Mirror, Mirror, and Mandela Effect Research

The topic of Snow White and “mirror, mirror” keeps resurfacing. It’s a good example of our dilemma when analyzing Mandela Effect memories.

This alternate memory relates to the Grimm brothers’ fairy tale, and later movies and TV shows.

(Important: For discussions related to potential paranormal/quantum qualities of real-life mirrors, see Alice, Mirrors, and the Mandela Effect.)

The key Snow White phrase is usually translated as “mirror, mirror” or “looking-glass, looking-glass.”

“Mirror, mirror” is what most people remember the Queen saying in the 1937 Disney movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In fact, IMDb describes the Disney film as “by far most memorable full-length animated feature from the Disney Studios.”

One would think that “memorable” movie produced reliable, consistent memories, including the famous “Mirror, mirror” line.

However, the Queen in that movie actually said, “Magic mirror on the wall.”

Is that an example of the Mandela Effect? Possibly.

Our dilemma is rooted in the history of Snow White.

The original Brothers Grimm story

Mirror, mirror - Mandela Effect question
An illustration from page 21 of Mjallhvít (Snow White) an 1852 Icelandic translation of the Grimm-version fairytale.

The original story was called “Schneewittchen,” which translates to “Snow White.” (Schnee = Snow, and Wittchen = White.)

And, if you focus on the German, not the English translation, the Queen addresses the mirror as “Spieglein, Spieglein,” which Google translates as “Mirror, Mirror.”

That’s followed by “Wer ist die Schönste im ganzen Land?” translated as “Who is fairest of us all?”

So far, so good.

Later translation issues

However, later versions of the Snow White story translated the story as Snowdrop by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm. Here’s the most popular opening:

IT was the middle of winter, and the snowflakes were falling from the sky like feathers. Now, a Queen sat sewing at a window framed in black ebony, and as she sewed she looked out upon the snow. Suddenly she pricked her finger and three drops of blood fell on to the snow. And the red looked so lovely on the white that she thought to herself: ‘If only I had a child as white as snow and as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window frame!’ Soon after, she had a daughter, whose hair was black as ebony, while her cheeks were red as blood, and her skin as white as snow; so she was called Snowdrop. But when the child was born the Queen died. A year after the King took another wife. She was a handsome woman, but proud and overbearing, and could not endure that any one should surpass her in beauty. She had a magic looking-glass, and when she stood before it and looked at herself she used to say:

‘Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who is fairest of us all?’

then the Glass answered,‘Queen, thou’rt fairest of them all.’

At least the “Mirror, Mirror” phrase remained true to the Grimm version.

The same “Mirror, mirror” phrase appeared in The Red Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang, but with a different additional line:

After a year the King married again. His new wife was a beautiful woman, but so proud and overbearing that she couldn’t stand any rival to her beauty. She possessed a magic mirror, and when she used to stand before it gazing at her own reflection and ask:

     'Mirror, mirror, hanging there,
     Who in all the land's most fair?'

(Some other translations change the phrase entirely to lines such as “’Tell me, glass, tell me true!
Of all the ladies in the land, Who is fairest, tell me, who?’ I don’t think they’re relevant to this discussion, but they must be mentioned.)

So, regardless of the lines that followed, most related fairy tales seemed to say “Mirror, Mirror.”

For over 100 years — through the mid-20th century — that was the phrase people associated with Snow White.

Disney’s “Snow White” – the same or different?

Certainly, the Disney movie was adapted from the Grimm brothers’ tale.

The oft-quoted line in the movie is remembered as: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

However, in this reality the Disney movie’s Queen has always said “Magic mirror.”

It’s easy to find “mirror, mirror” references in pop culture. Recent examples include everything from Star Trek to the 2012 movie starring Julia Roberts, and beyond.

The problem is: That phrase originated with the fairy tale published and popularized in the 19th century. We can’t draw a straight line from Star Trek (and more modern productions) to the Disney film, and leave it there. We must go back to earlier “mirror, mirror” references.

That’s the same problem we encounter with many Mandela Effect memories: Since our memories happened in another reality, I’m not sure we’ll find good, credible supporting evidence in this reality.

Like others, my memory of the Disney film is “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall…,” but that’s anecdotal. Also like others, I can’t support it with anything except others’ anecdotes.

In my opinion, that’s not only a problem; it’s stalled our research.

Evidence, anecdotes, and Mandela Effect reports

For many — perhaps most — of our alternate memories, almost all of our “evidence” is anecdotal.

