It was just a matter of luck that I took my infrared camera with me to visit the Loretto church, I felt I might get a different view of things than I get with my regular camera, so even though I was walking and didn't need the extra weight for some reason I took it anyway.
When I got to the Loretto church I went straight to what everyone comes there for, the staircase, the famous spiral staircase.
If you remember when I was staying at the Oliver Lee state Park near Alamogordo a while back I told the story of Frenchy, the hard-working little Frenchman that was murdered in cold blood in his tiny house made of stone, and the murderer to this day remains unknown. And I think I also mentioned that it is believed that Frenchy was the mysterious carpenter that answered the prayers of the nuns at the Loretto church and came out of nowhere to built the exquisite spiral staircase and then disappeared without asking for any form of payment.
The area around the staircase is roped off so you can't actually get close enough to touch it, and because of its age and fragility they said the staircase isn't used anymore to access the choir balcony. When I got there, there were a dozen or so people standing around pointing, taking pictures, and whispering to each other about how is it possible for the staircase to stand up with little or no visible support.
I sat down in a pew near the staircase and waited for the crowd to clear out so I could get a decent picture. It didn't take long, people get bored very quickly nowadays, and I was able to get some pictures with nobody around.
I took half a dozen shots from different angles and finally got one I liked so I put down my normal camera and took a few pictures with the infrared camera. After every shot I would look at the back of the camera to see what I had and all I saw was a typical infrared black and white picture of an empty staircase.
An old man walked up, since I had finally stopped taking pictures, and was commenting to no one in particular how amazing the staircase looked. And then he said "look how blue the light is coming from the upstairs stained glass windows. I hadn't noticed it before but the light had changed and was now kind of blue, and in my previous pictures with my regular camera the light had been sunny and yellow. Since everything looked different and I still had my infrared camera in my hand I took one more photograph. I looked at the back of the camera and the picture was such a dark blue that I could barely make out the staircase.
Since I had done what I came there to do I called it a day and walked back to my truck.
Looking through the pictures to see what I had taken that day I finally got around to that last infrared shot I took at the end of the day. And as I brightened it up in my photo editing software I started seeing something in the picture that I had been unable to see before because of the darkness, it was the figure of what appeared to be a man slowly materializing as I lightened the picture.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up as I started to realize what I was actually seeing, it was a man all right, but I believe it was not a man of this earth, it was a man of the ether, a ghostly visage of a spirit bound forever to the places where he had made a mark upon this earth, a man who met a horrific and untimely death at the hands of an unknown killer over a century ago, it was a man once known as Frenchy.