Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?

Berenstein Bears or Berenstain Bears?Many 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:

Berenstain Bears - not Berenstein?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:
Berenst#in T-shirt

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?


411 thoughts on “Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?”

      1. Adele, thanks for this link! For anyone who clicks to see it, the Berenstein Bears (TV show premiere) listing is in the column showing TV shows at Saturday morning, 7 AM, on channels 4 & 9. And it is spelled “Berenstein Bears.”

        This is especially interesting since those kinds of listings are (and were) generally supplied by the network to the local stations, who then forward them to local newspapers (who copy directly from the originals.)

        1. Ok, I think I understand the link to some of the easter eggs presented in this newspaper, indicated by years having it spelled as Berenstein, but others escape me.

          04/19/1984 The beginning of the change:”Easter Suprise”- season won’t change. In a vortex there is a center where it seems that things are not moving. There are two sides. For instance, one side spins counterclockwise and the other clockwise but both depend on the perception. If one were to take a ball point pen and place the ball portion in the center of their hand and turn it one side would appear to be moving in a clockwise pattern and the other counterclockwise.

          09/19/1985: Michael J Fox- star of Back to the Future

          09/26/1985: Golden Girl Estell Getty (relevance ? ?) actor died due to Lewy body disease which is associated with Parkinson’s (like actor Michael J Fox). Lewy bodies detectable in post mortem brain histology(living dead). She has been in movies and series that I am not familiar with so can not reference at this time.

          Not sure if this date for the newspaper has anything to do with Betty White who is reported to be currently living. She was born in 1922 and Getty in 1923 but Getty seemed to have played the “older” mother type figure in Golden Girls.

          10/03/1985: Don Johnson, Cybill Shepherd, William Russ, Judith Ivey, Jason Robards, and Ava Gardner. Ava Gardner, Cybill Shepherd, and Jason Robards stick out to me but I can not make the link right now. However, it seems that everyone in the picture plays an important role in this easter egg.

          10/09/1986: **Change of Pace** There was a shift in the other direction. Article has caption of Justine Bateman and Roger Wilson. I am not familiar with these actor but Roger Wilson shares similar phenotype to Michael J Fox (his doppleganger?). This year has “BerenSTAIN” in the actual print work but Berenstein in the hidden detail portion at the bottom of the page.

          10/10/1985: Incorrigible- the shift could not be easily changed and print went back to “Berenstein”.

          11/28/1985: BerenSTAIN Bears the Christmas Tree in print, Papa bear chops down tree (tree of knowledge/good& evil?). This is the last date were STEIN is referenced. TV guide has a couple of interesting programs for this date such as Dr Who City of Death, Sudden Impact, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Billy Graham Crusade.

          Anyone else, have some insight regarding this strange occurrence/posting archive by Ponchatoula Times?

          1. Oh yeah, crossword significance “Eli” (El). Puzzle to figure it out. (Not really related but have you watched old films you use to like–stuff is embedded. Alice in Wonderland 1985 people version. Getting a bit tired of researching this type of thing noticing that it has always been around)

          2. Daniel, I’m not sure I follow the connections in these observations, but I definitely commend you for putting in many hours uncovering these quirky details.

            And, I have no idea why I think it might be helpful (if it even is), but the recurrence of Michael J. Fox in your notes reminded me that — when he had to choose a middle initial to join Actors Equity (or perhaps another group, necessary to be in a major production), he selected “J” as a reference to Michael J. Pollard. (A long-time actor who’s been in everything from Star Trek, the original series, to Eerie, Indiana, and a lot more. My favorite was probably his role in The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming.)

            Michael J. Pollard’s bio (see IMdB ) may give you more dots to connect. He was always a useful reference when playing “Six Degrees of…”.

          3. I can’t remember how the Berenstain Bears name was spelt, but after reading these theorys i can say I’ve always pronounced it “stein” or “steen” even my older sister. “Stain” is way off from “stein” or “steen” my sister at least would have caught that and made fun of me for pronouncing it wrong. But we both always said Barenstein. Just three weeks or so ago i helped with a yard sale and i was looking at the kids books their and their were Berenstain Bears books. I read the name and though i was pronouncing it wrong when i was young. But my sister would have made fun of me and my parents were strickt about my pronouncing because i had a lisp. Even my parents said Berenstein, not Berenstain.

