The Smokin’ Monkey, Located at 3721 Harrison Ave in Cheviot, Ohio, is a bar that, though opened in 1999, has just in the last few years begun promoting itself as ‘haunted’. While my own research of the bars haunting left me less than impressed (my opinion), the location itself does have a fairly creepy history.
Though I admit I can’t say with 100% certainty that ALL of the following history is true, I’m sure some, if not most, of it is. This is pretty much the exact information I was given by the owner a few years ago, but since I don’t feel like retyping all of it, I’m copying this from the J.E.E.P.R.S website.
The history behind the hauntings at the Smokin’ Monkey Lounge in Cheviot, OhioThe city of Cheviot was founded by John Craig, Sr in 1818. John Craig, his wife Jennet, and their two sons Archibald and Thomas, came from Scotland in 1799. The family settled in Green Township in 1811. They bought an old cabin near a spring that was used by people from miles around. In 1814, John Craig, Sr. purchased 320 acres of land at Beech Flats Spring. Craig immediately began to build the “Cheviot Tavern”, a two story building with a balcony porch, which became the most prominent tavern west of the city.
In the year 1818, he plotted and laid out a town at the spring, four blocks in a square with an alley running east and west, the lots being 40 by 100 feet and sold for 18 dollars each. He named the town after the hills in Scotland, the Cheviot Hills. On May 14, 1814, Archibald, Thomas, and the family dog were killed by lightning when taking shelter under a tree while working out in the corn fields. Archibald was seventeen and Thomas was fifteen. The boys were buried together in one casket with a double headstone that read “Killed by Lightening May 14, 1814” Their sister, Maryann, 12, escaped a similar fate because she ran into the tavern at the first raindrop to keep her new sunbonnet from getting wet.
On June 28, 1836, John Craig came in from the fields and couldn’t find his wife, Jennet. Finally he looked in the washing cistern that ran under the tavern. To his surprise, Craig found his wife Jennet had drown in the cistern. Jennet was a large, heavy woman and Craig was a very small man who had rheumatism. He couldn’t pull her out and soon the whole town was awoken to come aid the poor man. Craig grieved for 10 years and on September 10, 1846, he died at the age of 77 and was buried beside Jennet in the old Bethel graveyard in Cheviot. Sadly the old Bethel Baptist graveyard was turned into a parking lot, and eventually the building that was next to the parking lot was bought and turned into the Smokin’ Monkey Lounge. Before the building and the parking lot were placed over the cemetery, many bodies were exhumed and moved to the Bridgetown Cemetery.
Anyway, it’s a pretty good-sized building, 3 floors and a large basement. It supposedly has past ties to organized crime, who are said to have run a casino and brothel on the property. So, according to the bars owner, there are claims of murdered mobsters, gamblers, and hookers.As far as the paranormal activity reported there…well, it’s not very paranormal when you think about it. The 2 big claims were of an ice scoop that was somehow falling, or as they say there, being throw, from th top of the ice machine. And of bottles either falling from shelves, or being turned around for no reason. Having made a few visits there, it’s easy to see how this can happen. the bar itself isn’t THAT big, but the music sure is loud. You can feel it vibrate everything when it’s playing. Vibration easily explain these so-called ghosts.
There’s also reports of your run of the mill dark shapes, voices, touching, etc. I’ve been there several times, sometimes during operating hours, sometimes while closed, and I’ve never encountered anything of the sort. Bottom line is, it’s a nice little bar I’d recommend if you are looking for a place to go for fun and drinks, but don’t waste your time looking for spooks there.