I like playing with the reverb or delay settings whilst running back through effects, it can lend to some wet signals that don't cloud up everything too much, produce some generative 'backing vocals' in a way, call and response with delay, momentary reverb holds etc..
another option is just to compress the hell out the verb but not the clean signal. Brings out the tails in the mix and gives a kind of subtle ducking effect whilst actually 'sustaining' the reverb much much more tastefully than a ducking plugin.
Reverse can be great because it throws back obscured phrases too.
But generally keep the wet signal as a different track if you want to totally mangle it, totally separate. Run that in stereo so you keep the main mono vocal, and if need use a totally different eq in the mix and treat more like a backing vocal track-I often have stuck this on an ambient mic for that kind of separation if its needed...from the description seemed like you wanted that separation though, some stuff is just recorded more like 'everything on full' of course! The 'dry' vocal will need some ambience but really just a 'standard' amount, not actually much decay at all, to blend in unless you want it to stick out.