In Episode 11 ("The Magical Place"), Coulson is being held at a ghost town in the Mojave Desert.
Filled with lifelike mannequins, posed and dressed in '50s attire, the fake town had been built by the
government back in the 1950's to test the effect of an atomic bomb blast on a town near ground zero.
In one of the desert buildings there, Coulson is first tortured by Centipede operative Poe,
in an effort to learn how Coulson was brought back from the dead.
Later, Raina takes over and straps Coulson to a table
where a machine probes for his lost memories.
At the episode's climax, Skye arrives at the atomic ghost town and (with the help of Ward & May)
rescues Coulson just as he finally learns the horrific truth behind his false Tahiti memories.
This was shot at the Polsa Rosa Ranch, at 5726 Soledad Canyon Road, in Acton, CA.
This movie ranch is in a mountain pass between Santa Clarita and the Mojave Desert,
and has been used often for filming, including scenes from movies such
as "The Lone Ranger" and "There Will Be Blood".
Those desert buildings are a permanent part of the ranch
(minus the creepy mannequins, of course).
You can learn more about the ranch via their website here.
The fictional atomic ghost town in this episode was patterned after an
actual town that was built in 1955 by the US government to test the effect
of an atomic bomb blast on a town near ground zero.
did indeed fill the fake town with mannequins, in order to see what
happened to them when the bomb went off - and then they blew it all up.
You can read more about this bizarre moment in our history here.
And you can see some rather horrific footage of the actual bomb blast here.
Two movies also used an atomic ghost town (complete with mannequins)
in their plots: 2008's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull",
and the 1954 Mickey Rooney comedy, "The Atomic Kid" (in which
Mickey has the misfortune to wander into the atomic ghost town
just before the bomb explodes.)