Thanks to five years of reader input — and thousands of great anecdotes and theories — we can see that something is going on.

  • I don’t believe anyone is tampering with history. (Media errors, bias, and propaganda exist. They’re not part of the Mandela Effect.)
  • In fact, I believe people’s memories are more reliable than society suggests.

In my opinion, many — perhaps most — of those alternate events happened… just not in this reality.

  • We may be sliding from one reality to another.
  • We may be in a holodeck, or have “forgotten” holodeck memories.
  • And, other explanations may emerge.

I also believe that the Snow White conundrum is an example of why we now need to look for patterns. For example: we need to examine when and where “slides” may have happened. We need to study hard data points to see what emerges.

Maybe the patterns will relate to CERN activity; it’s too early to leap to that conclusion.

Several explanations will likely dominate, but I’m reluctant to insist there is just one explanation for all alternate memories.

I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes stories.

We need more data. That’s why I’m shifting the focus of our conversations.

Let’s share specific information in comments, including dates, geographic locations, and markers.

In addition, when new alternate memories are added to our discussions, I’d like to see credible links so interested readers can research those topics, too.

Personal insights are often useful. I don’t want to eliminate them, but — in the future — they can’t continue as the main focus of this site.

As of December 2015, we have a significant database of general anecdotes — approximately 10,000 comments. They’re a great foundation for our research.

Next, let’s use them to connect the dots, or “follow the breadcrumbs,” to use a Grimm reference.

The most promising breadcrumbs seem to be dates, locations, and markers. Along with scientific theories and related historical references, they’re our new focus for the start of 2016.

Let’s see where this leads us.

19 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror, and Mandela Effect Research”

  1. Hey everyone,
    I’d be more than happy to add my data, but a couple of my memories are pretty old, so I dont remember the exact dates.

    2000ish in SoCal:
    My fist son was born in 94, and I first noticed the Bearenstein/Bearenstain ME while buying him books. I had assumed the name was changed for an unknown reason.

    2003 Summer in SoCal:
    I was having a conversation with a friend regarding old actors from the Sid and Marty Kroft T.V. shows as a kid. While discussing Jim Nabors we made a bet regarding how he died. I clearly remember Jim Nabors passing from AIDS. I lost the bet when my friend proved Jim Nabors had died from cancer. I need to get that dinner back since Jim Nabors is no longer dead!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Nabors

    Octoberish 2014:
    I ran across a video regarding the Bearenstein/Bearenstain ME. It made no mention of ME, so even though I thought it was interesting, I didnt get actively involved in investigating.

    August 2015:
    Watched a video of top 10 ME’s with my wife discussed which ME’s we shared. I decided I would start actively researching ME.

    These are the major ones that got me started.

  2. I’ve been lurking at this website since some time in 2014. Most MEs I’ve experienced were originally pointed out to me here: Charles Shultz, Lindbergh baby never found, Reba McIntyre, Jiffy Peanut Butter, Fruit Loops, Mirror Mirror, Looney Toons. Each time I’ve come upon one of these glitches I’ve been absolutely stunned to find out that, in this reality, I’ve simply got it wrong.

    The few MEs I’ve experienced outside this site:

    1. Mid April 2015 – While standing in line at the grocery store, I noticed that the front page of one of the gossip mags reported that Kate Middleton had finally given birth to a girl. Past tense. I clearly remember thinking, “I didn’t know she’d had her baby yet.” A few weeks later, in early May, she had Charlotte.

    2. Sometime in fall of 2014 (possibly a bit earlier) – ran into a video on youtube about the Berenst*in Bears phenomenon. Fascinated me as I had never even heard of the Stain spelling and it looked wrong. Eventually found this website as a result of interest in the phenomenon of alternate memories shared by large numbers of people.

    3. While this is not an ME, I feel that it is a related marker of some sort. I visited my sister in July 2015 and brought up the subject of the Mandela Effect. Big mistake. I immediately got attacked for stupidity and gullibility. My attempts to explain myself just made it worse. While I would describe my sister as an atheist and a scientific materialist, she is much more open about other paranormal phenomenon such as ghosts and even aliens. OK, yes, there were definitely some family of origin triggers going on, but I was stunned by the vehemence of her objections, more than the objections themselves. Later I Googled ME, only to see that Wikipedia basically directs you to conflation, faulty memory, and the like (with a rather snarky tone IMO.)

