Little Leota or The Ghostess is a character appearing within the Haunted Mansion.
Little Leota was a woman of presumed relation to Madame Leota considering that the two women were effectively identical. In her lifetime, Leota came to do work with the Haunted Mansion (in 17th century New York or 18th/19th century New Orleans depending on the incarnation) which is presumably where Little Leota's own relation to the estate came from.
At some point in time, Little Leota died and her ghost came to haunt the mansion, just as Madame Leota's did. Following her demise, Little Leota would become a sort of Ghostess (Ghost Hostess) in the estate, always making arrangements for mortals to die and return to the mansion to fill up their quota. For unknown reasons, her ghost also looked to be diminutive, about the size of a doll.
Little Leota gets her name from her being portrayed and voiced by Leota Toombs, the Disney Imagineer who provided the face of Madame Leota.
Contrary to popular belief, she is not intended to be viewed as if she is far away, nor is she holding dead flowers or wearing a bride's veil. She is actually dressed in a hooded robe and is holding dried herbs. Based on this knowledge, it can be assumed that Little Leota is actually a wisp or fay of Celtic folklore.
The Haunted Mansion
In the original Disneyland variant of the attraction, Little Leota can be seen in the Exit Crypt when guests are on a moving up-ramp. Within the flooded mausoleum, the diminutive ghost of Little Leota can be seen urging guests to, "Hurry back" while telling them to "Remember to bring your death certificates".
Little Leota serves the same role in the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland versions of the attraction with the same dialogue albeit in a different location. While still being found in the exit crypt, here she stands over guests while they are still in the ride and pass underneath of her.
40th Anniversary Celebrations
Little Leota appeared the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Haunted Mansion. Here she was played by a pale cast-member withe platinum blonde hair who appeared at a recreation of the wedding between Constance Hatchaway and George Hightower. Little Leota made recitations made to Segway between the wedding and the two as ghosts due to Constance's murder of George.
The Ghost Gallery
In the 1990s, cast-members of the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World created a backstory for the attraction as a means of answering guest questions. All of this backstory was recorded on paper and while unofficial, has since influenced both the original Haunted Mansion's official and semi-official features as-well as adaptations based on the Haunted Mansion.
In this story, Little Leota is identified as having been the illegitimate daughter of Madame Leota and George Gracey Jr., Gracey having been the master of Gracey Manor. Little Leota (the only name she is given in the story) was born in 1919 from an extra-marital affair that George had behind his wife Lillian's back. Little Leota grew up ostracized from the rest of the Gracey family and as a result was very troublesome and even murderous at a young age, being responsible for killing one of the maids when she was only 7 years old.
As a young woman, Little Leota travelled to New Orleans where she seduced a man named Jamie Padgett as a means of trying to inherit his plantation. She and her extra-marital lover, Nicholas Crown convinced Padgett that he was a vampire as a means of trapping him in a coffin where they forced him to hand over ownership of his property before starving him to death.
Little Leota died in 1942 at the age of 23 after committing a triple homicide by luring three of Gracey Manor's servants (the three unknowingly being her great-uncle, uncle, and first cousin once removed respectively) out to a quicksand pit when they refused her advances. While watching the three die from a tree-branch, the branch snapped and sent her falling into the Hudson River where she drowned. When her corpse was found, the water had shrivelled it up to the size of a doll from dehydration.
- Merchandise tends to portray Little Leota as wearing a white cloak rather than a shawl as she's shown wearing in the attraction. This is likely done to avoid confusion with the ride's more famous bride character of whom Little Leota is frequently confused for.
- Little Leota's dialogue is recited by Madame Leota in a post-credits scene of the 2003 film adaptation of the ride.