"I'm afraid there will be no leaving the mansion tonight."
—Ramsley to the Evers family
Ramsley was a well-cultured, loyal young butler employed at a summer estate in England when he first met George Gracey, an American who was visiting there with friends. It seemed that Ramsley was about to undergo a beating and probably a jail term for an unspeakable offense at his employer's house - a transgression actually committed by the employer's son. With these threats hanging over Ramsley's head, George asked him if he would like to come to America and serve as his butler at Gracey Manor. Amazed and grateful, Ramsley accepted and George secretly whisked him away to the docks and bought his passage for the trip to America. In the following years, Ramsley proved an invaluable asset to George in achieving the social goals he set for himself and his family.
Ramsley helped arrange George's first meeting with his wife, Abigail, the beautiful and vivacious daughter of a state senator. George and Abigail had three children together, and Ramsley would eventually become a father figure to Edward, the youngest child.
George told Ramsley of his dreams for Edward's future as a governor, ambassador or even president. To prepare for this, George wanted Edward to get the right education, the right friends, and the right wife. Ramsley pledged to do everything in his power to make sure the boy had the proper training and education to perform his proper role in society. Ramsley saw to the boy's social training and saw that he was accomplished in a range of gentlemanly activities.
Ramsley became fully responsible for Edward after George and Abigail died. At Ramsley's insistence, Edward joined the social elite in New Orleans where he met the most well-bred young ladies in the region.
Ramsley disapproved of Edward's relationship with Elizabeth Henshaw, the multiracial daughter of a servant, fearing it would cause a scandal and tarnish the Gracey legacy. After discovering that Edward planned to marry Elizabeth, Ramsley murdered her by offering her a poisoned cup of wine, and made it appear as though she had committed suicide.
After Ramsley died, his ghost haunted Gracey Manor. When the truth was made known about what Ramsley had done to Elizabeth, Ramsley was pulled into Hell by a fiery demon.
- The makeup effects designed by Rick Baker for the character were intended to make Terence Stamp resemble Boris Karloff.
- Stamp said of the film, "I was very disappointed that so much of the work I did on The Haunted Mansion didn't arrive in the final cut."
- Ramsley is the second Disney villain to be an unfaithful butler behind their master's back, the first being Edgar Balthazar from The Aristocrats.
- His offense was trying to banish the mistress's cats from the house twice.