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The Vampire Diaries may have ended in 2017, but fans still talk about the cult show to this day. TVD is lauded as having been ahead of its time with its special effects and top-quality digital production. Most of the plot in the beloved series featured a lot of fake blood.

TVD star Ian Somerhalder explained that some of the fake blood had to be kept on heaters to prevent freezing.

'The Vampire Diaries' cast smiling
(L-R) Paul Wesley, Candice Accola, Michael Malarkey, Kat Graham, and Ian Somerhalder | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

The fake blood on ‘TVD’ kept freezing while filming

The Vampire Diaries follow the Salvatore brothers, who are hundreds of years old but live in the modern-day world. The pair find themselves embroiled in a love triangle as they fight for the affection of a teenage girl in Mystic Falls named Elena Gilbert. Given that the show follows vampires, a lot of fake blood is used to simulate real blood.

According to one of the lead stars, Somerhalder, the use of fake blood occasionally caused production problems as it would freeze. In a recent cast reunion panel, Somerhalder recalled having difficulties getting a scene right due to the fake blood freezing.

During the I Was Feeling Epic Con 2022, Somerhalder recalled a cold day on set, saying:

“I remember being in that alley- I was like ripping a heart out in freezing cold with all the blood. I remember the blood would like freeze … [production] had it put it in an igloo cooler with warm heaters in there to keep it from freezing.”

Normally, it’s difficult for real blood to freeze. According to Inverse, blood behaves like a saline solution of similar concentration. This means that for blood to freeze solid like ice, it needs to be between -2℃ or -3℃ [30℉ or under].

Ian Somerhalder broke down the types of fake blood used in ‘TVD’

In 2011, Somerhalder broke down the different types of fake blood used on the show and even spilled some behind-the-scenes secrets on how the props department made the fake blood look real. According to the actor, the show used five different types of blood. He said that sometimes, they would use organic cherry extract juice if they were filming a close-up shot of blood.

The show’s special FX makeup artist Conor McCullagh said in an interview with Seventeen that he made all the fake blood himself. He explained that he would use edible corn syrup as the base of the blood and then add some food coloring to give it that rich blood color.

To preserve the gallons of fake blood, McCullagh would use common table salt so that it would still be fresh when they needed it. He also revealed that he added peppermint extract to make it palatable for the actors.

The vampires in the show frequently consumed blood, so it’s a given that they would need something that, at the very least, tasted or smelled good and did not make them gag mid-filming. McCullagh said that cleaning off fake blood was difficult, so they would try their best to make sure it never ended up on the costumes.

Other lifelike props used on ‘TVD’


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Fake blood wasn’t the only lifelike item used in The Vampire Diaries. McCullagh and his team of creatives took actual impressions of the actors’ teeth to make custom-fit fangs to make them look as natural as possible.

For the wounds, the team would glue rubber prosthetics onto an actor’s body, then blend and color it and use the blood to simulate a real-life bite wound. The hearts that were ripped out of people’s chests were also fake, and Joseph Morgan [Klaus] even had vegan hearts made specifically for him so that he could take bites out of them.