The Mowing-Devil: or, Strange News out of Hartford-shire is the title of an English woodcut pamphlet published in 1678. The pamphlet tells of a farmer in Hertfordshire who, refusing to pay the price demanded by a labourer to mow his field, swore that he would rather that the Devil mowed it instead.
According to the pamphlet, that night his field appeared to be in flame. The next morning, the field was found to be perfectly mowed, "that no mortal man was able to do the like".
This pamphlet, and the accompanying illustration, is often cited by crop circle researchers as among the first recorded cases of crop circles. Crop circle researcher Jim Schnabel does not consider it to be a historical precedent because it describes the stalks as being cut, while modern crop circles involve the corn being bent.
- Monaghan, Lauren (August 2009). "Grand delusions". Cosmos (magazine). Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Peter Jan Margry; Herman Roodenburg (2007). Reframing Dutch Culture: Between Otherness and Authenticity. Progress in European Ethnology (illustrated ed.). Ashgate Publishing. pp. 150–1. ISBN 9780754647058.
- Swirled News article