Chance of a ghost: As Halloween haunted houses get more and more high-tech, what's a mother to do? Where can older kids and parents have a properly spooky experience without being traumatized or negatively influenced? Historic Boulder Inc. and the Boulder Museum of History are teaming together to bring you Meet the Spirits, the annual haunting of Boulder's historic Columbia Cemetery, where the ghosts who appear have something to say other than "Boo." These ectoplasms appear in the form of historical figures buried there, and, garbed in period dress, they re-enact their famous lives. Of course, you won't be let off the gruesome hook completely: Side attractions include a scrappy batallion of Civil War veterans, black-clad paid mourners and a nineteenth-century horse-drawn hearse. Meet Boulder's past face-to-face from 1 to 5 at the cemetery, 9th and Pleasant streets; tour admission ranges from $3 to $10. Call 444-5192.
True grits: Soul comes in all flavors, and in LaJoyce Brookshire's novel Soul Food, also a motion picture, it comes in the form of whatever turns up on Mother Joe's table--Joe being the matriarch (and Sunday-dinner cook) for a family of three daughters who can't seem to stick together without her. Get your fill--Brookshire appears from 5:30 to 7 tonight at the Hue-Man Experience, 911 Park Ave. West; call 293-2665.
Or you can load up on Heavy Soul: Former Jam member and Style Council founder Paul Weller, who's as English as a cup of tea but continues his lifelong dabble in African-American pop music on an album by that name, drops in at 8 tonight at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Ave. Rock belter Johnette Napolitano provides the tough opening act; for tickets, $16, call 830-2525 or 1-800-444-SEAT.
Arkansas travelers: PBS's Frontline series, never known for holding back on information, rides right into the thick of Whitewater tonight with Once Upon a Time in Arkansas. The program documents the intertwined careers of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Jim and Susan McDougal from the viewpoint of Kenneth Starr's Whitewater prosecution team; correspondent Peter Boyer methodically lays out their case. Tune in tonight at 9; the show, Frontline's season opener, airs on KRMA-TV/Channel 6.
Kurt replies: He's the cult novelist of all cult novelists--from his 1953 debut, Player Piano, to his newest book, Timequake, Kurt Vonnegut has managed to blend autobiography, sci-fi and social commentary into an addictive literary concoction unlike anyone else's. It follows that Vonnegut should be a fascinating speaker as well, which makes him a good pick to appear as guest of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities' Author Luncheon. He'll discuss his life's work and take questions from the audience at the event, which takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at the Inverness Hotel and Golf Club, 200 Inverness Dr. West, Englewood; to reserve tickets, $65 (the price includes a signed copy of Timequake), call 573-7733.
The mark of Zora: The Smokebrush Center for Arts and Theater, a Colorado Springs-based outfit, brings a whole lotta Spunk up north to the Eulipions Cultural Center, 1770 Sherman St. A musical take based on three earthy stories by African-American author Zora Neale Hurston, Spunk, which features a fine cast of local and national talent, received sparkling reviews during its Smokebrush run; with the exception of one cast member, the same troupe opens its Denver run tonight at 7. Spunk continues at Eulipions Wednesday through Saturday, through November 8; tickets range from $15 to $25. Call 863-0026 for showtimes and reservations.