. Adam

    My memory of this is fairly specific, and I haven’t seen any others with the exact same memory. I remember the books being spelled “Berenstein” and pronounced “Beren-STEEN.” (Of course, pronunciation is largely regional, so that alone isn’t worth much.)

    BUT — the part that’s weird is that I ALWAYS remember the authors’ name being spelled “Berenstain.” I remember the bears’ last name being different than the authors’ last name. I remember because I thought it was weird that the authors would spell the characters’ name different than their own. (I guess I assumed that they changed the spelling to be more close to the pronunciation)

    Does anyone else have this memory? It’s a weird tidbit, but I’d almost swear it was true.

  84. Michael

    The mind reads English with the first letter we see and the last, isn’t that why we can all read the dumb “if you can read this repost it” posts? Therefore reading the authors name we would think Berenstein instead of Berenstain because the ending stein is much more popular than stain when it comes to laser names. That’s just my thoughts on it all… [edited]

    1. Fiona Broome Post author


      I’ve approved your comment but deleted the insults. I want to address the “first and last letter” misconception, and this is a convenient way to do that.

      During the era when “sight reading” was taught in some public schools, some people did base initial word recognition on first and last letters in each word. They may still do so. There are other theories about how that reading method worked for some people, while it completed failed others.

      I’m not one of them. I went to a private school where I was taught phonics, sounding words out, letter by letter. Many other people learned to read with phonics, too, so the first-and-last-letter theory will not usually apply to us. It definitely doesn’t apply to me, and I recall the books as Berenstein, not Berenstain.

      The odds of being a “sight reader” may be higher in the Redding (CA, USA) area, where your IP number is. I’m not sure.

      Literacy is not the issue here. I think we can all agree that some people simply never looked closely at the spelling of the name. Maybe they never glommed onto phonetic reading. Maybe they weren’t interested in books at that young age. Maybe the books were read to them, and they never actually picked up the books themselves.

      People for whom that was the issue are far more likely to say, “Wow, I never looked closely at the spelling. I’ve been mistaken about it, all these years.” They may run into that kind of thing, often. There’s nothing odd about that, given the way they learned to read.

      At this website, most people — including me — are saying, “No. I clearly recall it spelled Berenstein, not Berenstain. Something has changed, and this is kind of weird.”

      Also, if the first-and-last letter theory were true, I think we’d see a lot of comments about it being Berensteen, Berrenstein, and so on. We don’t. Most people are fairly precise about the spellings they recall. They remember Berenstein.

      Insulting us doesn’t help your case. I’m always amazed by the people who seem to take this very personally.

      I can cheerfully agree that, in your timestream, the spelling may have been Berenstain with no variations, ever. That’s fine and I’m sure it makes your life much simpler.

      Nevertheless, many of us recall something different, and that’s what makes this topic fun and fascinating… for us, anyway.

      Fiona Broome

      1. Adam

        While it’s true that an experienced reader can “sight read” in spite of spelling mistakes, you still generally notice them. Especially when it’s in huge text on the cover of a book.

        It’s also generally true that INexperienced readers (like people who speak English as a second language, or KIDS — the main audience of these books) pay far more attention to the individual letters in a word, because they’re using all of the available clues to sound it out.

  85. Eleanor

    Hi! So I have a couple of the old games. (The Berenstain Bears Collection “In the Dark” & “Get in a Fight”)
    And they were pronounced Steen* (pronounced not spelled)
    but I’dalways thought it was spelled differently than stain…
    maybe it was because the books themselves pronounced it Berenstein that we all thought it was spelled that way?

    1. Fiona Broome Post author


      If — as a child — you didn’t actually read the books but only heard them read aloud, that might explain why you thought the name was Berenstein.

      Since I worked in a library, read the books aloud at “story hour,” and had the books in my home for my children, it’s a slightly different issue.

      The books were never read to me, and — having worked as a genealogist — I’m finicky about surname spellings.

      But, your explanation may fit some situations.


  86. Astrid

    I distinctly remember Berenstein, they were my favourite books! I’m freaking out slightly because I have another memory that is similar. I’m 19 now and this was years ago probably in the early 2000’s. I was watching a movie, don’t remember what it was or what is was about. All I remember is that I had seen it before and was trying to find a specific scene that I liked, I looked repeatedly….it wasn’t in the movie. I remember being so frustrated because I had just seen the movie earlier and I vividly remembered that friggen scene!
    I hope that if there’s some sort of logical explanation that it surfaces soon. This kinda talk is really unsettling for me. Good luck though.

