The Staring Busts are a group of ghosts haunting the Haunted Mansion.
There are a total of four types of busts: one (“Uncle Lucius”) appears to be a middle aged man with a large necktie and a neck that is wider still, one is a stern-looking, older woman with her hair in a bun (Aunt Lucretia), a bearded man with a swell-cleffted chin, and a younger looking man with short hair. It is unclear whether all of the busts depicting “Aunt Lucretia” depict the same individual.
In the Disneyland Mansion and Phantom Manor, two of the busts (the woman and the man with the necktie) appear at the end of the portrait corridor inside of alcoves where they stare at guests as they pass by.
The Bust semi-officially known as Aunt Lucretia reappears in the Grand Hall sequence where her bust is shown on the mantle over the fireplace, in the drunken embrace of a ghost.
In the Haunted Mansions in Florida and Tokyo, in addition to the Uncle and Aunt's appearance in the hallway, all four of the busts appear in alcoves inside of the library where they stare down at guests passing by and are referred to by the Ghost Host as being "Marble Busts of the greatest Ghost Story writers the literary world has ever known".
The Bust semi-officially known as Aunt Lucretia once again reappears in the Grand Hall sequence where her bust is shown on the mantle over the fireplace, in the embrace of a ghost.
The staring busts appear in the film at the portrait corridor similar to the ride, staring at Jim Evers as he passes them. In the film however, the busts were real busts and were placed on a rotating pedestal inside the alcoves. To achieve the staring effect, the pedestals were rotated by remote control.
2003 video game
The busts appear in the downstairs hallway.
The staring effect was achieved by creating inverses of faces and putting them up against a black background in a pocket of the wall to make it appear as if the busts were facing outwards. Because it is inverse no matter where you move whenever you look at the bust it appears as if it is always staring at you.
- Aunt Lucretia is the only bust to have a name and she was originally intended to be a Singing Bust.
- The staring bust effect was discovered when imagineers looked at the backside of animatronic Abe Lincoln's head and noticed it looked like it was facing them wherever they went.
- In the unofficial Ghost Gallery Storyline they were referred to as Edgar Allan, Elizabeth Barrett, Alfred Lord, and Henry Wadsworth and they were as having been a group of writers who were friends with the Ghost Host and died when a bookshelf in the library fell and crushed them all.
- Despite being referred to in the Library sequence as having been "Marble Busts of the greatest Ghost Story writers the literary world has ever known" none of the busts appear to resemble or have any allusions towards being any famous ghost story writers.
- The name of one of the Staring Busts in the Ghost Gallery being Edgar Allan is a reference to real life Gothic Horror author Edgar Allan Poe who wrote classic stories which inspired the mansion like the Black Cat, the Telltale Heart, the Pit and the Pendulum and the Raven. The name of the Aunt Lucretia bust being called Elizabeth Barrett is also a tribute to the Victorian woman poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Alfred Lord is a tribute to Victorian poet Alfred, Lord of Tennyson and Henry Wadsworth is a tribute to American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
- In WDW's Haunted Mansion a bust of Charles Dickens was hidden inside the Traveler's bag, likely as an allusion to the Ghost Story Writer busts.