        2. Fiona, did you notice the “Golden Girls” premiere was that date also? Seems odd , there are lots of multiple death dates ect. surrounding that cast. 1985 was one of the years I listed. In fact it was when I first started noticing things , and writing them off. Mike H.

      2. Well, it sure is; Saturday morning, 7:00am.

        Is this photo manipulated, I wonder?

      3. I found it! Crazy! I remember it as Berenstein bears too, seems like there’s not much evidence of it now but I distinctly remember it as Berenstein.

      4. Note the entry immediately under it, the description for ‘Never Say Never Again’ has a spelling mistake where they say “terrorist” instead of “terrorists”. User error is a possibility all considered.

      5. I 100% remember them as berenstein bears because, as already mentioned, I always went between st eye n and st ee n when I was a kid and would not have had that issue had it been stain. I vividly remember being at walden books in the mall where I grew up a few years after I outgrew the books and noticing “berenstain” and being upset that they changed the spelling and how stupid “berenSTAIN” sounded. I couldn’t figure out why they did that and I went to get my dad from the back of the store to look at the books. He was also surprised and said someone must have not wanted it to sound jewish and that he thought the name change was bad as well.

        I am calling him tomorrow and asking him and my mom seperately to name “those bear books from when I was a kid” and see what they say.

        This is nuts! I KNOW it was berenstein!!!

        1. Justin Danger — and others — the regular Jewish references amaze me.

          As a genealogist, I know that the difference between “Berenstein” and “Berenstain” is often down to the clerk who wrote the name of the emigrant when compiling each ship’s passenger lists. (In the USA, people often refer to this as the “Ellis Island” spelling. That was one of the most popular American ports of entry in the 19th century. It’s where related passenger lists were filed.)

          More about why spellings vary, that have nothing to do with religion, per se:

          And, if you want to see the wide range of spellings related to the Berenstein surname, see this odd website that seems to help people find relatives in Argentina. The diverse, related spellings is astonishing. (Yes, that’s an odd little site. Let’s not use it as a reason to go off-topic. We’re talking about alternate memories about the Berenstein/Berenstain Bears books, not religion, past political conflicts, etc.)

          Per’s study of the 1920 census ( ), the Berenstein surname was very localized in the U.S. and most Berenstein families’ roots seem to be in Russia, then Sweden. So, while people who recall anti-Semitic sentiments from WWII may want to frame spellings in terms of the Jewish faith, it’d be more logical (or equally illogical) to say “they didn’t want to seem Russian” or “they didn’t want to seem Swedish.”

          The Berenstain spelling shows a very different profile at

          The number of records (not limited to 1920) is in sharp contrast as well: 6,293 records for Berenstein v. 349 for Berenstain.

          So, at least in genealogical records (vital records, census, etc.), the Berenstein spelling has been far more popular in the U.S. That may be a factor in our memories, or it may not.

          Nevertheless, the difference between Berenstein and Berenstain nothing to do with religion. Both are equally Jewish or Christian or Agnostic or whatever spiritual label you choose. If someone changed their surname from Berenstain to Berenstein, the most likely reason was to make life simpler, and not have to keep correcting teachers, clerks, etc., who defaulted to the more popular Berenstein spelling.

          This is important: I’m not disputing what a parent or grandparent (or other person) said to explain the apparent spelling change. I’m just trying to reduce the faith-related comments (many that I cannot approve, even if they weren’t deliberately inflammatory), and comments suggesting the authors’ names and books’ titles were changed.

          I think we’ve established that the books weren’t changed, and this isn’t a conspiracy to confuse people who grew up with the Berenstein Bears books.

          It’s something else, and it seems to be be related to the Mandela Effect.

          I’d love to find another reason why so many people remember the Berenstein Bears, like a massive distribution of imported counterfeit books that used the wrong spelling.

          So far, that hasn’t emerged.

