For most of the night on June 9, 1979, it was business as usual at Sydney's Luna Park.
The cooler weather and a transit strike meant the park was less crowded than usual, but there were still plenty of families and group of friends enjoying the park's iconic rides, sharing buckets of hot chips, and hastily licking melting ice-cream cones.
The ghost train was always the most popular ride in the park. Most people who went to the park rode it at least once.
And that night was no exception. Group after group piled into the train's cars and rode through the spooky ride which was by then over 40 years old.
At around 10pm, one group of friends noticed real flames coming from a fake fire about three quarters of the way through the ride. They finished the ride and left, thinking nothing of it. The next group through saw flames rising up the wall in that section of the ride.
Then the screaming began.
Within minutes a huge section of the ride was engulfed in flames. By the end of the night six young boys and one father were dead.
While the fire was later declared an accident, ABC investigative reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna and her team are looking into what really happened that night in the new series EXPOSED: The Ghost Train Fire.
Watch the trailer for EXPOSED: The Ghost Train Fire. Post continues below.
That weekend the Godson family travelled from Warren, a country town located in the Central West region of NSW, to Sydney for a much anticipated family holiday.
The family of four – dad John, mum Jenny, and their two young sons Damien and Craig – were late arriving to ‘The Big Smoke’, after the train drivers’ strike forced them to take a series of buses for what is usually a six-hour journey.
But once they arrived in Sydney, they made the most of their time, travelling around the city seeing the sights.
On June 9, their final day in Sydney, they spent the day wandering around Taronga Zoo, in the leafy, North Shore suburb of Mosman.
After their fun-filled day, they headed back into the city for dinner, before turning around and travelling back across the harbour towards Luna Park.
While waiting at Circular Quay for a ferry to take them across the harbour to Luna Park, the Godson family were approached by a Satanic-looking figure. A tall man wearing a horned mask and a leopard print loincloth. The figure stood behind six-year-old Damien, placed his hand on his shoulder, and someone took a photo.
The family then boarded the ferry headed towards Luna Park.
Once they arrived at the park, the boys enjoyed ride after ride and when it was eventually time to leave, they discovered they had four tickets left—enough for one more ride for the whole family. John and Jenny asked the boys what they wanted to do, and they said they really wanted one more go around the park’s infamous Ghost Train.
“We asked Damien and Craig what ride they’d like to go on again,” Jenny Godson told Woman’s Day. “They chose the Ghost Train. Little did I know…”
At this point, Godson was overcome with a craving for ice cream – something she didn’t normally eat – so she told John and the boys to wait for her and she would meet up with them shortly.