My informant for this piece of folklore is my friend’s mother. She relayed a story about how in the “olden days,” farmers in the mountains of North Carolina would wake up in the morning to find that their crops had been trampled during the night. She described the patterns as circles that looked like people had been dancing around in the fields all night, stomping down the crops. They couldn’t figure out what was doing it even put out cameras and watchmen at night to try and catch someone in the act. The perpetrator was never found and it was assumed that it was the devil trampling the crops during the night.
My informant explained that this was not the “crop circles” that most people refer to. It was never a consideration or possibility that aliens were making designs in the crops. It very well may have been a prank by some foolish kids, but everyone believed it was the devil because they never found any clues as to who could have done such a thing.