Ever found yourself at a huge mansion in the middle of a torrential rainstorm? Chances are the door was opened to you by a Creepy Housekeeper. This character spends much of her time walking around a large manor house cleaning, cooking, being fanatically devoted to her master, and scaring off any new female inhabitants of the house. Although she often welcomes hapless visitors, chances are they will be either murdered or scared off by the end of a terrifying night. She will be common in murder mysteries/tales of the supernatural, although often subverted for comedy.
Her male counterpart is the Crusty Caretaker. They'll often tag team any newcomers into being properly creeped out before the hauntings start. Sometimes takes on double shifts as a Haunted House Historian to ratchet up the creepy. Contrast the more maternal and less unsettling Kindly Housekeeper.
- This trope is parodied in the otherwise straight ghost movie The Haunting (1963). The housekeeper, Mrs. Dudley, has already given Nell a speech implying all sorts of nastiness about the house, and when she does an encore for latecomer Theo, Nell "helpfully" finishes parts of her monologue for her:
Mrs. Dudley: I set dinner on the dining room sideboard at six. Breakfast is ready at nine. I don't stay after dinner. Not after it begins to get dark. We live in town, nine miles, so there won't be anyone around if you need help...
Nell: We couldn't even hear you.
Mrs. Dudley: No one could. No one lives any nearer than town...
Nell: No one will come any nearer than that.
Mrs. Dudley: In the night...
Nell: In the dark.
- Frau Blucher (horses whinny) from Young Frankenstein: Every time someone says her name, horses neigh and there is lightning. Although, despite playing to every creepy film trope the filmmakers could trot out, she's more misguided than malicious, and gets to share in the happy ending.
- Magenta and Riff-Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Femalé (pronounced feh-MAH-leh) from the remake of Cat People is hospitable, but she has a very voodoo vibe about her and is very loyal to the owner of the house who is a werecat. She helps him avoid punishment for his crimes.
- Rachel, the housekeeper from Haunted Honeymoon - the film satirizes many of the Haunted House tropes, this one being no exception. She is also, as is often true, married to the film's Crusty Caretaker, Pfister.
- The original House on Haunted Hill (1959) has one. She's blind, and gives quite a fright to poor Nora.
- And the audience is too, if her first appearance doesn't make them jump.
- In the original 13 Ghosts, the protagonist's son accuses the housekeeper of being a witch, due to her generally humorless and cruel demeanor and homely appearance. This is an in-joke for those that know the actress who portrayed her, Marget Hamilton, played the Wicked Witch of the West.
- Averted in Murder by Death. The housekeeper, Yetta, is new to the household, is deaf-mute and is never seen by, well, anyone (Jamesir Bensonmum, the butler who welcomes her, is blind) until she points out Bensonmum's body. It turns out she's Lionel Twain, the host, in disguise and he arranged the entire, murder-free, evening.
- Mrs. Danvers in Hitchcock's film adaptation of Rebecca. She is creepy in herself, with a deathlike appearance, and in her devotion to the memory of Rebecca such that she doesn't wash the clothes of Rebecca's scent and goes to her room every day.
- And spoofed in "The Time of their Lives" (1946) when the guests at a restored plantation meet the creepy housekeeper and one remarks "Didn't I see you in Rebecca?"
- Played for Laughs in The Pacifier, the children love their creepy Transylvanian maid Helga even though she scares the hell out of Shane and has a very dreary personality. When Helga slips on cooking oil Seth and Zoe placed on the stairs (which was actually intended for Shane), she quits her job in a rage. Shane tries to stop Helga, eventually blocking the front door to prevent her from leaving, but she leaps and bites his shoulder, before leaving out the front door and boarding a taxi.
- In King of the Zombies, Tahama the cook is wizened old crone who makes vaguely threatening pronouncements and cackles a lot. She is also the high priestess of Dr. Sangre's voodoo cult.
- In The Others, Grace hires three new servants to help her care for the children, but they seem to already know more about the whole situation than they let on. This leads to a double twist: the servants are all ghosts, but then again the Stewart family are as well.
