Three years ago, I moved into the former West Town Funeral Home on Chicago's south side. Working alone at night, I began to experience fleeting visions--humanoids floating in my periphery. These entities, which I have come to call Echoes, are infuriatingly hard to document.

A little over a year ago, I discovered a recipe for "spectrographic emulsion" in an early lithography manual called Principles of Polyautography. The technique was developed by Franz Mesmer and Alois Senefelder himself during a visit to Vienna in 1805. When buffed into a finely grained stone, the emulsion creates a surface that is highly reactive to most kinds of spectral phenomena. Though the season prevented me from using sparrows' eggs, I found that storebought quail eggs would suffice, and I substituted liquid from the crushed stems and husks of Physalis philadelphica (common tomatillo) for nightshade. I buffed the solution into the stone three times and covered it with a simple pinhole camera I had previously fashioned from a cardboard box for that purpose, placing the whole apparatus in the now-defunct embalming room. The resulting image revealed two Echoes, frozen in stone.

Recipe for Spectrographic Emulsion

2 oz. strained sparrow albumen
1 oz. ground Nightshade
1 tsp. Sulphur
1 oz silver nitrate powder