There are no overblown amenities in Mynders Hall. No air conditioning, no elevators and no computer lab. However, some say the residence hall has something found nowhere else on campus: a ghostly guest.

An urban legend of the city alongside the likes of the Orpheum Theater’s “Little Mary,” the story of Elizabeth Mynders is nearly as old as The University itself.

Mynders Hall was built in 1912 and named in honor of former University of Memphis President Seymour Mynders and his recently-deceased daughter. Elizabeth Mynders passed earlier that year at 21, four months after her wedding. The exact cause of her death is unknown.

Some say that her ghost often plays tricks on unsuspecting coeds who spend late nights partying in lieu of studying. Legend has it that young women would often return to their dorms to find their books open to the exact chapter of the week’s readings.

Many have regarded the ghost of Mynders as a friendly or mischievous spirit. Superstition dictates that dorm residents greet the portrait of Elizabeth Mynders in the lobby every morning to stay in the spirit’s good graces.

Mynders Hall is no stranger to things that go bump in the dark. Although the mundane might attribute these to the archaic heating system employed by the building; its eponymous spectral resident may have been cause for sleepless nights.

“Sometimes my roommate told me she had bad nightmares. They made her a little jumpy,” said former Mynders resident Becky Wilson.

Wilson admitted that the building had a certain eeriness to it, especially at night. However, it lacked some of the classic signs of a haunting.

“None of the scary stuff you see on TV – lights going off, pictures falling, stuff like that,” she said.

Even so, the mystery behind Mynders has a way of captivating students who glance at the auburn-haired woman in the portrait.

“I would sometimes catch myself staring at her picture and wondering about her,” Wilson said. “It’s hard to imagine her as a real person.”

The building’s curious past combined with the mysterious circumstances surrounding Elizabeth’s death has made the residence hall a popular destination for local historians with an interest in the unusual.

Michael Einspanjer has been a purveyor of the paranormal for over 20 years. In 2001, Einspanjer formed Memphis Paranormal Investigation, a collaborative effort that looks into ghostly activities in the Bluff City and abroad.

“Most of the urban legends you see on the news are exactly that -- myths” he said.

Einspanjer has made a name for himself by debunking local and national urban legends free of charge.

“A lot of people have ridden on my coattails over the years,” Einspanjer said. “But there are probably a few hundred people across the country who can testify about the validity of my work.”

According to Einspanjer, ghostly entities are composed of heat or electrical energy, memories, and emotions – mostly emotions.

“A real haunting has physical symptoms. You can feel the emotion that the spirit is dealing with” he said. “If a spirit lingers, they are here for a reason.”

While one might imagine paranormal investigation requires a Ghostbusters-esque arsenal of tools, Einspanjer operates with minimal equipment. His crew often enters sites with little more than a handheld camcorder and a readiness to confront something otherworldly.

“How you approach a paranormal investigation determines your outcome,” Einspanjer said. “It doesn’t matter about the equipment – it’s all about the attitude.”

Einspanjer said the signs of a ghostly presence are obvious to anyone in tune with their emotions. A cold chill in a windless hallway. A feeling of heat being drained from the head to toe. A sudden onset of anxiety or other negative emotions.

“That’s how you know you aren’t alone,” he said.

Einspanjer investigated Mynders Hall twice during his 23-year career. Both times, he returned empty-handed.

“Not to say the place isn’t haunted – we just haven’t seen enough evidence to convince us otherwise,” he said. “I never label a place as haunted unless I see something firsthand.”

While the confirmation of a campus haunting probably won’t come any time soon, wary residents are still welcome to offer Elizabeth a daily greeting.

“I never did buy into any of the superstition, but you could probably get a good scare out of some freshmen if you dressed up as her this Halloween,“ Wilson said.