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The Surprising Ingredient They Used To Make Blood Look Real On Dexter

In 2006, fans met Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department who murders dangerous killers who somehow get past the justice system. "Dexter" introduces the intriguing story of a serial killer with a strict moral code, and for eight seasons, fans were hooked on the series. But despite the accolades and praise "Dexter" gained early on in its run, the ending to the series has some lingering controversies that didn't sit right with many, which will hopefully be addressed in the new series, "Dexter: New Blood." 

Besides its premise and the questionable way it ended, "Dexter" is known for its sense of realism. It's also a series not afraid to get bloody, which is expected when watching a killer among killers. Some eagle-eyed fans might have noticed that the realistic feel of "Dexter" goes all the way down to the blood featured prominently in the show. Fortunately, the substance featured in the show isn't real blood, but just some stellar movie prop magic. In reality, the fake blood on "Dexter" is a crafted mix of items, with one surprise ingredient that we often eat.

Dexter used maple syrup for the show's fake blood

The good news is that the secret ingredient for the blood used on "Dexter" is probably in most kitchens. The bad news is that we may never look at our pancakes the same way again. The show's prop master Joshua Meltzer once revealed to Buzzfeed that the blood on "Dexter" mainly used maple syrup because of its thicker texture. But there's more thought put into the fake blood other than thickness. He added in the article that the fake blood also had peppermint oil to keep insects away, as well as a bit of Dawn dish soap, as it made it easier to clean up.

Looking into the history of fake blood in theater and film, raiding the cupboard for ingredients is fairly common to produce the substance. Per Stanford Blood Center, Alfred Hitchcock famously used chocolate syrup to make fake blood for his film "Psycho," as did legendary zombie movie director George Romero for his "Night of the Living Dead" series. In fact, artificial blood ingredients are still a grocery store trip away for some modern films and shows. Variety's article with Hollywood creative effects supervisor Erik Porn revealed the use of corn starch, corn syrup, and cocoa powder in making fake blood. But now the question is, did they bring back the same recipe for the blood in the new "Dexter: New Blood" series?