During his stay in Europe in 1867 and 1868, William James learned that two physiologists at Heidelberg University, Hermann Helmholtz and Wilhelm Wundt, were working on transforming psychology into an experimental science. Hesitantly, James went to Heidelberg. After a short stay, he fled what he later called the Heidelberg Fiasco. In spite of this ominous designation, a dense fog of misleading information surrounds his stay in Heidelberg to this day. By analyzing circumstances and context, this paper examines this case, which had the potential to shape James's attitude toward experimental psychology on a long-term basis.