          Fiona Broome

      6. Thank you for this! The topic intrigues me. I clearly remember the name of the book being spelled Berenstein. But I question everything so much, that I would seriously second guess my own memory, when all available evidence points in the opposite direction. I know a lot of people who remember it as I do. This might not prove anything, but just having it in writing somewhere means something. Now I just gotta figure out what that is…

    1. Ok I have to weigh in here…it was absolutely (100% Certainty) spelled Beren-s-t-e-i-n. No question. I was not only a spelling Nerd. I was in the National Spelling Bee every single year. Made it to finals without studying. Also only missed 1 question on the SAT in the verbal section. I got a 710. I have always tested in the top 1 – 3 % of the population. By the time I had graduated 4th grade I had read nearly EVERY classic novel (not kids books) in existence. I have a photographic memory when it comes to words. Something strange went on here… wow….

    2. Go to 80s cartoons and it changes, April 7th 2001, its stein and if you click forward it all changes. Weird…

      1. So weird that you mentioned 2001. My little sister started kindergarten that year. She got all my old hand me down books. Including the Berenstein Bears. After a few weeks of her getting into the lot of books i gave her i asked her what her favorites were. She said a few names of books that i don’t remember but then she said something that caused us to fight.. she said the BerenSTAIN Bears! And she said it like that, over pronouncing the end and in a loud tone of voice. I tried to correct her saying no, its BerenSTEIN and she would have none of it. I remember showing her the book covers too trying to get her to sound out the name. She kept saying Stain.

          1. Well, yes, anyone can Photoshop a picture to change the titles. I’ve seen several photos like this, each displaying “Berenstein” Bear books.

            What hasn’t happened so far is someone actually coming forward with a copy of any book that can be confirmed as an original with the Berenstein title. Surely the publisher/s would have leaped on this PR opportunity, if they could join the fray.

            I’m not saying all the Berenstein Bears book photos are fake, but — due to Photoshop, GIMP, etc. — a photo isn’t proof of anything.

          2. Someone forgot to photoshop one. “PET SHOW” at the end has the A still. However left side shows an E. This makes the photo an utter fake to me.

            1. Good catch, JKO. I have so little patience with these fake photos, I don’t scrutinize them as carefully as I should. I see uneven pixelation, uneven coloring or text, and — in general — preposterous claims with no real-life support, so I sigh and close that open tab.

    3. When I was a child I had a ton of these books and watched the cartoon series that they had. I vividly remember that cursive title always saying “The Berenstein Bears.” Without a doubt. In fact, my father, who is an English major and writer, used to read the books to me every night and he pronounced it “Berenstein.” I tend to believe him. He’s a freak about grammar and pronunciation.

      I, like a few others have mentioned, do remember a few years back seeing a ‘newer’ series of books and TV series where it was spelled “Bernstain” and thinking “hmm, that’s strange. They changed the name. It used to be Berenstein when I was a kid.” But didn’t give it much thought. It wouldn’t be unusual for them to change the name all of the sudden. However, the theory that it was never Berenstein to begin with creeps me out majorly.

      This isn’t a coincidence that this many people ALL remember it being spelled with an “E”. I have a great memory. I pride myself on that. I remember a lot of things from my childhood and The Berenstein Bears is one of them without a shadow of a doubt for me.

    4. i remember it as Berenstein Bears! i remember because when i was younger i would always pronounce it Bare-en-Stine…..the hell is going on here

    5. I am 43 years old and clearly remember the Berenstein Bear family very well from my own childhood. My boys, ages 18, 14, and 10 also remember them as the Berenstein Bears. Now, it was spelled Berenstein, but I (and everyone else I knew) either pronounced it Berenstain — Long A sound at the end, or Berenstine–long I sound for the last syllable. Like Albert Einstein. Never, ever, have I seen the “ai” spelling, and have never heard it pronounced with the long “E” sound. I don’t know what is going on, but it’s weirding me out.
      All my boys agreed with me; then we pulled out the old books. Oddly enough, they said BerenSTAIN!!!!!!!!! I am dumbfounded right now.