  87. Astrid

    Also, one more thing. I may have an explanation, perhaps more for myself. Even though I remember Berenstein, Berenstain also seems familiar. I’m thinking that, because I’ve done this many times but more so when I was younger. Many times when I came across a word or name that I either couldn’t prounounce, was annoyed by or I just…didn’t like I would pronounce it differently and for so long that at one point my brain would be convinced that’s what it actually was. So I was thinking, when that happens is it possible that our brains “fix” spellings for us? Cuz knowing myself Its very possible this is the case.

  88. Riki

    Well my universe path is certainly different than all of yours…. In my world it was Bernstien Bears and distinctly remember this because being of German heritage, it is where I learned from my mother the proper pronunciation of ie versus ei in German.

    My ten year younger sister also remembers it the same way and was quite freaked out with this stain nonsense and extra en in Beren spelling.

    Bernstien Bears is what I’m sticking with in my twisted reality! =)

  89. Pingback: Time Travails | Rachel Schoenbauer

  90. Ev

    Haha mind = blown. I don’t know how I even came across this discussion but I would swear black and blue that it was BerenstEin – in pronunciation and from visual memory. BerenstAin has never crossed my mind and googling the name has actually freaked me out a bit. I’m 34 and from Sydney.
    Not sure that it matters, but I share none of the other ‘Mandela Effect’ experiences that others have mentioned but I have definitely had a few weird experiences that are commensurate.
    Cheers for sharing everyone.

  91. Scott

    I remembered it as “Berenstein” as well. Found out a couple years ago that was wrong. I knew I was wrong but it was still weird. I have a 2 year old and we got a bunch of books from when I was a kid from my parents this weekend. Sure enough… all said “Berenstain.” Still feels weird but it’s not a big deal to me. My wife always remembered it as “Berenstain” and I trusted her and the internet.

    One of the books is so old that the sister isn’t around yet and the boy is called “small bear” … funny. It doesn’t even say “Berenstain Bears.” It just says “by Stan and Jan Berenstain”

    Funny how our minds change things and we remember things.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author


      I’m glad that, in your case, you’re certain that you remembered it wrong. That’s not what this website is about, but I’m glad it’s the right answer for you.

      When someone has an actual memory of something being different, it would be convenient to believe it’s a false memory, but the person usually knows that’s denial. They’re two very different reactions. One is “isn’t it funny that I misremembered it.” The other is “no, I’m certain it was different from how it is now.”

      Until you run into a memory from an alternate history, the difference may not be clear. Once you do (if you ever do)… it may be a relief to know you’re not alone.

      You found relief by clarifying a mistaken memory, and by relying on your wife and the Internet. That’s a fine outcome to your confusion.

      For the rest of us, the Berenstein/Berenstain issue is fascinating because we know the name is spelled differently in another timestream. It doesn’t have to be a “big deal,” but it is another point supporting the general Mandela Effect concept.


    2. Vivek narain

      Scott,It might not be funny if we forget things,in fact it could be fun if we completely forget some things.Lorenzo Maccone says entropy can certainly decrease if all memory of the event is erased, i bet your wife looks younger than what her age indicates.

  92. Sandy

    I remember it being Berenstein… I specifically remember being unsure if it was pronounced “steen” or “stine”, even as an adult. I have always been an avid reader and a great speller. I have always taken great care to be sure that I’m spelling and pronouncing things correctly… whenever I am unsure of a spelling or pronunciation, I go out of my way to avoid the word rather than risk the embarrassment of being incorrect. I am absolutely certain that if it had been spelled Berenstain, the pronunciation wouldn’t have been an issue for me.

