Fiona Broome is fascinated by history, and intrigued by unexplained phenomena in everyday life. (You can learn more at her author blog, FionaBroome.com.)
In 2009, she stumbled onto the Mandela Effect in a private conversation at Dragon Con in the guest speakers’ lounge (aka “the green room”).
That’s when and where the phrase started.
Then she went home and started this website, to see who else — besides her — remembered the three-day media coverage of Nelson Mandela’s funeral when he was still in prison.
Fiona was looking for an explanation for what she clearly remembered seeing on the TV. Maybe others had been similarly confused, and found a simple answer.
That’s not what happened next.
After ruling out some possibilities, like media coverage of Steven Biko‘s death, conversations at this website took a sudden turn. More alternate memories emerged, leading to even more questions.
Then, and for several years that followed, moderating this website became a nearly full-time job, with no income.
(No, Fiona wasn’t paid for use of her name or likeness, or use of the phrase “Mandela Effect” in books, movies, TV shows, conferences, and so on. Back then, she didn’t run ads on this site, either.)
Fiona was an annual guest speaker at Dragon Con because she’s been researching — and writing about — paranormal phenomena (mostly: haunted places) since the early 1980s. (Yes, really. Over 40 years.)
In the 1990s, her website, HollowHill.com, was one of the first reliable, online resources for ghost hunters. It includes how-to information for skeptics and believers. (Fiona believes in ghostly phenomena, but — in terms of actual ghosts — leans slightly towards the skeptic side of the debate.)
As a researcher, author, and journalist, Ms. Broome has written over a million words for books, magazines, and websites, mostly about eerie and haunted sites, and how to explore them.
She’s been a celebrity guest at events such as Dragon Con, the New England Ghost Conference, GhoStock, Central Texas Paranormal Conference, and Canada’s annual G.H.O.S.T.S. conferences.
Today, Fiona still isn’t sure why — like many other people — she clearly recalls Nelson Mandela’s funeral on the TV, back in the late 20th century.
Maybe that was conflation.
But — as a third-generation civil rights advocate — she’s glad Mr. Mandela lived far longer, became South Africa’s first democratically elected President, and brought many important changes into our world.
If you’d like to read ALL the original comments by visitors to this site — people sharing THEIR Mandela Effect stories — they’re FREE to read in Kindle Unlimited. The 15-book series starts here: