The hotel staff of a guesthouse in Germany were shocked to discover the bodies of three patrons, apparently killed by crossbow bolts.

The pension in which this grizzly discovery was made sits on the river Ilz in Unteröd, near the South German town of Passau.

The hotel's maid found the bodies shortly before midday on Saturday, reported local newspaper Passauer Neue Presse.

They belonged to two women, 33 and 30, and a man of 53, all discovered in the same room. All three guests were German nationals.

Advertisement

The manager reported no disturbance had been heard from their quarters, the guests had booked in for three nights and it did not seem unusual that none of the guests had booked breakfast.

"It was a totally quiet night," a worker told the local press.

Police from Niedersachsen und Rheinland-Pfalz reported the discovery of two crossbows.

Speaking to German news website Spiegel Online, the police said at this stage it is impossible who was shot by whom or in what order.

Suicides by crossbow are extremely rare, but not unheard of, reported Der Spiegel. A spokesperson for a the region's shooting clubs told the paper that Germans above the age of 18 do not require any permit to buy these weapons.

Criminal investigators said "currently the motives surrounding the deaths of the three guests were still completely open."

The forensics report is still being awaited and, as of this weekend, the police have reported no new leads.

In the meantime the guesthouse and its restaurant remain open.