    On a side note – I just saw a post from “Sandi” saying the nearly the same thing about the pronunciation and I’ll admit… it freaked me out just a bit. Have I already posted here in another timeline/parallel universe in which I spell my name with an ‘i’ rather than with a ‘y’? Hahahaha… okay, so I’m just joking about that… sort of. :)

    One more thing that I came across last week… dilemna. I’ve recently learned (within the past week) that I’ve been spelling this word incorrectly, although I have always pronounced it ‘dilemma’. This is extremely odd to me given that when I see the word in my mind and say it to myself in order to spell it correctly, I automatically say it as dilemNa, pronouncing the ‘n’ instead of leaving it silent. I do this with such words as solemn and column, as well. When I see the word dilemna in my mind, I see that ‘n’ as clearly as I do in the other words. Apparently, it is and always has been spelled ‘dilemma’. To be honest, this one freaks me out more than those damn bears! I am not alone in this. I don’t recall whether or not I saw it referenced here, but I’ve read other posts about it. For the record, my husband says he also thought it was dilemNa. And last night, at dinner with some friends, I casually asked them to spell the word. My friend’s boyfriend was the first to answer and he spelled it with the ‘n’!!!!

  93. Halo

    I think we might remember it as Berenstein instead of Berestain bc the artist who sings the intro for their TV show sounded like she said Berestein not Berestain and perhaps everyone picked it up from there

  94. ljj

    It has always been berenstain for me. I still have at least three of the books from my childhood, one of which as printed in 1978 (yes, I was the orignal owner). It is Berenstain. I was not aware this was an actual issue until today!

    1. Vivek narain

      In my collection there are books dating back to 30s editions,and i’m not the original owner of any of them.How many issues of intrigue they contain,i’m just starting to fathom.

  95. Sylvia

    Okay so I was on Twitter and one of my friends posted this link and I’d lie if I said I wasn’t freaking out right now. I was raised in Mexico 25% of my life (5 years) so I didn’t grow up with the books but once I moved back to the US I was introduced to the bears in elementary school. They were a huge hit with everyone including me. I remember reading & pronouncing Berenstein. My peers also said it the same way.

    Now fast forward 10 years. I was in high school and I went to a sleepover at one of my friend’s house. Her little sister was in the living room watching the Berenstain Bears Show and I remember turning to my friend and saying ‘Berenstain? That looks funny. It would’ve been better if it was Berenstein. Right?’ And she looked up and said ‘huh yeah I think so?’ Her sister had a book with her and it said Berenstain.

    What amazes me now is that when I was little I was so sure it was Berenstein. I clearly recall reading it that way. But 10 years later I accept the fact that it’s spelled Berenstain yet still make the connection to Berenstein. I don’t know my mind is exploding right now.

  96. Andrea

    Hi Fiona,

    Well I’m not sure where to start. This may turn out to be a long post.

    This has been messing with my brain since December when I was researching other “conspiracy-type” things and stumbled upon this Berenst*in conundrum. I was someone who knew, just KNEW for a fact that I will find my old books and they will be spelled Berenstein, with an E. Being an avid speller, reader, and a “know it all” when I was a kid, I had no doubt in my mind it would spell it with an E.

    I was FLOORED, literally I think my jaw hit the floor when I saw this “new” spelling. I almost wanted to cry out of confusion, and a little bit of anger. When you’re a kid that ALWAYS (and even now in my 30’s lol) corrects people’s grammar and pronunciation…well…it’s quite crazy.

    Then the research began. I quizzed people, I called libraries and quizzed the poor souls on the other end, I bookmarked forums like this one to keep updated on anything new with the stupid bears. I even posted on some forums, which I never do. Oh, and 95% of the people quizzed knew for SURE it was spelled with an E. The others either didn’t care enough, or they weren’t familiar with them in the first place. I asked all ages and I assume varying reading abilities.

    Some things I’ll point out that make all of this even weirder:

    -There are actually TWO fonts used to spell “The Berenstein/ain Bears”. The A is in block and cursive, most times on the same book cover! How do those that say we “read it wrong” explain that? Clearly, at some point, someone would have noticed. I know I would have. And I would’ve mentioned it a longgggg time ago.

    -I can’t understand why there are people that come to these forums and comment, saying things like:
    we are wrong, kids are stupid, pronunciation errors, or our minds just switched it because of some irrelevant association with similar sounding names. What’s the goal? I don’t go around commenting on things I don’t relate to. Seems suspicious in a way. How? Hmmm who knows. Looks like there’s been a little influx of those types here on your website lately.

    -I posted this elsewhere. I’m just going to copy/paste.
    While trying to research into this I came across several opinions that John Titor is involved in some sort of time travel and possibly changed history in some way. I have no idea how this would tie into our dilemma (dilemna lol)….but check this out:
    Weird huh?

