In season five, Elena starts at Whitmore College after spending the summer with Damon. She is kidnapped and experimented on by Wes Maxfield, and learns that her father experimented on vampires. Later, when Katherine is about to die as a result of the past 500 years catching up with her, Katherine uses a spell to possess Elena. Elena's friends trap Katherine when they realize this. Stefan stabbed her with the Traveler dagger, but ghost Katherine reveals to Bonnie, shortly before trying to cross into the Other Side, that she had injected Dr. Maxfield's enhanced ripper-werewolf virus into Elena's body, infecting her. Elena's friends are eventually able to find an antidote. She loses trust in Damon, partly because he killed her friend Aaron, so they break up, but soon get back together. Once Markos and his Traveler army begin to take over Mystic Falls, Elena and company come up with a plan to neutralize the Travelers by killing them all at the same time, overpowering Bonnie – who is now the anchor to the Other Side – and creating a possible way out of the collapsing dimension. Elena and Damon cause an explosion at the Mystic Grill, killing themselves and most of the Travelers. She wakes up as a ghost and passes to the Other Side; Elena and many others are able to pass back to the land of the living afterwards, but the spell that allows this is broken before Damon passes back through, and Bonnie is stuck as the anchor, leaving those alive mourning the loss of Damon and Bonnie.