      1. I was born in 95 and remember it always being ei. We all must shift realities at different times?

    6. Ok, we first need to find out the difference in recognition to find out where the time split, I imagine some (older people) will think Bernst’a’in is the correct spelling, then we need to keep whittling it down till certain ages remember it as such. Then we will know which time is “our real timeline”. Perhaps someday we can slip over to our “original” timeline. Does that make sense?

      1. Kyle, that’s a good idea to test! However, I’m not sure ages will be easy to poll. There could be steep challenges reaching enough credible older people, and literacy is a factor at any age.

        At the moment, the comments level is approaching a point where I can write a few new articles… if this lull continues into the upcoming week, that is. I’ll do my best to launch a poll relating age & Berenst_in spellings.

      2. I am 59 years old, I have a 27 year old daughter and a 31 yo son in law. I bought the books for my daughter in the 90’s and we both unequivocally recall them as “BerenstEin Bears”. However, my son-in-law swears they have always been “BerenstAin”. At this point, I don’t know what to think.

    7. Ok I remember it being berenstein but I also remember when it changed to berenstain I was in like 1st or 2nd grade I’m 22 now and I vividly remember reading the cover of the book and seeing that the “E” was now an “A” true story I didn’t say anything about it then because I just thought I couldn’t read cursive writing that well when I was younger cause as most of you should know is that the titles on those books were in cursive writing.

    8. This makes no sense. I know it’s Berenstein Bears, NOT Berenstain! I told my mom and she’s just like: Oh it’s just how people pronounce it sweetie… Your probably just watching some weird videos. Really mom? However my dad does recall that it was Berenstein.

  1. 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. 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.

      1. My mom checked my books from the 70s and she says it’s “Berenstain”. I still remember “ei”. It was always pronounced “Steen” even in the cartoons I remember. This is a total mind f*ck!

      2. I went through my books, they are all “stain” but I was 100% sure it was “stein”.

      3. No you wont I already have and it was stain creeped me out cuz the one where the bear sneaks out of bed was my favorite went to moms attic dug out the book myself its been there 20 years wtf why do we remember stein

        1. We remember it being berenstein because back when we were younger we didn’t pronounce all syllables like im sure you said it like (bern-steen bears) back then every one did those books are ancient we read them in kindergarten back when syllables didn’t matter now we are older and pronouncing our syllables mind freaking ourselves

      4. S, you’ve probably hit the nail on the head,if it were berenstein and people remembered it as berenstain,the topic could have been a genuine mandela effect.Berenstain sounds silly,how true ! ,you’ve expressed the fact in a most truthful manner.

  2. 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. 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. Amber,

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

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

  8. 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. 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. Ok, there has to be some kind of mistake because it’s definitely Berenstein Bears. I used to watch the cartoon as a kid.There was an E there. I even had a book, I’m going to try to look through my old stuff and find it.

  11. 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.

  12. 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….

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

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

      Because that’d be very curious.

      1. 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. 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.

          1. Ok. So my friend sent me a picture of her book. It is now an A. I don’t know what this means…

  16. Pingback: Did You Know There’s A Term For When You're Totally Positive Something Happened Even Though It Didn't?
  17. 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.

  18. Pingback: Did You Know There’s A Term For When You’re Totally Positive Something Happened Even Though It Didn’t? |
  19. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    1. Thank you for the way you described your own experience. I can relate in a couple ways:
      – Berenstein is a very personal thing for me, and I haven’t been able to let the topic go since learning about the alternate spelling. My Mom had an in home daycare all growing up, and I was the youngest of 5 kids- we had every Berenstein book, every McDonalds Berenstein Bears character (I especially loved Mama Bear’s blue dress and hat 😀 ). I practiced my handwriting by tracing the Berenstein Bears title on the books over and over and over again, for a couple years at least.

