TikTok Star Kelsi Davies Talks About Ghosts and Being the Weird Girl

"I like being the weird girl," says Davies. Hair and makeup by Christina Hazelhurst (@christine_pro_makeup)
"I like being the weird girl," says Davies. Hair and makeup by Christina Hazelhurst (@christine_pro_makeup) Tim Schaeffer Photography (@timschaefferphoto)
Kelsi Davies was around six years old when her family moved from Denver to California. She doesn't remember much about the early years of her life, but when she comes back to see her grandparents at their home in Westminster, emotions can overwhelm her. She sometimes remembers the spirits who visited her when she was a child, she says.

"In my grandma and grandpa's house, they have a little girl that died in a car accident, and I feel like I connected with her when I was little," Davies recalls. "When I went back a few months ago, she remembered me. I knew her name and how she died."

Now 24, Davies is a social media influencer who specializes in the paranormal. With over three million followers on TikTok and a little under half a million subscribers on YouTube, Davies's psychic gifts seem to have found her plenty of success. But success does not always mean peace.

Though as a child Davies knew she had unusual talents, they did not develop to their current level until  recently. "My gifts started getting prominently more intense this year," she says. "I had a spiritual awakening. I started getting into spirituality and trying to understand it, meeting other psychics and mediums who had similar gifts."

She doesn't fully understand what made her gifts appear in the first place, but she says they run in the family. Her mother told her about her Native American ancestry, including a great-great-grandmother who read tea leaves. Other relatives have performed seances. A cousin messaged Davies a few weeks ago with the discovery that he had psychic gifts of his own.

Out of all her relatives, her sister enjoys the inheritance the least. "She has medium gifts and she hates them," says Davies. "She always has me come sage her house because she always sees things and hears things and doesn't want anything to do with it."

Davies, on the other hand, has spent hours sharpening her abilities — sometimes through friends who share some sort of psychic skills. "My friend Amanda can see spirits; she sees people. She's had this gift her whole life," Davies says. "She was helping me tap into my mediumship. She would point out a spirit in my room, and I would have to say how they died, what they looked like, all that."

Davies often has visions of spirits — flickers of images either of people or significant objects or events from their lives; it's much rarer to see a fully developed apparition standing in front of her, the way it happens in horror movies. She has no control over when or where she receives the visions, she says, nor what their content will be.

"If [the spirits] have a very strong energy, I'll feel it physically," she explains. "If they got murdered or something, I'll see these super-graphic images, and they'll give me a lot of anxiety."

Still, with a firm "No" and sometimes the use of sage, she says that she can usually get things reeled back in.

Photographs have proven to be the most effective way for Davies to sense energy. As a child, she obsessed over her grandmother's scrapbook; today she sometimes gets overwhelmed by energy just from scrolling through Instagram. To hone her skills, Davies performs psychic readings online, sometimes free of charge, using photos of a customer's loved ones to help connect with the spirits of the deceased. She picks up on details not present in the photographs, such as oxygen tanks, signed baseballs and old pets.

One particular ghost has been around Davies since she was young; her friend Amanda helped identify the spirit. It was Davies's great-grandfather Lenny. "He died before my mother was born, he died so young," she says. "I would always have experiences with him that were so warm. He always puts his hand on my head. He always says, 'Hey, baby doll' every time."

Once she knew Lenny's identity, Davies told her grandfather about the spirit, and her grandfather gave her lots of information about him. Both of her grandparents have always been supportive of her career.

Of course, success didn't happen overnight. TikTok has been around since 2015, though it didn't become popular worldwide until its merger with the app in 2018, which brought the elements of lip-syncing and dancing to the platform. Davies's first two posts to the platform were both uploaded on June 6, 2019: one a lip-sync video featuring clown makeup, the other a video of her three cats "dancing."

Then, about a year ago, while trying to devise something unique to do with her social media accounts, she was inspired by a friend's evil haunted doll. She set out to find a haunted doll of her own, but a nice one.

She purchased a doll on eBay from Fire Torch Findings without even reading the description; she sensed a good presence through the photo, she says. But then she began having second thoughts about inviting a spirit into her home in such a way. The company selling the doll gave Davies a short bio, which said the spirit attached to the doll was named Lola, and that she had died from an illness in 1919, when she was eighteen. When Lola arrived, Davies had trouble connecting with the doll. She took it to a cemetery to film a video, but half of her footage from that night wound up corrupted. Her friends tried to take photos of the doll, but they were unsuccessful; their phones either deleted the photos or suddenly turned off. Eventually, Davies began to communicate with Lola, who has since warmed up to being on camera and is a staple of Davies's content.

"After I got [Lola] is when my social media started taking off, and I don't think that's a coincidence," says Davies. Now she views Lola as a little sister, and thinks she may have even known her in a past life. "She's a Libra, so she's sassy sometimes," she adds.

Davies' first video mentioning Lola and how she ordered her on eBay was posted on July 19, 2020. Lola's first actual appearance was in an unboxing video on July 24; it currently has over two million views and still stands as one of Davies's most viewed uploads. During the next two months, Davies's followers and views continued to grow. On September 23, 2020, she posted a celebratory photo on Instagram thanking all of her now over one million TikTok followers for their support. Since Lola's arrival into Davies's life, the doll has appeared in a majority of her videos, usually helping them to garner more views and likes than the non-doll content.

"Now she's always there," says Davies. "She's in the back of my car, always watching me. There was a time when my plane caught on fire and she was behind me on the plane. Maybe she knew something was going to happen." Davies claims that her boyfriend has seen Lola's spirit, which transformed him from a skeptic to a believer.

Just over a year after hitting one million followers, she's accumulated more than two million new TikTok followers, or "Kel Kats," as she calls them. Currently, 3.6 million Kel Kats are following Davies.

Davies's YouTube content tends to be more strictly paranormal-themed than her other social media. There she posts vlogs about visits to haunted places, recounts personal spirit sightings in much more detail than TikTok's three-minute video limit will allow, and also relays stories about various spooky events with no relation to her, like the sinking of the Titanic or infamous court cases. On TikTok and Instagram, she posts content on a wider variety of topics, such as dancing trends, makeup challenges and even her own fledgling singing career.

Her two current singles, "Heartbeats" and "Done," are soon to be joined by a new release, "Darker." Davies shared behind-the-scenes content of the music video shoot on her TikTok, and teased that the video will be darker, even depicting her murdering people. But it's only pretend: Davies also has a passion for acting. Her IMDb credits include a few short films and a brief appearance in a feature-length horror anthology film titled 60 Seconds to Die.

"The way I want to brand myself is my authentic self, no matter what. I love graphic design, singing, dancing, acting. I want to show people you can be your authentic self and do whatever you set your mind to, no matter what it is," she says. "The paranormal will always be a part of me. My content is spooky-based because I'm kind of creepy, I guess. I like being the spooky, weird girl. I've always been the weird girl that's off in a good way."
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