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PROBING THE PARANORMAL
Former area cop now investigates paranormal activity

 Paranormal investigators use various recording devices and electromagnetic field detectors to discern spirits.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 10/31/2012

BY SCOTT SHENK

It's the subtle whisper, sometimes unheard by the human ear. It's the soft brushing against the skin. Or even the rare vision of an apparition.

Those and other mysteries of the paranormal have long fascinated former cop Tim Henderson. He considers himself a Christian, but said something has always drawn him to happenings outside the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.

Growing up in the Fredericksburg area, with its rich history and tales of ghosts, fed his curiosity for a long time.

The 42-year-old Spotsylvania County resident has been an officer with Fredericksburg city police and a deputy with the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office, and most recently worked in law enforcement at Fort A.P. Hill. But a bad back forced him into early retirement.

Looking for a new challenge, Henderson decided to take on investigations of a different color.

So in 2009 he founded Fredericksburg Area Paranormal Investigations.

Now as the head of FAPI he leads a small group that does free paranormal probes at homes and historic sites in the area and beyond.

You might soon see FAPI investigators doing their thing on television.

The group was filmed recently investigating the historic Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries for an episode of "My Ghost Story," which airs on the Bio channel Friday nights.

The 250-year-old house was owned by Parson Weems, who in 1800 wrote tales about the life of the young George Washington. The house was later owned by Benjamin Botts, a defense attorney for Aaron Burr, who was tried for treason in 1807.

Henderson said the Weems-Botts episode should run sometime soon, maybe in November.

FAPI also is scheduled to do a live investigation soon at the museum for Channel 7 News in Washington.

For Henderson, investigating paranormal activity is "a passion," but it's also something he thinks many people misunderstand. Often, he says, people are frightened of unexplainable things happening in their homes.

"People just don't understand it," he said. Some, he added, may also fear perceptions if they talk about seeing ghosts or say that their house is haunted.

The popular perception is that ghosts are evil, but Henderson said that's rarely the case. Many, he said, are human spirits that can communicate intelligently, while others are residual manifestations composed of leftover energy.


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