      If we are finding similarities or differences of those sharing the memory of one spelling vs the other:
      – I was born on the west coast US, 1982
      – I was a CRAZY sleepwalker until about 13/14- dangerously so. Slept walked out of hotel room when I was 10, woke up next to the road, another time woke up outside in the hot tub (scary for parents of a little girl no doubt).
      – I have had NUMEROUS, actual dreams which play out in real life later exactly as I dreamt it (not a déjà vu feeling, but a good ol’ night time dream). These are almost never important, only last for a few moments, but I’ve kept dream journals for years for this reason- to prove to myself I did actually dream it, don’t just have a feeling “I’ve seen this before”. I’ll be in a scene, and laugh to myself remembering waking up, going “what the heck did I dream I was in my parents room for? Why was it darer in there, I was wearing my moms purple slippers… Weird”. Then 6 months later, I find myself freezing in real life, as I’m putting some purple slippers on in my parents room while house sitting for them. It was exactly the same as the completely inconsequential dream I had, which I had no idea WHY I dreamt about it at the time (when I dreamt it, I’d never seen that scene before, and my mom didn’t have those slippers….)
      I SO BADLY want to know why and how this happens. What purpose does it serve….why does it happen. I’m wondering if it’s like a skill or muscle I can somehow train… Anyone’s else’s thoughts on this are most welcome.
      – (I’ve heard a few people wondering if there was a shift in 2007, so here’s my 2 cents): Right around 2007 I fell completely out of love with my husband I’d been with for 7 years, since high school. This was an IMMENSE blessing for me- to wake up and one day realize not only do I need to get myself and my children away from this person, but I CAN. It was a total mental shift I needed to make, and has completely changed all of our lives for the better. (Hard to pinpoint the exact date there, TBH.). The reason I note this is because it really was like a switch flipped in my brain, or I got a chip in my brain I’d desperately needed (more like I woke up, really).

      Other memories I have different from the current version:
      – chartreuse is reddish purple.
      – Jiffy peanut butter
      – Sex IN the city. “And the” sounds ridiculous to me. I watched those shows with my sisters, the focus was always about them being IN New York City.
      – same with Interview with A Vampire. I get really annoyed when I see reruns listed on TV of Interview with THE Vampire, as I’m sure many of you do when seeing something inconsistent with “what it should be”.
      – Gordon’s fish sticks, not Gorton’s.
      – “Nobody does it like Sara Lee” is correct for me.
      – greatful, not grateful
      – dilemna not dilemma

      Thanks for the terrific site here. I’m relatively new to many of the theories floating around- it’s a good opportunity to practice the lesson my Dad drilled in to me, “have a mind open to everything, but attached to nothing”.

      1. Wow I remember it was Gordens jiffy nobody does it like Sara Lee greatfull not gratefull and togather not together brenenstien Bears and both twins played togather in full house TV show, I am convinced time has been altered.

        1. I agree with you on these, but the Sara Lee one never crossed my mind until you mentioned. It’s always been ” nobody does it like Sara Lee”. I found message boards going back to 2002 on this one of people wondering when it was changed. Fiona if I missed this somewhere else here, I apologize. But I think this might be a worthy addition to the major memories. Mike

        2. There were blonde twin boys that were uncle Jesse’s . Could that be what your thinking of?

      2. I remember most of those being that way as well! I distinctly remember the scene in coraline when mother is trying to get her to have button eyes she’s like “pink” and her buttons flash pink “vermillion” and the dads buttons flash bright orange and next she says chartreuse and I guarantee the eyes flash a pretty reddish purple color, I know specifically it was that because it(was) my favorite color. However I just watched that bit and the buttons flash a greeny yellow color instead.

      3. I am so weirded out right now. I too clearly remember “interview with A vampire” and “sex IN the city”. I googled both just now and was shocked to find they are as you say!!!! (with a THE, and AND instead) Just so crazy. Wow.

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

    1. OMG! I remember that too! I remember the news having segments about it. He died of some illness.

  27. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    1. The Berenstain Bears Nursery Tales, 1973 is the first book to use Berenstain Bears from what i can tell

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

    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??

    1. EXCELLENT POINT, Shyla….how do we enter new timelines if there’s already one of us in each one? We couldn’t just ‘appear’ in a new timeline since we’d have no friends, family, memories, etc… so what happens to the ‘me’ we must ‘re[place?’

  41. 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. Erika,

      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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

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