A satanic-looking man and an inferno: The photo taken on the night of the Luna Park fire.

In June, 1979, the Godson family travelled from the small Central West town of Warren 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 a 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.

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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 told Woman’s Day. “They chose the Ghost Train. Little did I know… ”

At this point, Jenny 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.

“For some reason, suddenly I felt like an ice cream. I asked the others if they wanted one, but they said no. I asked them to wait for me, but when I turned around they were gone,” she said.

When Jenny returned from getting her ice cream, she saw smoke pouring out of the Ghost Train. John, six-year-old Damien and four-year-old Craig were nowhere to be seen.

Luna Park staff were ushering people off the ride as quickly as they could, but seven people did not make it out alive that night.

Among them was John, Damien and Craig.

“I don’t know why they didn’t wait for me, as we’d been on every ride together that night. It still haunts me to this day. Something spiritual took over. Divine intervention? For some reason, I was not meant to die that night,” Jenny told Woman’s Day.

At the time, survivors spoke of seeing walls of flames – at least four metres high – surrounding them on the Ghost Train.

“The car nosed through the doors and we could see 4m flames all around us,” Frank Juhassi told the Daily Telegraph at the time.


“We were seconds away from death.”

Emergency services rushed to the scene, but due to water supply issues, it took longer than expected to get the blaze under control.

When firefighters finally managed to extinguish the inferno, they discovered the remains of the three members of the Godson family – huddled together in one of the tunnels.

In another section of the ride, the remains of four friends from Waverley College were found. A fifth friend survived the blaze.

It wasn’t until later, when Jenny was looking through the photographs she had developed from the trip, that she remembered the devil-horned man.

There – in the middle of a pile of holiday happy snaps – was a eerie photo of a strange satanic figure standing behind Damien, with one hand on his shoulder.

The man in the mask has never been identified and over the years there have been many theories about who – or what – he was.

Some believe he resembled the god Moloch, who asked for children to be sacrificed through fire or war. While others believe he was linked to a local satanic cult.

Forty years on, Jenny still doesn’t have any answers about that night.

After losing her entire family, Jenny briefly returned to her hometown of Warren, but soon left as the grief was too much.

She relocated to Sydney and eventually remarried and welcomed a little girl into the world.

She will forever be haunted by that fateful night at Luna Park.

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