Stress is a serious concern facing our world today, motivating the development of better objective understanding using non-intrusive means for stress recognition. The aim for the work was to use thermal imaging of facial regions to detect stress automatically. The work uses facial regions captured in videos in thermal (TS) and visible (VS) spectrums and introduces our database ANU StressDB. It describes the experiment conducted for acquiring TS and VS videos of observers of stressed and not-stressed films for the ANU StressDB. Further, it presents an application of local binary patterns on three orthogonal planes (LBP-TOP) on VS and TS videos for stress recognition. It proposes a novel method to capture dynamic thermal patterns in histograms (HDTP) to utilize thermal and spatio-temporal characteristics associated in TS videos. Individual-independent support vector machine classifiers were developed for stress recognition. Results show that a fusion of facial patterns from VS and TS videos produced significantly better stress recognition rates than patterns from only VS or TS videos with p < 0.01. The best stress recognition rate was 72% and it was obtained from HDTP features fused with LBP-TOP features for TS and VS videos respectively.