Medusa is based on one of the three Gorgons of the same name from Greek mythology. The portrait of Medusa in the Haunted Mansion attraction is originally a woman inside a Greek temple (as indicated by the columns in the background). However, whenever the lightning flashes in the attraction, the portrait transforms into a menacing gorgon to give the attraction a frightening theme.
The Haunted Mansion attraction opened at Disneyland in 1969 where it features the portrait of Medusa displayed in the Changing Portraits scene.
Due to the success of the attraction at Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion attraction was later constructed at the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland still featuring the portrait of Medusa in it.
In the original Disneyland version, the Medusa portrait is one of the portraits featured in the Changing Portraits scene which is accessed after guests leave the Stretching Room walking past the hall of portraits. In it, the portrait of Medusa is displayed with the other portraits but when lightning flashes in this scene, the portrait of the woman is depicted with a menacing gorgon to represent Medusa.
When the Haunted Mansion attraction opened at Walt Disney World in 1971, the "after" stage of Medusa (which is her gorgon form) was originally displayed amongst the other portraits featured in the attraction. The same case was also used in the Tokyo Disneyland version. Unlike in the Haunted Mansion attraction in California, the Medusa portrait is seen when guests ride on their Doom Buggies past the portraits representing the Sinister 11.
Following the 2007 refurbishment of the attraction, the Changing Portraits scene was redesigned where the lightning flash effect was added to the scene. Despite this, the Medusa portrait remained unchanged in the Tokyo Disneyland version of the attraction, keeping the "after" stage of Medusa along with the other portraits.
When the Phantom Manor attraction opened at Disneyland Paris, the Medusa portrait using the same effect as in the other previous iterations is featured as one of the portraits in the queue, as in the California version of the Haunted Mansion. This portrait has been removed from the attraction as of 2019
Although the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland does not feature any ghosts in it, the Medusa portrait was displayed in the Meditteranean Antiques room. In it, the portrait of a woman transforms into a frightening gorgon representing Medusa just before the guests arrive at the Solarium area.
The Medusa portrait featured in the film based on the Disney attraction is depicted using the painting "Portrait of a Roman Lady" by Frederic Leighton where the portrait of the woman morphs into Medusa (as an homage to the original attraction).
Medusa was also featured in the discontinued mobile game where she was unlocked randomly by completing a number of Daily Missions. When playing as Medusa, she occasionally transforms from her "before" stage and "after" stage and is also capable of petrifying objects into stone.