I have heard a few people talk about their little children and their bedtime phobias. Monsters, or scary shadows, or things like that. Maybe specific objects are scary in different situations, or maybe there is a general fear of the unknown that lurks in the closet.
Perhaps the child is full of baloney. Hard to say. Sure, kids will claim bad dreams or scary monsters to get out of going to bed.
The Boy? Never. He is very straightforward in his resisting of bed (although he really has done a good job of spending much of the night in his bed) but never attributes bed refusal to monsters or closets or anything scary.
Does he lack the imagination? Is he just so tough that he feels he can take on whatever comes at him? Is he a bad liar like his mother?
My theory--and who knows, it may come back to bite me--is that nothing found in his bedroom is anywhere near as scary as what this child has seen. Monsters in the closet or little bad dreams have nothing on medical residents with needles, horrible chemo drugs, the radiation machine, and cold sterile room. Furthermore, we really do our best to validate his fears and concerns.