Madame Leota is generally surrounded by mystery. Her motives tend to be vague, though a lot of interpretations tend to lean toward her being good or at least a neutral force. She generally favors speaking in rhyme as her incantations seem to be based around it.
In the Slave Labor Graphics Haunted Mansion comic book, Madame Leota is unaware that she has died. She first came to the house as a mortal, that fell in love with William Gracey, who had hired her for assistance with the ghosts that haunted his new home. Her advances shot down as Gracey was in love with another, Leota set a plan in motion to call more spirits in to spite Gracey, including the captain that Gracey murdered when starting his pirate career. Furthermore, a curse was placed onto the house that a terrible thing would happen when the Mansion was occupied by a thousand ghosts. In the middle of her incantations to bring more spirits in, Gracey killed her by snapping her neck, having already discovered her hand in the death of his bride. Leota's spirit would inhabit her crystal ball, unaware of what had happened. Gracey then proceeded to hang himself in the stretching room. With Leota continuing her seance as a ghost, it amplified the effect, calling spirits from around the globe.
Leota appears as a supporting character. She catalyzes the events of the story by summoning Danny Crowe to the Mansion by claiming his grandfather's spirit is trapped with the other imprisoned souls by the Sea Captain. To help Danny, Leota provides him with the ability to see the ghost themselves.
However, she is forced by the Captain to admit Danny's grandfather is not at the mansion; Leota is then shattered after. Leota regenerates after the Captain is defeated, where she shows Danny that his actions have given the ghosts their freedom back. Leota chooses to stay at the mansion, but is shown to still communicate with Danny.
Under the name Madame Leona, the character appears in Lonesome Manor's Library. She is upset at one of The Lonesome Ghosts for not returning a book of hers. Mickey can assist the ghost when visiting Bog Easy by getting the book for him before heading off to the Manor.
Madame Leota helps the main character, Zeke Holloway, on his mission to save the mansion from the darkness that has fallen over it. She is one of the few ghosts who rebelled against the antagonist, Atticus Thorn, and, in turn, he imprisoned her in her crystal ball. In the opening sequence of the game, she gives Zeke the Beacon of Souls, his only weapon against evil spirits. She then travels with him through the mansion while giving him (and the player) advice and helpful hints. At the end of the game, she stays behind in the mansion with the other friendly ghosts and guides Zeke in pursuing his dream of being a writer.
Madame Leota appears in the Seance Room. She conducts an otherworldly séance in an attempt to summon spirits and assist them in materializing. Using a spell book she repeats the following incantation over and over:
“Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat; call in the spirits, wherever they're at. Rap on a table; it's time to respond. Send us a message from somewhere beyond. Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween: awaken the spirits with your tambourine. Creepies and crawlies, toads in a pond; let there be music, from regions beyond! Wizards and witches, wherever you dwell, give us a hint, by ringing a bell!”
―Madame Leota's incantation
Musical instruments make noise, furniture levitates and one by one ghosts start to physically materialize. When guests enter the Ballroom all of the ghosts in the mansion are finally revealed.
In 2002, Madame Leota got a tombstone in the cemetery outside The Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World. Her epitaph reads: "Dear sweet Leota, beloved by all. In regions beyond now, but having a ball." Madame Leota's face appears on the front of the tombstone and it periodically shifts and opens its eyes.
Madame Leota recites her own take on a Christmas classic with her "Thirteen Days of Christmas" incantations. Her seance room is filled with tarot cards featuring numerous characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas and in recent years, her crystal ball takes on the appearance of a floating ornament.
Madame Leota makes a cameo in Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. She appears on G2-9T's luggage scanner in the queue, alongside several other Disney and Star Wars characters, apparently being smuggled onto a flight by a Star Tours passenger.
Memento Mori is Madame Leota's former abode and she stops by for a visit from time to time. Many of her belongings can be found in the shop. When Madame Leota is present guests can hear her humming a tune or they can catch a glimpse of her face in a mirror.