The Smiling Family: The Fontaine Murders Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

I was inspired by the movie "Insideous". In one scene, the father has crossed over to the other world filled with demons. Before reaching his son, he comes across scary ghosts that were tortured and stuck in this world. There is a certain family that is shown in one of the scenes. The movie doesnt give the back story or point of having this creepy family/ghosts present. They are used for color. So, I decided to write my own story for that creepy family. This is like a story/report of a murder that has become paranormal. The main characters are Mr. and Mrs. Fontaine and their two twin daughters Mary Jane and Joanie Lou. Joanie Lou does the unthinkable to her own family and later herself. Later on it becomes apparent that the Fontaine family and murder has haunted the home they lived in.


The Smiling Family


Herbert and Bernadette Fontaine seemed to have the perfect life that is similar to beaver cleaver. Key word "seemed". Herbert was a no nonsense man who was a science professor at the towns local college. He used to be a Doctor but retired early and became involved with his first love "science" and began to teach it. He was a secret alchoholic who claimed to be all happy and dandy. Others could sense he was hiding something. Bernadette was a secretary and a real susie homemaker. She never believed in swearing or skipping a meal. She was known for her skills in baking some of the towns finest pies. She had them sold at fairs,contests and sometimes the bakery down town. They had two twin daughters named Mary Jane and Joanie Lou. The two maybe be similar but they are very different. Mary Jane was close to perfect. Joanie Lou couldnt ever compare. Her parents exercised that beleif from time to time and had made Joanie Lou very evil,cold and self loathing. However, this was all a secret. To the town, the home life seemed too perfect but appeared to own no flaws to cause suspicion. That was at least until July. 4,1957.

The family were supposed to show up to the Independence Day fair and Bernadette would be presenting her pies into a eating contest. Herbert was supposed to hold a science station and help little kids with fun expiriments. Mary Jane was supposed to sing in the talent contest and have her sister Joanie Lou play the Piano. They never showed up to the event. That’s when a neighbor Grace Martin came over to make sure everything was okay. Grace wasnt prepared for what she would discover. Sadly, she found Herbert,Bernadette and Mary Jane shot and dead on the couch. All three were sitting as if nothing had happend. Herbert was dead but still holding on to his paper. Mary Jane was dead with a smirking smile still on her face that she always had. Bernadette looked the most chilling because she was holding a buttoned shirt that she curretly was goin to iron. After looking closer, Grace could see a sewing kit with Bernadettes name on it. Grace noticed that something didnt seem right. She stepped closer and looked closley at her dead friends body. Mary Janes smile was litteraly sewn on. The string was still attached and lead to something in front of them. It was Joanie Lou. She was rocking back and fourth holding on to the string that was still attached to Mary Janes bloody smile. Joanie Lou had the scariest look and a smile on her face. She was singing the song “Don’t Worry Be Happy”. This was a tune that Herbert always loved to whistle. Next to a zoned out Joanie Lou was the shotgun. Grace ran out of the house screaming bloody murder.

By the time police came, Joanie Lou had fastly sewn Bernadette and Herberts mouths into a smile alike Mary Jane's. Once the cops retreived Joanie Lou and got her out of her psychotic state, they asked why she did what she did. Why on earth would a young girl murder her loving family? Her answer was full of horror and numbness. She had stated that she had no real motive to kill her parents. Things were just too happy and therefore boring. Having no motive for killing is far more chilling then having a motive. After a court trial and psychiatric tests, Joanie Lou was found to be criminaly insane. Joanie Lou's whole conciousness and thought process never was the same after the murder. She never did give a reason why she did what she did. That is the most disturbing point of all.

Dr. Gary Rendfield was the main psychiatrist involved with her case. Rendfield stated that he had never had a case like that of Joanie Lou's. “That poor girl was full of hate", Rendfield stated. She had so many different symptoms of various diseases and they couldn’t narrow it down to just one. It was the hardest to figure out how such a disturbed girl could have hidden these actons and fooled everyone around her. This is where Rendfield developed his theory. “They probably didn’t notice because they didn’t notice Joanie Lou period." From his investigation, there was an obvious huge favoritsim towards Mary Jane. One thing  Joanie Lou would always talk about was happiness. She had an obsession with smiling. After searching the house for evidence after the murder, police found secret diaries, memorbeilia and disturbing rotting corpses of dead animals with there lips sewn on to appear smiling. She used this same technique on her family. Rendfield beleived the family put too much pressure on Joanie Lou to always be perfect like her twin sister. Even if Joanie Lou were upset she was always taught to smile. That could be the real reason she loathed happiness. She learned to love the dark. However, this does not correct or excuse what the girl did to her family. Its brutal and confusing. So, doctors concluded that the urge to be perfect and the growth of jelousy became trapped into the wrong part of her mind.

Two months after the murder, Joanie Lou had commited suicide by hanging herself. Before killing herself, she had carved bloody smiley faces all over her body. The mystery will forever remain because no one truly will never know the motive behind this brutal incident. There may indeed be no motive. All that is left in this case is the sad and brutal story of a disturbed child who needed help that her own family wouldnt give. In the end, everyone paid the price. Joanie Lou's body was not allowed to be buried next to her parents and sister. The other immediate family members wouldnt allow it. It’s like she will never find peace in the after life because even after death, shes still secluded from her immediate famly. However, was she ever apart of them? Was this girl sick the whole time and coverd it with happiness to fool people? We will never know. The house has remained standing and has been bought by 4 different families at different times. All four families never stayed long at the residence. There were several complaints of evil spirits in the house. The Benny family is one of the previous owners who came fourth with more detail about their disturbances at the house. Kandy and Kenny Benny's youngest daughter complained about seeing a scary smiling girl always looking at her at night. A different family who wanted to remain annonymous complained of seeing things as well as hearing a whistling tone when no one around was seen whistling. The Corbin family was the last family to live in the house. The father Jeff Corbin had discussed in an interview that he once had a daughter who was full of life and joy. After a couple weeks of living in the house, Corbins daughter had become sullen and out of touch. The daughter had been in and out of mental hospitals claiming to feel that an unknown evil force was taking over her. The daughter had never had any previous mental issues untill moving into the house. Shortly after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, Corbins daughter had took her own life as a result of hanging. This was the same way the late Joanie Lou had died. Once Corbin had done research on the history of the house, he moved his family out. Many paranormal investigator's have interviewed the family members who previously lived in the Fontaine house. This had made the story famous worldwide and led  a paranormal finatic named Steph Blue to purchase the house and use it for a mini museum. Blue has done research and became lucky to come in touch with the Fontaine's other family members. The family let Blue have some original items and belonging's that were retrieved from the Fontaine house after the murder. Blue uses this for decoration and added history in the Fontaine House Museum. The house still is standing. Perhaps the ghosts of the tortured family member's are still standing as well.

Submitted: October 18, 2012

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