Mandela Effect

Dear Reader,

Halloween will fall on a Thursday this year, which means many of us will be at the office on the day of the festivities. I have a tendency to “go hard” on Halloween and this year will be no exception. Today, I spent the majority of my time on Halloween prep. For me, this meant shopping for costume materials (I always make my own). This year, I will go as the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. I have looked at the cartoon versions of this character as well as some costumes online in preparation to gather Halloween materials.

My first shopping stop was the arts and crafts store Michaels. I’m a crafty person and have visited Michaels on several occasions (for holidays, during my sewing and homemade jewelry phases, etc.). Today, I came for both the purpose of building my costume, but also because I wanted to make little treat bags for the office.

So, I made a stupid $15 mistake today at Michaels…. Have you ever heard of the Mandela Effect, Dear Reader? The premise of the Mandela Effect is simple — we recall something in particular, but can sometimes misremember details, although our brains will perceive these false details to be the truth. For example, this effect is named after Nelson Mandela, because a large portion of the population believed that Mandela, the famous South African civil rights leader, died decades ago in prison, however, in reality he died just in 2013. I personally knew  that Mandela died recently, so I will give you another example that may resonate better with you. 

The Monopoly Man’s monocle. If you are in the U.S you almost certainly know the board game Monopoly and you probably know the little mascot man sporting a tuxedo carrying a sack of money. Well, if you are picturing Rich Uncle Pennybags in your head right now, you may well be picturing him with a monocle. Wrong! The monopoly man does not have a monocle indeed (see here). If you are an American and mis-remembered the monopoly man, you may be conflating his image with Mr. Peanut (see here), who is just as fancy and famous as the monopoly man, but does wear a monocle. Believing that the monopoly man wears a monocle is another example of the Mandela effect.

Top hat accessories

I at Michael have succumbed to the Mandela effect. When shopping for White Rabbit accessories, I found a little top hat, which I thought would go perfectly with my costume. However, Dear Reader, the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland does not wear a top hat, the character most famously sporting a top hat in the tale is, in fact, the Mad Hatter! It wasn’t until hours after I had purchased the hat that I had made the connection! However, as soon as I did, I looked up the White Rabbit costumes again online and there were SEVERAL costumes that included a top hat! 

It looks like I and several others were victims of the Mandela effect. Let this be a reminder, Dear Reader, that it is probably healthy to revisit and question our assumptions…. Also, this is another good reason why it is good to plan your Halloween costume in advance!



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