    I admit to being a bit of a skeptic about the ME – sometimes I think all of us are just experiencing memory glitches, and other times I feel there is more than meets the eye. However, I have never felt angry, attacking, condescending, or unwilling to listen or read these kind of experiences. Whatever their cause, I find them fascinating. However, there currently appears to be a backlash against the parallel worlds explanation for these “glitches in the matrix.” I’d be interested to hear others perception of this – perhaps it’s a subject for another thread.

    1. Hi Carol. I have to jump in here and vehemently agree with #3. I have been flabbergasted by the intense backlash I get when I bring this subject up. My sisters… forget it. They won’t listen to me about it for a second. Not one. They have the oddest reaction to it all, in my opinion. My husband is teetering on the edge with this stuff, but lately, he has closed himself off. Completely. I get this look of “hurry up, this is complete nonsense”. It’s really weird, their behavior. This is just an idea, something many of us are feeling and talking about. Why is it so threatening to them?!!

      1. Cindy, we live in a society where we’ve been taught that science can explain everything; and if science can’t explain it, then it must not be real, or people must be hallucinating. When presented with evidence that reality isn’t quite what they think it is, most people are going to react by denying everything. The notion of multiple, overlapping realities that bleed into one another isn’t something they can place on a table and examine, so it’s too absurd to comprehend.

        1. Vivienne and Cindy, the good news is: Quantum studies are giving science a way to explain multiple, overlapping realities. New insights are appearing in research, almost daily. (The biggest problem is convincing people — who were educated with old and limited science texts — that this isn’t pseudo-science. Prof Brian Cox and Dr. Fred Alan Wolf are just two high-profile scientists talking to the public about this in more understandable, accessible ways.)

  3. A postscript to my previous post: Fiona asked us to share dates, experiences and geographic locations. Forgot the locations. All ME experiences I’ve had (vast majority at this website, as I encounter yet another glitch in the matrix) have happened at Latitude: 41.083695 | Longitude: -73.436365. The strange argument with my sister described above, for what it’s worth, happened at Latitude: 39.934797 | Longitude: -75.148396.

    1. And the strange argument I had with my sister(s) occurred at: Latitude 36.037370, Longitude -86.898669

  4. Invariably we have 1 alternate memory for any of the various issues,that makes for ‘quid pro quo’ a fait accompli.What has stalled or rather stagnated ME is ironically the very premise that has made the subject a byword in cyber world,that of shared alternate memory,inertia is bound to happen when things settle down.Unless we make a paradigm shift into fluid realities,realities that might be shifting in moments,we will be gloating over doing post mortems of newly discovered fossils.

    1. Well said, Vivek. Hence, my interest in taking research in a more data-based direction, with the hope that analysis will reveal patterns, and — fingers crossed — those patterns could provide predictability.

  5. “…including dates, geographic locations, and markers.” This is a fantastic idea. I will keep my ear to the ground on this and make sure I comment on here when a moment isn’t right, or when I realize something changed. This is how we will figure this out. I believe the changes are fluid, and occur with time. If we can capture the time we all notice something change, we will have more to go on.

    1. Thanks, Dan! You’re right. And, if we can establish patterns, we may be able to predict when a larger number of people will notice a change, or even a “slide.”

  6. The 1933 ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ movie was re-released several times to movie theatres
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_White_and_the_Seven_Dwarfs_%281933_film%29 I know,
    Wikipedia is not the most reliable source). I saw this movie when I was 10, in 1967, at the
    Century Theatre (longitude 43.7000 N latitude 79.4000 W). In the theatre, I heard the Queen say
    “Mirror, mirror” in the first half of the movie, and “Magic mirror” in the second half of the
    movie. The Queen was very angry in the second half of the movie and her tone was sarcastic; she
    took a long time to say the word “ma-a-agic”. This matches the original story plotline as
    described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_White#Plot

    I am certain of my memory because:
    – I was learning French at school, that was required for a family vacation to Expo 67
    (http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/expo-67/ and video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gRTF0jhsq8), and I paid close attention to words, pronounciations and meanings in both English and French
    – until that point, the only “Snow White” story I knew was ‘Snow White and Rose Red’ so the story
    line in the movie caught me offguard and drew me in
    – due to the religion in which I was raised, my grandmother would have required permission from
    a church leader to take me to a movie (such permission was almost never granted) and as she did
    not believe in my parents’ religion, she took me without ever seeking permission
    – I never told my parents that I saw this movie.

