A .pdf reader is essential for viewing this site--sorry. I try to avoid using plugins, but I needed to make the online material look like the printed stuff.
We sent out an initial invitation, explaining a bit about the theme of the party and asking each guest:
By marvelous coincidence, the year 1999 (when we threw the party) and the year 1926 (when the party was set) both had the exact same calendar. So all of our correspondence had the 1926 date.
We hit e-Bay and purchased a lot of cheap props, including a magazine from 1926 which we left lying on a table.
One of the guests--Emily Pillar--was supplied with a prop: An antique locket with vintage photos inside. The photograph of the man matched a picture supplied to General Grant.
The party was held in the dining room and basement of a friend's home. We put slipcovers over all of the furniture, and lit the place with candles (we explained this by saying that, having been closed for years, the house wasn't wired). We didn't do any obvious Halloween decorating, since this was purportedly a dinner party, not a Halloween party. We did decorate the table with Indian corn and dried gourds, and we tried for an overall, "something's not quite right, but we can't figure out what" design scheme.
We rented all dishware (mostly black glass). We offered cocktails and nibbles before dinner, then had a sit-down dinner. The guests were encouraged to drop hints throughout; after dinner we retired back downstairs and discussed the "strange goings-on" in the house. We pieced together the story of the house, and solved the mystery. The denouement was when we broke down a "wall" (some drywall that had been spackled into a door in the semi-finished basement) to reveal a Bucky skeleton dressed in a Confederate uniform. (Small joke: According to the story, these are the mortal remains of Roger "Red" Grant. So the guests found...say it with me...Red Skeleton.)
A few pictures of the results are here. (I'm the one in red at bottom left in the group shot. My fiance--Aleister Crawley--is next to me in black.) I have several more pictures, but I'm afraid that my apathy hasn't much abated. They'll get posted one of these days.