- The housekeeper Miss Patricia in The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case, who is an Ignored Enamored Underling and is very keen to cast suspicion on the victim's young and pretty second wife.
- The Climax features a rare heroic example. Luise used to be Marcellina's maid and is now Dr. Hohner's housekeeper. She slinks around the house looking like Mrs. Danvers and spying on Dr. Hohner. However, she turns out to be on the side of the angels, and is looking for proof that Hohner murdered her mistress. She helps Franz free Angela from Hihner's clutches, and later saves Angela when Hohner attempts to cut her tongue out.
- Nettie from the short story Bargain with the Wind by Sharon Shinn might qualify. Unusually, she is the narrator, and she turns out to be an immortal earth spirit charged with protecting the masters of the house.
- Mrs. Danvers from Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca is pretty much the iconic example.
- Averted in Jane Eyre, where Mrs. Fairfax is the most normal and wholesome person around creepy Thornfield Manor.
- Also averted with the pleasant, helpful, long-suffering Mrs. Hudson. Though it might be supposed that her neighbors think she's a bit nutty for putting up with her eccentric tenant.
- In Northanger Abbey, while they are on their way to the titular location, Henry teases Catherine by telling her (among other things) that they employ a Creepy Housekeeper named Dorothy. This is one of the stock Gothic tropes that he (and, by extension, Jane Austen herself) is parodying with his outlandish narrative about what Catherine will find at Northanger.
- Eunice Parchman, the housekeeper in Ruth Rendell's A Judgement in Stone, is mildly creepy and off-putting, but that's probably just because she's desperately keeping a secret (her illiteracy) which will eventually drive her to murder the entire family. (And that's not even a spoiler: the book begins with the sentence "Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write." The ensuing novel is an exploration of the hundred tiny threads that lead to the murders, such as that she can't read a note written by the daughter and comes to believe that whatever's written on it is making fun of her.)
- The title character in Roald Dahl's short story "The Landlady" says that she has stuffed all her dead pets herself. Apparently, she has done so to her previous guests as well and is about to do so to the young man who stays in her house.
- Dr. McRae's housekeeper in My Dear Enemy.
- Of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Mrs. Macready is the housekeeper for the Professor. When she first meets the children and they ask if it's her she says "Afraid so." When they get to the house all she does is tell them what they're not allowed to do.
- The housekeeper at the mansion the Impress and party escape to in DaveDuncan's A Handful Of Men sequel quartet (A Man Of His Word is the first quartet). The housekeeper talks to the ghosts and interprets and furthers their prophecies.
- Rivers of London features Molly, maid, cook and housekeeper for the Folly. Looks like an attractive maid at first glance but at second glance moves too quickly and quietly for comfort, will not or cannot speak and covers her mouth when she laughs or smiles to hide way too many teeth.
- Miss Stolz from Quantum Leap: In the episode "A Portrait for Troian," the Creepy Housekeeper is used to her full potential, and we find out that Miss Stolz was actually a ghost the entire time. If that's not creepy, I don't know what is.
- Mrs. Bale from As Time Goes By: Subverted, since she is secretly quite nice, just extremely strange. Lionel does, however, make a Mrs. Danvers joke at her expense. As is revealed in the wedding episode, she also has a secret crush on Rocky, her employer.
- Mrs Pritchard is the Doctor Who serial "Ghost Light". She turns out to be the lady of the house, brainwashed into serving the main villain Josiah Smith
- The Addams Family: Frankenstein-esque Lurch. "You Rang?" Though he's hardly the scariest member of the family. Heck, he's the LEAST scary. Except for Wednesday in the original series, who is really sweet; she just likes headless dolls and spiders.
- Mary-Anne plays a parody of this trope in a Vampire-spoof dream sequence in Gilligan's Island.
- That Mitchell and Webb Look has David Mitchell doing a hilarious spot-on version of Mrs. Danvers playing this trope to Rebecca herself, comparing her disdainfully to the second Mrs. De Winter!
- In Star Trek: Voyager, Mrs Templeton in Captain Janeway's Gothic romance holonovel is one of these.