    Copies of the lobby posters from the 1967 re-release here: http://ca.movieposter.com/poster/MPW-83962/Snow_White_and_the_Seven_Dwarfs.html
    and here: http://ca.movieposter.com/poster/MPW-82975/Snow_White_and_the_Seven_Dwarfs.html
    I am certain the year I saw this was 1967 because that was the same year I had to visit Expo 67
    in Montreal and the year we could not visit our family in Detroit due to the riots
    (http://time.com/3638378/detroit-burning-photos-from-the-12th-street-riot-1967/).

    And when I went back today to re-read this before posting online (as I generally do), the link is
    now https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_White_and_the_Seven_Dwarfs_%281937_film%29 because, today,
    the movie was first issued in 1937 (see also http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029583/releaseinfo) — as you clearly state in the intro to this section, Fiona. How odd that on December 22, 2015, at longitude 42.2833 N, latitude 83.0000 W, I read the intro and the entry at Wikipedia as saying 1933.

    1. One of my earliest memories, and my first memory of going to a movie theatre, was a Snow White re-release. One of the Snow White re-releases was in 1983 (July, to be exact), and this does line up with when my memory of seeing the movie in the theatre would have had to happen. The number of times it was re-released kind of makes me wonder if there is an additional connection to ME aside from the changing “mirror, mirror” line. I would wager that an unlikely number of people in the United States *also* saw Snow White in the movie theatre as their first movie (or their first memory of seeing a movie in theatre). I remember it being a big deal to my mom, to take me to see a movie was also her first. It almost seems like a touch point of some type.

      Your memory of the original release changing according to Wikipedia does seem odd in light of everything else surrounding the movie. And a Betty Boop Snow White looks nothing like a Disney Snow White (I checked), so I’m not ready to dismiss it right off the bat as “you got this confused with another film”. They aren’t readily confusible.

  7. Fiona, that is a fabulous bit of research on the origin of “Mirror Mirror” from the original Grimm stories. Extra plaudits for going all the way back to the original German language sources. I can accept that the inspiration for Star Trek’s “Mirror Mirror” episode *could* have come from the Grimm story rather than from the film Snow White – I wish we knew what line screenwriter Jerome Bixby remembered from them film, but unfortunately he died in ’98. I do know that my own memory of the line is from the film, because I have never read the story.

  8. Sometimes i wish that i was convinced enough to say,’this is for real’, and that alternate reality was sitting on our fat laps,but then i am not Mark Girland.

  9. Not just the mirror/mirror but the the blood in the snow have their origins in the original “Holy Grail” stories. The first Holy Grail story was by Cretien de Troyes, but he died before he finished writing. The second (and original, since it was the first to be finished) was by Wofram von Eschenbach. The collective memory of the original Grail stories is false. The current collective memory is reflected on Wikipedia (see articles on the Holy Grail, Parcival, Parzival, Fisher King, etc). Wikipedia cites de Troyes and Eschenbach, relating what they supposedly wrote. After reading the Wikipedia entries, go back and read the original texts by de Troyes and Eschebach. Totally different from what is written on Wikipedia, and what is generally known to be the Holy Grail story.

    The Holy Grail (which wasn’t “Holy” in the original stories, it was just “the Gral”) is a big part of our collective consciousness/memory, and it is the answer that you are seeking. You are, in effect, seeking the Gral. To have it, you need to ask the right question. Which is: Mirror, mirror on the wall….

  10. Just wanted to mention if not already noted the “Mirror, Mirror” reference is in the movie ‘In Dreams’ multiple times (not Magic Mirror)

  11. Hi, im new here and my english is not the best. Im not sure if this coment would go here because is about the “Mirror Mirror” menory, i was so sure that the movie said “mirror mirror” because i have always seen it in spanish and i can remember me and my sister playing and saying “espejito espejito” (mirror mirror in spanish). I searched the clip from the movie and it says something like ” wise mirror consuelor” (sabio espejo consejero) and is weir, because i dont remember ir being like that, but the book se read with my sister does say “mirror mirror” so, that may be why i remember it like that, but i im like way todo sure todo tell you that i remember the evil queen from disney saying it… But she dosnt. And bits sooo weird…
    And by the way, un the new movie, Decendants from disney channel, the evil queen’s daugther says “mirror mirror” (there is even a song, is called “im rotten to the core” and in her part she clearly says “mirror mirror con the wall who is the badest of them all”). This make’s me think that maybe even the people from disney it self remember it saying “mirror miror”

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