This was – and still is – the original Mandela Effect website. It’s now hosted at WordPress.com.
For the past couple of years, due to extreme popularity, this website has been crashing regularly. Sometimes, it’s crashed as many as 7,000 times a day. (I’m not kidding, though I wish I was.)
So, I’ve taken three big steps to keep this information online.
- The first was to reduce the size (bandwidth) of the site, so it crashes less often.
- The second was to start a (very big) project to move the articles – and, even more important, over ten thousand comments by readers – to books. (You can read them free in Kindle Unlimited, or borrow them through public libraries that loan ebooks.)
- And then, I moved the site to WordPress.com hosting, as they’re the best equipped for the traffic this site attracts.
If you’re looking for the first-person reports by readers, you can find over 4,000 comments (so far) – from this site’s original Major Memories pages – in my books at Amazon.
Start with Major Memories – Book 1. (Those books are far easier to read than spending hours scrolling through a website… and losing your place if you take a break.)
I’ve also published the theories offered by readers, including scientists familiar with possible/credible explanations, in The Mandela Effect – Theories and Explanations.
Those books are FREE to read in Kindle Unlimited. More books will follow, as time permits.
Fiona Broome (that’s me) began this website in 2009, after a related conversation in Dragon Con’s green room with Shadowe (Dragon Con’s security manager) and a few other celebrity guests.
Our original conversations were in that grey area between speculation and sci-fi. It was fun. We were talking in “what if…?” terms.
Then, new comments cast the Mandela Effect in a slightly different light. The subject became more serious.
From there, the topic has taken on a life of its own. You’ll find it discussed at Reddit, YouTube, on TV and radio shows, and across the Internet.
Do I take all of these conversations seriously…? Of course not.
Some are whimsical.
Others are are odd, and I try to be sensitive to people’s concerns about their memories. That’s especially true when people are worried or feel anxious or vulnerable.
Mandela Effect website timeline
2009: Encouraged by one of my book editors, I started this website. A few people commented. Others emailed me with their insights. Most of the conversations were light, and related to sci-fi concepts and unusual memories.
2010 – 2014: People began reporting memories other than Nelson Mandela’s death in the 20th century. Visitors shared anecdotes and informal theories. Generally, we didn’t take ourselves too seriously.
2015: This topic abruptly reached critical mass. The Berenstein/Berenstain subject went viral, followed by other widespread alternate memories.
Visitors were astonished to learn about others’ memories with remarkably similar details and points of reference by multiple, unconnected people.
However, a few trolls and spammers joined the discussions. I usually deleted their comments. (Sometimes I replied, making it clear I was not amused by their efforts.) I’m sure some “fake” comments are still on this site. That was inevitable, once the topic began to trend.
2016: In April 2016, this topic seemed to explode. By mid-2016, moderating comments required six or more hours per day. I didn’t have that kind of free time. (I still don’t.) So, I closed this site to new comments, except for immediate replies to the very newest articles.
Since then, Mandela Effect discussions have been in the wild.
2019: As the Mandela Effect increases in popularity – and website traffic crashed the site, daily – I began putting the most important information into books.
First, it’s going into ebooks that people can read – free – in Kindle Unlimited. Then, I’m publishing paperback books for people who – like me – prefer printed books. (Also, libraries can stock the book for patrons, so even more people have access to this information.)
2020: With increasing traffic and hosting issues, I scaled down the sites of the site. That reduced bandwidth while still giving visitors some insights into how these conversations started.
And then, I moved the site to WordPress.com, which seemed the best way to keep this site online, despite continuing traffic spikes.
Also, I changed the aesthetic to fit the context of our 2009 conversations. At Dragon*Con, that year had included more Steampunk-themed panels – and guests – than in previous years. I’m hoping the illustrations on this site help people understand the light, “what if…?” tone of our earliest discussions, online and offline.
And, I’m continuing to publish books to share the insights and information that started conversations about alternate memories, what people remember, and the many fascinating explanations – from whimsical to science-based – that intrigue us.
I believe there are a wealth of unanswered questions about the Mandela Effect.
Where this started
Many years ago, I was one of the people who coined the phrase “Mandela Effect” during a fun, slighly frivolous conversation in Dragon Con‘s “green room.”
(“Shadowe,” a Dragon Con security manager, was also part of the conversation. I have no idea which of us started using the phrase, first. And, it’s possible that my husband came up with the phrase.)
As an aside, Shadowe mentioned that — like me — other people remembered Nelson Mandela’s tragic death in a South African prison, years earlier. (In this reality, Mandela died in 2013.)
Suddenly, several others in the green room joined the conversation. It was a fascinating discussion that spun into weird and hilarious tangents.
After I returned home, one of my book editors encouraged me to start a website about the Mandela Effect, to measure public interest in it.
Within a couple of years, this topic had turned into something much bigger. I’m still astonished by that.
Here’s my brief bio…
Fiona Broome is intrigued by unexplained phenomena in everyday life. She uses books, videos, podcasts, and websites to share ways you can have extraordinary experiences on your own, and with others who share your enthusiasm.
Fiona has been researching – and writing about – paranormal phenomena since the early 1980s. In the 1990s, her ghost-related website, HollowHill.com, was one of the first online resources for new and experienced researchers. It’s still among the largest and most trusted ghost hunting websites.
Fiona has been a location scout for paranormal TV shows, and a consultant for some of those shows – and their stars. It was a busy time as ghost hunting surged in popularity.
In late 2017, Fiona created a Fiona Broome YouTube Channel.
Ms. Broome has written over 1,000 articles for magazines and websites. Discussing paranormal topics, she’s been a guest on many radio and TV shows, including – in 2018 – George Noory’s Coast to Coast AM.
Fiona has been a speaker at international events including 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 focuses on historical and paranormal research, especially in the eastern USA, the UK, and Ireland. She continues to write books, create videos and articles for her websites, and work as a consultant for paranormal TV shows.
And no, she still isn’t sure why – like so many other people – she clearly recalls Nelson Mandela’s funeral on the TV, back in the late 20th century. But she’s pleased that this website started such extraordinary conversations. In a way, they’re the intersection of science fiction and modern experience.