    So what now? LOL Where could we possibly go from here? I think I just really love going further down this rabbit hole. I appreciate your feedback to people and your non condescending tone. You come across very sincere, and I like that. There are people out there with the SAME last name (E). I would love to take a poll and see what all those people think/remember.

    Anyway, thanks for reading my long post…I’ll be back if you respond. :-)



    1. NDE Survivor

      Hi, Andrea. I like your logical idea of finding out what people with the surname of Berenstein remember. Your post reminded me of something I read. On another site (can’t locate my bookmark of it and can’t remember which site it was) someone posted that they had a school teacher with the last name of Berenstein and on the first day of class he would tell his students that he was (paraphrasing from my memory of the post) “Mr. Berenstein…just like the bears.”

      I also like reading about Titor. Many discount him, but I don’t. Welcome to the rabbit hole! Take snacks and leave a bread crumb trail to get out:)

  97. Mike

    Has anyone been able to pinpoint when people started noticing this particular change? For me personally , it was 2012. Brushed it off like so many here, until noticing the last few years how it has steamrolled into a complete mystery. Too many people to just dismiss it. I have yet to find anyone I know remember it as “stain”. I do not tell anyone I know about my theories. Just don’t want to be called nuts.
    I have posted in the major memory links comments section also on MANY other things I remember. I am in my upper 40s, and have noticed many of these memories since the late 80s. Before the internet, it seemed to be mostly famous people. Several I know died once,were Richard Chamberlain, Jim Nabors, Nelson Mandela ( I have the same memories of watching the funeral, as do many) among several others. keep in mind back before the internet, CNN was more or less the only 24/7 news source in the U.S. I watched many of these announcements on TV. I also remember Winnie Mandela becoming president after Nelsons death, and then being caught up in several corruption scandals.

    I guess to shorten this up.I have noticed a pattern for me personally certain years seem to be especially active.85-86,89, 1993,1998-99, 2001, 2005-2015 (especially from 2009- to the present). I have no idea why, as I said,for me personally. 2009, until the present is a blur. Before anyone says I am getting older, I do not think that’s it. Time seems to have sped up exponentially.

    1. NDE Survivor

      I first noticed it in 2010. I was at a trade show and some exhibitors were selling licensed Berenstein products. When I saw it spelled -AIN, I immediately thought someone in the licensing department is going to lose their job for letting that typo through. But then I had a very uneasy feeling about it that something larger was a-kilter. It was very unsettling.

  98. Kaitlyn H

    I’m 22 and very vividly reading them as BerenSTEIN and watching the show which was new at the time as BerenSTEIN…
    Googling “Berenstein” it just auto does it to “BerenSTAIN”. Also doing some light googling on the matter I’ve found this website that shows GameStop titling as “BerenSTEIN” but the box obviously says “BerenSTAIN”? That’s weird, either a worker of GameStop was like “Nah, I’m putting it in how I think it was” or….?

  99. Vivek narain

    There has been a tacit amendment in india to overlook slight spelling mistakes of generic words,but to condone and enforce a mistake of proper noun belongs to the satirical movie era of feudel early 20th century.This is a reality in third world country india,if something similar to encouraging ein in india happens then the school may land in serious press ridicule and reprimand by inspector of schools.

  100. confizaldo

    i can cleary remember the ‘EIN’.. i remember the font exactly.. when i look it up now it just looks wrong. i thought this was a practical joke?? i thought maybe my country had a different edition or version of it..

    1. Di

      I’m with you. It’s driven me bananas for the last few months, since
      I first stumbled across this phenomena. EIN.

  101. Fiona Broome Post author

    That logic is surreal and kind of scary, but it’s not exactly on-topic here as an education issue, per se.

    Nevertheless, it does reveal something akin to a Catch-22 dilemma for Mandela Effect studies: If people’s educations don’t match the reality where their educations take place, we can’t separate people who recall “Berenstein Bears” because that’s what it was, from those who were taught (or allowed to believe) data that isn’t a match for the reality they may always have been in.

    More simply put: When those children grow up, they won’t know if they were just badly taught, or if they actually visited the “Berenstein Bears” reality.

    This topic is weird enough to grasp, without really bad teaching logic making things worse.

    That percent of children might suggest strong evidence in favor of the alternate “Berenstein” timestream being widely visited by people currently in this one. However, if faulty teaching is entered into the equation, things become far more tangled.


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