- Sam and Dean Winchester run afoul of one in the episode "Hammer of the Gods." Said housekeeper is first shown killing a man, and then confirms his Uncanny Valley credentials with inexplicably disappearing, preparing other people for food, and cutting Sam to collect a blood sample without ever being seen. It is eventually revealed that he's the Roman god, Mercury. He's also hardly the worst thing in that hotel.
- Karla Grunwald in both Pretty Little Liars and it's spinoff Ravenswood. Subverted in that she's also Creepy Good.
- On Orange Is the New Black, Miss Claudette has this reputation among the other inmates; they only know her as a Neat Freak who seems suspicious of everyone and everything, and she is reputed to have murdered someone. She did kill someone, but not for the reason her fellow inmates seem to think. She ran an illegal maid-service (illegal because the girls were, just like she once was, underage and undocumented Haitian immigrants), and she found out that one of her clients had sexually abused a 14-year-old girl that she had sent to him. So she killed him in retaliation.
- The Vocaloid song "Sweet Shackles" could be this trope's anthem! GUMI portrays a maid in deeply devoted love with her master, who has become engaged to another woman. Knowing this, GUMI has a Villainous Breakdown, ties her master in rope and holds him hostage in his own mansion (with the implication she'll have her way with him) and forces him into marrying her.
- Jane Twisden from Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep. Mainly a parody of Mrs. Danvers.
- The Cat and the Canary has "Mammy" Pleasant, a voodoo woman from the West Indies. For twenty years after Cyrus West's death she tended his Old, Dark House with her "friends from the shadow world" to keep her company.
- Frau Lurker in The House Of Frankenstein is a very broad parody of the trope.
- Subverted in The Haunted Mansion, as the unnamed Groundskeeper that guests encounter at the beginning of the Graveyard scene is just as spooked by the ghosts as (presumably) you are. You'd think that he'd be used to it by now. note
- Also subverted or straight in that the Cast Members running the ride are dressed as members of the Mansion's service staff, and depending on their disposition, can be creepy or quite cheery.
- Played straight in The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror for the same reason as the above Haunted Mansion; the Cast Members running the ride are dressed as the Hotel's bellhops, elevator attendants, and so on. In a moment of Never Trust a Trailer, most ads show the Cast Members as ghoulish looking, gray-skinned bellhops with white eyes. Whether this was an Aborted Arc or never intended to happen is not quite clear (it would be monumentally expensive and difficult to teach every Cast Member who works on the ride to do the makeup themselves, to the level of having them essentially be performers and running a ride).
- Daniella from Haunting Ground. And she's like that before attempting to kill you with a shard of glass/fire poker.
- Martha from Rule of Rose gives a distinctly creepy, unfriendly first impression, and the orphans in the Rose Garden Orphanage believe she's a witch. Subverted as it is revealed in the epilogue that she was the only definately sane and well-meaning person in the house despite of her unpleasant demeanour, and her attempts to contact the police about the strange happenings were implied to have gotten her killed.
- The Sims 1 and 3 take this to another level with the buyable maid Bonehilda. She is a skeleton who performs much of the same functions as a maid. While she doesn't actively try to scare Sims, they will sometimes run in terror from her. Additionally, if you already have hired a maid and the maid sees Bonehilda, she will quit.
- Cainhurst Castle in Bloodborne has an army of these, with just as many engaged in cleaning as attempting to murder you with blowpipes and swords.
- The Maid in The House in Fata Morgana is extremely enigmatic and creepy and is implied several times to be the witch Morgana who haunts the mansion. She's eventually revealed to be the main heroine and love interest.
- Consuela for Family Guy. Although she is (rarely) found working in a mansion, she is pretty creepy. If you don't think she belongs here, you're going to have to get her to leave yourself.
"No, no... I stay... I clean."
- The deform butler and the creepy maid in The Real Ghostbusterss episode "Loathe Thy Neighbor" (a spoof episode of The Addams Family) working for the Micawb family.
- An episode of The Flintstones has Fred inheriting a mansion from a distant relative but, if something happens to him the fortune will go to the very creepy (and apparently homicidal) butler, cook and gardener. Hilarity Ensues.